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The Brda Hills

Photo: Leo Caharija

The Brda Hills are a true paradise, as there is almost no plant that would not thrive here. The gentle Brda Hills are already coated by a white covering of cherry blossoms in early spring.

The Goriška Brda  hill region is a fairy-tale landscape that nestles halfway between the Alps and the Adriatic, rich in natural beauty, sights and experiences, and known for its storied history and its fertility. 

Beginning in 1906, the women of Brda would travel by train, sometimes even as far as Vienna, to sell the fruit grown in the region. Their menfolk, meanwhile, stayed at home to prepare the fruit for sale and to tend the orchards and vineyards. The hill vineyards of Brda were prized by Count Silverio de Baguer, a Catalan nobleman who was famed as a great connoisseur of wine. Today the people of Brda hold an annual cherry festival and continue to develop their winemaking tradition: Goriška Brda is rapidly becoming one of the most interesting and high-quality wine-producing districts in the world. The best-known white wines from Brda are Ribolla (Rebula), Friulano (Tokaj), Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Reds include Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

In Brda we encounter individual pearls of cultural heritage at every step. Lovers of architecture can view the remains of simple, modest houses of the casa colonica type (associated with a peasant tenement), with the remains of a žbatafur (the local dialect word for the area around the fireplace where the whole family would gather). The huddled villages have narrow streets, wooden balconies, small windows covered by iron grilles and nu-merous other interesting details. Also worthy of attention are the skilfully built dry-stone walls made of sandstone, the grey-brown stone typical of the region. Other riches can be found in the churches. Enchanting natural sights include Krčnik , a natural stone bridge, and the pools of the Kožbanjšček  stream.

The Slovenian poet Alojz Gradnik was born in these parts and is commemorated every year in a series of Gradnik Evenings 

Text by Tanja Glogovčan