Is there a better way to experience a place than meeting the local people? During my stay at BIG BERRY Luxury Lifestyle Camp, I got the chance to visit some local producers and entrepreneurs of Bela Krajina, learn more about their ideas and taste their products.
RIC took us to a rafting
My first day in Bela Krajina started with an amazing rafting experience down the river Kolpa. As a newbie, I was in a team with Peter – experienced rower and head of RIC (Development – Information Center Bela Krajina). The trip took around 3-4 hours as we stopped several times for short breaks. Sailing between Slovenia and Croatia we had the opportunity to admire the nature and the wildlife around us. In addition, river Kolpa is just perfect for inexperienced rafting enthusiasts (such as me) with it’s calm and crystal water.
Video credit: Exploring Kiwis
Šokčev dvor – A Traditional farmhouse
It was around 10.30 in the morning when we arrived at Šokčev dvor where we met with Boris Grabrijan and the charming Tončka Jankovič. According to the tradition, they offered us walnuts and rakija (the local equivalent of grappa). Yep, drinking alcohol during the day is pretty normal in this region 🙂
After a short introduction, they demonstrated the process of preparing linen and hemp yarns from the hard dry straw to the soft fiber. We took a look at the rooms of the old house and learned more about how people live there. Later on, Tončka showed us the method of decorating the special Easter eggs called pisanice.
Address: Kolpa Natural Park, Adlešiči 15, 8341 Žuniči
Oljarna Pečarič – oil tasting
Have you ever tried walnut oil? If you haven’t, then this is the place. Oljarna Pečarič produces more than a dozen different types of oils including walnut, hazelnut, apricot, poppy seed, almond, sesame, linseed, grapeseed, etc.
We had the opportunity to try all of them and learn more about the positive effects of their consummation or usage. I even applied some sunflower oil on my skin to protect me from the sun that day.
Address: Drašiči 33, 8330 Metlika
Berryshka – excellent liqueurs and fine chocolate
Berryshka is a family business and as such, they give the greatest efforts to deliver quality products. In the distillery, they produce different types of fine liquor including Cherry liqueur, Aronia liqueur, Walnut liqueur and more. Surely, the pearl in the crown is the Juniper brandy aged in oak barrel. I got the chance to try some juniper liqueur before it was even bottled. Besides liqueurs, Berryshka produces fine chocolate. How lucky we were to try the freshest chocolates prepared just a moment before in front of our craving eyes.
Address: Berryshka, Obrh pri Dolenjskih Toplicah 17a, Dolenjske Toplice
VIZIR Brewery – Beer tasting
Behind VIZIR stays an astonishing team of professionals, dreamers and innovators. Besides being one of the largest wine cellars in Bela Krajina producing top quality wines, VIZIR also brews craft non-pasteurized beers without any preservatives, keeping the production as natural as possible. This brave and adventurous team likes to experiment with different flavors and their only goal is to produce a quality beer. Maja, the head of the team, showed us the process from the grain to the bottle and we had the hard work to taste six different types of beer.
Address: Lokve 10b 8340 Črnomelj
Domače dobrote Mojca
Mojca is an amazing woman. She bakes all kind of bread, makes beautiful cakes and on top of it, she drives an exquisite motorcycle. She greeted us with the warmest smile and treated us with homemade burek (Belokranjska povitica) and sweets. During our visit at her place, she showed us some pictures of her cakes as well as her new tattoo. It’s a rare to meet someone with such a vibrant soul. Thanks, Mojca, for the delicious pogača every morning.
Address: Rosalnice 38 8330 Metlika
Photo credit: The Brit & The Blonde
Bistra buča – back to school
Well, I thought it wasn’t that far in the past when I was at school. Who am I trying to fool? I’m getting old. Anyway, the visit of Šola Bistra Buča in Radovica recalled my memories from that period. We are no longer in 2016, the year is 1957. There is no whiteboard but a green wooden one on the wall and chalk pieces next to a wet sponge. We are no longer adults, just a bunch of curious pupils in the Bistra buča primary school. Today we will learn more about the charming Bela Krajina region. We need to give our best because our teacher Jože Matekovič (who is such a character) has a wooden stick and he wouldn’t hesitate to punish anyone who doesn’t behave properly. Hopefully, he didn’t use it and after lots of fun, we all received a certificate and an apple.
No doubt, this was one of the most amusing activities I’ve had in Bela Krajina.
Address: Radovica 32, 8330 Metlika
5 scenes wine tasting at Winery Malnarič
Samoel, the owner of Winery Malnarič, is yet another great local businessman. He talked about his family and his business and he generously filled our glasses with some of the best wines he produces. My personal favorite – the Chardonnay.
Winery Malnarič not only sells fine wines but also can organize a wine tasting for up to 70 people.
Address: Vavpča vas 40, 8333 Semič
Thank you BIG BERRY for arranging these great activities and showing us the taste and the spirit of Bela Krajina.