The border between Northeast Italy, and Western Slovenia runs from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea, dividing a terroir important to both. Known as ‘Collio’ in Italy, and ‘Brda’ in Slovenia, their shared meaning is ‘hills’.
Due to its proximity to both the Alps and the Adriatic sea, Brda enjoys climate conditions most favorable for growing vines as well as cherries, peaches, apricots, pears, apples, figs, plums, and olives. Winters are mild and summers can be hot. Cool northeast winds help remove humidity and mildew in the vineyards.
The region is known for white varieties such as Rebula, Sauvignonasse (formerly Tocai Fruilano), Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc as well as international reds like Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Winemaker Jean-Michel Morel is originally from France but after meeting his wife Katja Kabaj in a nearby Italian winery, decided to relocate to Slovenia and rebuild the Kabaj family estate. Jean-Michel, a Wine & Spirits Magazine 100 Wineries winner in 2013, makes world-class wines using local varieties and winemaking techniques. His skin-macerated white wines including Rebula (known as ‘the queen of Brda’), Ravan (an old local name for the grape formerly known as Tocai Friullano) and Sivi Pinot (Pinot Gris) are rich and earthy with plenty of freshness. His red wines, made from Bordeaux varieties that have existed in Brda for over 200 years, are distinctive and well-balanced.
Things to do and see
Above the underground cellar, Katja and Jean-Michel run a guest house with 6 charming rooms overlooking the vineyard. The breakfast is traditional and includes cheese, prosciutto, homemade jams, freshly baked breads, and fruits. In the evening, a gourmet tasting menu is served featuring Slovenian recipes and local ingredients, and paired with Kabaj wines.
The guest house is the perfect base to explore the picturesque vineyard-covered hills and hilltop villages of Brda including Dobrovo and its Renaissance castle and the fortified village of Smartno. Across the border in Italy, the town of Cividale del Friuli is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Address:Šlovrenc 4 5212 Dobrovo Slovenija
Phone: (53) 959560