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The international group of 30 wine judges at the Ljubljana Wine Fair was divided into five judging panels ("commissions"), each with five members and a president. Each panel included one Slovenian judge (and a Slovenian president); the other judges were invited from a variety of nations. This is the panel of which I was a member. From left, Mitja Kocjancis (Slovenia), Gilberto Pedrucci (Brazil), Sue Van Wyk (South Africa), Beatrice Da Ros (France), Marjan Kveder (Slovenia, panel president), and Robin Garr (United States).|
Italy-Slovenia Wine Diary 2001
Invited to participate as a wine judge at the 47th annual Ljubljana Wine Fair in Slovenia in March 2001, I was delighted to participate, not only for the enjoyment of meeting a crowd of international judges, including some old friends and some new ones, but also for the opportunity to spend a short time touring some of the wine regions in a small, relatively little known country (the northernmost of the old Yugoslav republics) that deserves a wider reputation for its wine ... and its hospitality to travelers.
As an added treat, I managed to schedule a few days for a quick visit to the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Northeastern Italy, an attractive wine-producing area that is adjacent to western Slovenia and that shares long ties of friendship, culture and even family connections.
Here are links to more detailed travel and tasting reports on my travels there between March 19-27, 2001:
Dinner at Gostelna As in Ljubljana - A half-dozen wine judges enjoy a memorable dinner at one of the Slovenian capital's top restaurants, with notes on a variety of the country's premium wines.
Friuli Wine Diary 2001 - My reports on visits to two highly recommended wineries in Colli Orientali and Collio, the wooded hillsides where Italy meets Slovenia.
Veneto Wine Diary 2001 - Tasting notes from one fine winery in Valpolicella near Verona, and wine notes with reports on dinner and lunch in the Veneto.
COMING SOON - About the international wine competition at the Ljubljana Wine Fair; and a detailed report, with tasting notes, on several wines and wineries of Western Slovenia's Goriska Brda wine region.
MORE ABOUT SLOVENIA - See The 30 Second Wine Advisor, March 26, 2001.