Goče, the oldest Slovenian wine village
Slovenia is rich with vineyards, and its wine-growing areas are famous for their wine. One Saturday in the early September, we traveled from Ljubljana to Vipava, a small town southeast of the country – located in the fertile, wine rich Vipava valley (Vipavska Dolina). An hour drive from Slovenia’s capital, and we were already among the little villages and hamlets, home to family-owned wine producers.
By Sonja Bezjak
Deeper into the vineyards
We left behind the town of Vipava and the fine guesthouses and headed deeper into the vineyards. The path wriggled towards the secluded peak, under which the village of Goče awaited us. The day is beautiful and the streets very narrow. Therefore, we park the car right at the beginning of the village and decide to walk down the main street.
Although today some 200 souls still live in the village of Goče, Saturday is calm and quite empty. Occasionaly the silence is interrupted by the sounds of children playing in the house yards. There is also a lonely conversation between the three older men sitting under the September sun. Wine cellars that are usually willing to accept guests who know how to appreciate good wines, are closed today due to a start of the harvesting.
Amazed by secret narrow streets, picturesque church and more than 250 years old preserved stone houses, we walked through village to the Cejkotova home.
Charming and authentic Cejkotova home
In Goče, there is a family household, run by Davorin Mesesnel. Despite the fact that we do not have a reservation, we are kindly seated at the large round table under the wooden farmstead ceiling. This amazing home of Mesesnel family has been entirely renovated into tasty furnished domestic guesthouse where all meals are prepared and served by Mesesnel family.
During lunch and wine tasting we were sipping Rebula, Pinela, Malvazija, Rose, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon …
While eating different home made karst specialties, we were invited to their fairy-ambiental wine cellar, decorated with candles and surrounded by barrels. Davorin told us that village Goče is unique also for their specially structured wine cellars with vaulted ceilings.
Stories from the old photos
Davorin Mesesnel also brought some old photos and we learned about his family story, which began in 1984. At that time, a group of students of architecture began preparing plans for the reconstruction of the old village of Goče, which history is going back to the 14th century. The new ideas brought the fresh wind to the forgotten village. It also inspired Davorin’s father, who fell in love with one of the shacks and started the renovation.
His dream of a home-made, warm and friendly guesthouse that will accommodate guests from all over the world, has been realized by the next generation.
Wine-growers and wineries have always been here
Davorin tells us about the special features of the village, whose inhabitants have always been engaged in the viticulture. They have been known by 54 different grape varieties. This village has 75 wine cellars constructed in identical way as in the one we were tasting the wine.
Otherwise, Goče is famous for one more thing. It is the birthplace of Ivan Mercina, a music teacher, a writer of the book Slovene Knotter (about bell ringing). Also, the Slovene painter Veno Pilon’s (1896-1970) house and a collection of his art works, which in the unique and colorful way painted the past of these places, is worth seeing in the nearby town of Ajdovščina.