Want to explore wines from central Europe?

If so, you’ve picked a very good place to start.

Welcome to Piran Café’s Wine Hub, where we discover and share wine stories from the heart of Europe, beginning at our base in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.

Several winemakers from Slovenia have been making significant inroads internationally in recent years, yet wines from this small central European nation, tucked neatly between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, remain largely unknown to all but the most astute wine observers or curious sipping travelers. A primary mission of Piran Café is to help shed light on some of what’s veiled in that viticultural mystery, one whose tradition pre-dates the Romans, going back more than 2,500 years.

Slovenian wine regions

But before we begin lifting that veil, just a little bit about me and this site:

I’ve been tasting wines from Slovenia for more than 25 years, first as a US-based importer and distributor, but also as a journalist, blogger and unapologetic wine geek. Now, having been based in Slovenia for nearly 15 years and with no financial interests in or commercial ties to the trade, I’m setting out to re-explore the country’s wines, wineries and winemakers and share those discoveries here. You can expect to see reports from winery visits, interviews and features with wine makers and others involved in the industry here, as well as objective tasting notes, reviews and recommendations for paths to explore.

That missions’s working theme? Wine stories from the heart of Europe. And with that theme in mind…

While Piran Café’s wine interests will focus largely on Slovenia’s contribution to the world of wine, I also plan to explore, whenever time allows, the greater region as well: northern Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and elsewhere in the Balkans. Vines after all, don’t really respect political borders.

That said, let’s begin pulling back that veil.  More.

Hello & welcome!

I’m Bob Ramsak, a Ljubljana, Slovenia-based reporter, photographer and blogger driven by a lust for travel, wine, culture and justice. I have a goal to visit all 195 countries recognized by the UN and then open a small cafe and wine bar in a quiet seaside setting.

Piran Café is that destination.

In the meantime, Piran Café, occupying this space on the web since 2006, is my notebook, an ever-evolving collection of experiences, moments, images, reactions and vignettes, both long-form and short, connected and propelled by those primary passions and published here to inform, inspire, entertain and engage.

Thank you for visiting. Hope to see you tomorrow, too.

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Slovenia Wine Notes

August 2018

  • 15 – Gewurztraminer Holiday – Kapela, Slovenia [Facebook]
  • 16 – Malvazija (Istrska) tasting: Batič, Edi Simčič, Rodica, Dar sonca, Monte rosso – Dvorni Bar, Ljubljana, Slovenia. [Facebook]
  • 22-25 – Days of Poetry & Wine Festival – Ptuj, Slovenia [Website] [Facebook]
  • 26 – Junge Wilde Winzer. Tasting. Brno, Czech Republic [Facebook]
  • 27 – 9th Gewurztraminer Salon – Radenci, Slovenia [Facebook]
  • 30 – WienWein – Vintage presentation. Vienna. [Facebook]
  • 31 – Park Wine Party – Nova Gorica, Slovenia [Facebook]

September 2018

  • 1 – Festival Vinarium – Lendava harvest Festival. Lendava, Slovenia [Website][Facebook]
  • 1 – Kracher Vintage Presentation & Fine Wine Event 2018. Illmitz, Austria [Facebook]
  • 3 – Italian tasting Vienna (Trade and press only.) Vienna. [Facebook]
  • 4 – Tasting – Great Wines from Styria – Vienna. [Facebook]
  • 7 – Tasting – 38 Austrian traditional wineries. Grafenegg, Austria [Facebook]
  • 7-11 – Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt, the self-professed largest wine festival in the world – Bad Dürkheim, Germany [Website] [Facebook]
  • 13 – Tasting – Champagne Pierre Gerbais. Fajnšmekr, Prague, Czech Republic [Facebook]
  • 14-17 – Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt, the self-professed largest wine festival in the world – Bad Dürkheim, Germany [Website] [Facebook]
  • 29-Nov 11 – Old Vine Festival, celebrating the oldest continuously producing grape vine in the world. – Maribor, Slovenia [Website]. Much more about the planet’s oldest grapevine.


More from the Piran Café Wine Events Calendar.

Organizing or attending an event in Central Europe or the Balkans? Send along the details and I’ll be happy to include it in the listing.


Wine Notes

On the Road: Vinistra Wine Fair, Poreč, Croatia

I'll be bopping about various corners of Croatia's Istrian peninsula for the next several days, focusing mainly on the VinIstra Wine Fair in Poreč, which this weekend is celebrating its 25th edition. A report and/or several tasting notes…

Tasting Notes

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