The course is designed to deepen our knowledge and broaden our wine horizons.”
Robert Gorjak, Belvin Wine School

Taking place in the enchanting Magna lobby of the Lanthieri Mansion in Vipava, the masterclass will focus on eighteen selected wines from eighteen winemakers featured in the festival lineup.

In a guided tasting, the participants will explore the characteristics of the wines and thereby expand their wine knowledge.


The workshop is designed for people in the wine industry: gastronomy providers, merchants and journalists.

To participate, you need to first register via the online form.

A confirmed registration form makes the attendee eligible for a free ticket. Early registration is advised, as places at the workshop are limited.


The Vipava Valley is a melting pot when it comes to wine styles. This is how Robert Gorjak, the workshop host, described the region in several of his posts for the wine website

What wine should one serve to someone as the quintessential Vipava wine?

Zelen and Pinela would seem like the obvious choices, however, you’d be surprised to find out how little wine there’s actually produced from these two varieties. Merlot on the other hand, though ubiquitous in the area, doesn’t really capture the region’s character. It just doesn’t do it justice, especially if you’re trying to impress foreigners.

What about the white blend Vipavec? This might be an excellent example, but every winemaker puts their own spin on it. Then there is Rebula and Malvasia Istriana, which have always been very important in this area. How are they doing today? And this is merely scratching the surface of everything the Vipava Valley has to offer in terms of wine varieties. The next potential candidates are red blends, Pinot Noir and Barbera. Is there any chance of the latter reaching at least a tiny portion of the fame it has in Piedmont?

This and more will be discussed in the course of the tasting of 18 wines from the Vipava Valley. For each variety and style, the host will give his personal opinion on its current status, and its potential through the perspective of the Slovenian and international drinker. At the end of the day, there will probably be more questions than answers, and certainly, no clear-cut verdict, says the workshop host. But the cards will be on the table.


The workshop will be hosted by Robert Gorjak, internationally acclaimed wine author and one of Slovenia’s foremost wine experts.

Having grown up in a wine family in the heart of the rolling hills of Ljutomersko-Ormoške Gorice, his passion for wine was first sparked in the early 1980s when he had the opportunity to shadow the best Slovenian oenologists and attend wine tastings in their company.

In 1994, he wrote his first article on wine. He is a contributor for Slovenia to the Oxford Wine Companion (Jancis Robinson), and The World Atlas of Wine (Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson). For several years he was a correspondent, collaborator and contributor to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. In addition, he authored the Slovenian wine guides for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, and the monograph Slovenia – a Winemaking Country which was published in 2017.

A regular judge at international wine competitions, Mr Gorjak was chairman of the Slovenian judging panel at the Decanter World Wine Awards for several years. Since 2012, he has also been involved in the wine trade. First, he was in charge of buying and selling wine and spirits at Mercator, and today, he works as an agent for a handful of select wineries from the region.

In 2002, he founded Slovenia’s first wine school, named the Belvin Wine School, together with his wife Sandra. There he develops new content and teaches his own courses, as well as WSET courses. The first Slovenian to hold the WSET diploma in wine, he is passionate about sharing his wine expertise, consulting, organising events, occasional wine-writing and organising and leading top-end wine trips. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, diving, F1 and playing keyboards in a rock band.



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