For those of you who have been exploring the wine world for a while, you have surely found that some countries or regions are in general more pleasing to your taste than others. Some places just have too much minerals or acidity for your liking, while others can’t make a bad Chardonnay. I call this your comfort spot.

For me, my red wine comfort spot is Goriška Brda. Located on the Slovenian border with Italy, the land line is so compicated, you are never really sure in which country you are in. The best part is nobody is worried about it. Brda makes great Rebula (a little known white wine grape grown mostly in this area), and the red blends of Merlot and Cabernet sauvignon have just a touch more tannin and acidity than other areas. This makes for a perfect wine with a steak or what is possibly the best prosciutto in the world (the more famous prosciutto San Daniele is made just a few kilometers away in Friulli, Brda’s neighbor). Goriška Brda was a very deliberate holiday destination for us this year. We know scenery is beautiful, and the food and drink is second to none.

First a quick stop at Ščurek winery to pick up some supplies. 2 cases of Rebula, and an unsuccessful attempt at a case of the 2008 Pinot Noir (sold out, sorry, TSOL). No worries, a case of Pikolit did the trick instead. I still have some from the last trip so didn’t need anymore of the Stara brajda belo which I can highly recommend. Then is was on to our final destination. The winery Dolfo and a meeting with the master himself, Marko Skočaj.

How can you not love this guy ?! So much passion for what he is doing, and just a touch of crazy that makes it all the more fun. Describing his wines as “naked”, as it is just water and nature and NOTHING else. Really nothing else…. (any doubts on the naked part can be confirmed by his wines labels – repeat, touch of crazy :-)

Old School – no controlled cold maceration, just steel, oak, time and hard work go into every bottle of he exceptionally dry wines. So dry, that we tasted things that you normally miss. All kinds of mineral and fruits that were not pushed aside with overly sweet grapes. The sparkling Brut was like a bubbly rock. Exceptional minerality and just a touch of fruit. The Chardonnay was very much a Chablis style and will do well in the bottle for years to come. The Sauvignon, fresh and green – nettle, peach and lemon (my favorite of the fresh wines. And not to forget the Gredič belo 2008. After 4 years in oak, this was an exceptionally complex and mellow wine. As for the reds, everybody had a different favorite. Me hte Merlot, Misa the Cabernet and everybody, the Gredič rdeče 2008. Again a cuvee of the best hand picked grapes from the best plot (Gredič).

So next time time you are convinced you want ot go to Italy on holiday and thake the car, make a slight detour and pass through Brda for a day.

And I can tell you from personal experience, it may be you last holiday in Italy for a while ;-)