The Tastiest Delicacies of Dolenjska
The Tastiest Delicacies of Dolenjska
The region of Dolenjska in southeast Slovenia invites you to discover natural beauty and cultural heritage among vineyard hills, orchards and meadows. In the south of Slovenia it is impossible to miss the fertile fields and kozolec hay racks, the distinctive Slovenian wooden structures for drying hay, grain, maize, beans and other produce.
The region of Dolenjska in southeast Slovenia invites you to discover natural beauty and cultural heritage among vineyard hills, orchards and meadows. In the south of Slovenia it is impossible to miss the fertile fields and kozolec hay racks, the distinctive Slovenian wooden structures for drying hay, grain, maize, beans and other produce. Some of these hay racks look like wooden houses open on all sides and only covered on top, offering nowadays a variety of experiences, including a romantic picnic or two. The land has abundant water and is generous with its sweet produce, which the painstaking Dolenjska folk like to cook into excellent jam or press into home-made juices.
This is a land of happy people who still love to do the steps of folkloric dances, to shout out and toast with Slovenia’s only dietetic wine, as they call their low-alcohol cviček wine made of mixed white and red grape varieties. You will find a different set of experiences and treats in Dolenjska. String them together into a colourful garland! There are plenty of opportunities for active leisure pursuits in nature and for pampering your taste buds. Delicacies of Dolenjska (Dobrote Dolenjske) brings together the best flavours of the region, which has earned itself the title of one of this year’s EDEN finalists.
Delicacies of Dolenjska come from Mirnska Dolina, which together with Temeniška around Mirna Peč has a wonderfully idyllic landscape of fields and vineyards. First feel the warmth of the sun captured in wood, and visit the Land of Hay Racks in Šentrupert. Here in the open you can see all the special qualities of Slovenian kozolec hay racks, which are still an important farm structure. Under the hay racks there are even taste markets and shows by acclaimed master chefs and wine-makers. Pleasant trails and terrain for horse riding wind through the picturesque landscape between marvellous viewing locations.
The Mirna and Temenica rivers and the better known Krka and Kolpa offer countless pleasures and an insight into the wealth of local flora and fauna. Stop in Novo Mesto, the town of situlas. This is a centre of Slovenian archaeological abundance, for during the Hallstatt period from the 6th to the 4th centuries BCE it was flourishing and progressive, especially in ironworking and glassmaking. Take a ride around the bend in the River Krka on a Rudolf Raft, which maintains the tradition of rafting in Dolenjska. After an active day you can garner new strength at the Dolenjske Toplice and Šmarješke toplice spas, part of Slovenia’s Terme Krka natural health resorts. Full of strength, you can set off to wander the wine roads, which offer tastings of the noble drop and sustenance with local treats.
Dolenjska is a colourful culinary melting pot of all the surrounding countries, including Italy, Hungary, Austria and the Balkans. Dolenjska people are very tied to their local bread, and in many families they still bake it at home. The lifecycle of grain: seed – grain – flour – bread together with the cycle of the four seasons is also embodied in the Dolenjska food brand Dobrote Dolenjske, which under a common name and organic certificate brings together more than 200 products, ranging from delicious cheeses to honey, juices and jams.
TYPICAL DOLENJSKA DISH
Matevž is a tasty dish of boiled potatoes and beans, prepared as a side dish or a full meal. Sauerkraut or pickled turnip go especially well with this, along with a sausage and blood pudding.
TOP CULINARY EXPERIENCE
Staying in a wine cottage in the midst of endless vineyards is a very special experience. At one time they were used for storing tools and barrels in the middle of the vineyards, and now they are used as lodging cottages. You can become a temporary master of the vineyard and wine barrels. Indeed the owner will entrust you with not just the keys to the lodging, but also the big key to the wine cellar.
POPULAR EVENTS IN DOLENJSKA
* The farming and handicraft market Dobrote Dolenjske or the event known as “The Countryside in Town” has for 12 years now enlivened Saturday mornings in Trebnje. It offers visitors and local people a real taste of the countryside, as presented by the crafts people with their home-made products and various specialities.
* In Šentrupert they are hoping to make the June Izbor Festival of Flavours, which for the first time this year was held as an international gourmet & fun festival, into a traditional event. Summer this year featured the colourful meeting of internationally acclaimed and prize-winning chefs and wine-makers of the Alps-Adriatic region, who laid on a proper culinary spectacle in the Land of Hay Racks.
* The Jam Festival in August or September in the Land of Hay Racks is a sweet-toothed event all about jams, creative cooking and the rich range of delicious local foods. This unique event in Slovenia serves to showcase more than 100 different types of Slovenian-made jams involving a veritable symphony of sweet flavours.