If you are traveling to Slovenia and if you like wine, the region called Goriška Brda is perfect for you. The region is not only rich with wine tradition and spectacular views over its many vineyards, it is as well known for its homesteads, where you can get some of the world best superpremium wines, outstanding culinary, but you still feel like being at home!
One of the must places to visit, while you are visiting Goriška Brda, is the Kabaj Morel homestead. It belongs to one of the best known wine families in this part, which is strangely better known on foreign markets than in Slovenia. The reason for this world fame is probably their export, as they sell almost all their wine worldwide. You can get the Kabaj Morel wine in better wine-bars and restaurants from USA to China. You can even have a glass of their wine at the international Dubai airport wine-bars.
The wine making is well known to the family for decades, but their first official brand Kabaj Morel was launched on the market in 1993. Twenty years later, in 2013, the winery and its wines were one of the TOP 100, according to the American magazine Wines & Spirits.
Due to this amazing world success, Simon and I decided we want to find more about the family, their wine and their food. We ended up our Goriška Brda exploration at Kabaj Morel and treated ourselves with their dinner, which includes their world famous Kabaj Morel wines. There yearly wine capacity is from 70.000 to 80.000 bottles, from which 10% is produced exactly like 8 thousand years ago – in amphora (big clay pots). The tradition originates from Giorgia and not from the Ancient Greeks, like you might think. The Kabaj Morel family is the only one in Slovenia, which have this kind of production available. The whole process is very time consuming and everything starts already at the vineyards. They first need to select the best grapes, which stay in amphora for 10 months. Later on, they transfer the contents in the big oak barrels for another 12 months. Before the Kabaj Morel Amphora wine is served into glasses, it is aged for 7 more years in bottles. The finishing result is stunning – you don’t need to be a wine expert to see all the effort of making this Amphora wine. It’s definitely an amazing wine – rich in flavor, texture and color.
The Kabaj Morel homestead stands on a small hilly village called Šlovrenc, not far from the Dobrovo castle. Its home with yellowish color gives you a warm and welcomed feeling. Their terrace offers you some of the nicest views over the nearby vineyards and if you are lucky enough to get a table by the window balcony, your lunch or dinner will be perfect for a romantic get-away.
I was very happy to find out, they serve only pre-arranged daily menus, as I always have difficulties to decide, what to take. Their menus are 5 courses, but that does not mean you cannot choose just one or two dishes. The price for the 5 course menu (without beverages) is 32 EUR. Everything you will be served is prepared with fresh homegrown or local ingredients, what makes the food even better!
Everything here is very tastefuly but simply decorated. You will not find white tablecloths and waiters in white shirts and black trousers here, as you will be served by the energetic and welcoming Katja Kabaj Morel – the owner of the place. Her husband Jean Michel Morel is original from France, but he came to Slovenia 22 years ago. He is oenologist by profession and has a wide range of experiences in French and Italian wine cellars. No wonder their wine is so good!
The owner Katja treats you like you would be the only guest in the restaurant, as she carefuly explains everything what’s on your plate. If you feel comfortable with some of her wine suggestions, she will served you different wines, one for each course – of course all the wines are from the Kabaj Morel brand.
Even thought the restaurant makes you feel like being at home (after all this is a homestead), the dishes are well presented and have a slightly modern touch. The portions are big enough and you will not need to worry staying hungry after finishing all the the five courses, what might be a problem in some TOP end restaurants.
Visit the Kabaj Morel homestead
The Kabaj Morel homestead is open only from Friday to Sunday. If you are at Goriška Brda during the weekdays, you are welcome as well, but you need to make an appointment, and the doors will be opened specialy for you. If you want to have lunch or dinner, you don’t need to book a table, but during the peak season (spring and autumn), this is recommendable, as there are not many tables in the restaurant and they can be occupied quickly.
If you really want to feel the real home-feeling, you can also stay overnight at the Kobaj Morel homestead. Since 2006, they offer neatly decorated rooms in their guesthouse.
More about the Kabaj Morel homestead on their web page www.kabaj.si