In the last days of October, when the wine-rich hills were covered in vivid yellow and the surrounding forests in red, we visited two homesteads which have chiseled the above-mentioned imperatives to perfection. The younger generations have done work on their grandmothers’ kitchens to bring them in line with today’s lifestyle. The first homestead we visited was that of the Repovž family in Šentjanž, and the other of the Novak family in Sadinja vas. In both homesteads, kitchen spoons are in the hands of women, while men are in charge of wine.
Šentjanž, not far from Sevnica, is a pleasant village situated on a gentle slope. Its main feature is the St. John the Baptist church and the presbytery with a plaque in memory of Janez Evangelist Krek. Krek died of a sudden death in the village of Šentjanž - the local rumour has it that he died after drinking too many glasses of wine at the Repovž homestead, which has also served as an inn for a few centuries already. Whatever the case, these villages are dangerous to those unused to drinking, where even the local priest tends to the souls of his flock with his own strong mead.
A good thing is that you can spend the night at the Repovž homestead, because the introductory drink is followed by the local Joker sparkling wine from the Kozinc winery. Grega, the son, welcomes guests and offers wine. His mother Metka is in charge of the pieces of art, which, one after another, keep coming out of their kitchen. Metka is a native of Ljubljana who married in the Dolenjska region. She does not care much for the cult of celebrity chefs and all the pomp created around high-quality culinary over recent years. She keeps with tradition, childhood memories and her own stove.
The Novak homestead is special for another reason - it brings together the so-called orange wine makers (these are actually white wines produced as if they were red wines - since recently very popular). Boris Novak, one of the instigators and founders of the Orange Wine Festival, regularly hosts the greatest representatives of these wines at his homestead. If you visit him around New Year don’t be surprised to find an open bottle of Oslavia wine.
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