We met Meghan at 7am and headed out of town to rendezvous with the film crew in order to convoy to our first location in the Prekmurje region. This area is up in the northeastern corner of the country, bordering Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The landscape reminds us that there was once an ancient ocean here, Panonnia. It has long flat stretches and rolling hills. It is the primary place for agriculture, although wine is grown all over the country. Today we have a packed schedule: four stops before we wrap, and lots of driving. From Ljubjlana, Slovenia to our first stop is a two-hour journey.
Jerulazem is the home of our first visit: Kupljen vineyard and winery. Since 1926, the Kupljen family has been making terrific wine here. They have a taverna nearby also, where they serve food sourced from local growers. They love to celebrate the specialties of the region and immediately treat us to a platter of roasted vegetables to go with their sparkling wine, which is done with a Riesling grape. Because it is only 9am, Jozef has chosen to serve us a brut, which is not too sweet. While the crew was setting up and Cassie was getting her makeup applied, the rest of us enjoyed the beautiful morning and this terrific breakfast. The wine and food kept coming while Cassie was filmed talking with the winery owner and his daughter-in-law, Lydia. They explained their techniques and things that make their wines special. The wines were all incredible and so were the stories behind them.
After the Riesling was a Sipon, crisp and rich with minerality. It went quite nicely with a “breakfast” pizza whose crust was made from buckwheat and topped with sweetened cottage cheese (similar to ricotta). The merlot was dry, elegant and full of cherry notes. Paired with the merlot was a simple pizza whose crust was fashioned from the scraps left over from breadmaking. It was brushed with pumpkin seed oil and topped with pork cracklings. We ate a delicious platter full of cured meats, cheeses and vegetables.
As the crew was packing up to leave, Jozef broke out a bottle of Turmalin, a blush champagne. It was gorgeous and delicious.
Not yet noon and we were off to our next stop: the town of Lujtomer to visit a potter.