I’m good with directions, orientation, and geography. While I’m just about a thirty-five-minute ride from Moto Servis Tomi and Guesthouse Kabaj, I think I’m lost.
Just moments ago I passed a sign reading “Welcome to Italy.” Wait. I am in Slovenia. At least I thought so. I tend to question the GPS when it makes little sense. My gut says “stop” and look at the map. But I’m on a tight schedule.
While at Tomi finished my bike, I heard from Tomas Sčurek, of the Sčurek Winery. He would like to meet with me this afternoon at five o’clock. It’s just after four. So if I keep riding deeper into Italy, I will surely be late. I think, anyway. If I stop, I use precious time which would also make me late.
My mind plays tricks as I considered this dilemma. Do I blindly follow my GPS? I take the chance. Moments later, I pass another sign. I’m back in Slovenia. Another twenty minutes later, I pull up a gentle but steep hill and pull into the parking lot of Guesthouse Kabaj which is also home to the Kabaj Winery here in the tiny village of Šlovrenc in Goriska Brda.
From the referrals of Jimmy and Alen, Kabaj is a must visit while in Slovenia. I reached out a few days ago when I contacted the others including Sčurek, Simcic, and Movia. But I had not heard yet from Kabaj.
As I’m pulling off my helmet, I meet Katja the owner of the guesthouse and wife of winemaker Jean-Michel Morel. In just seconds she realizes I’m the guy who emailed and apologizes for not returning. She’s petite, with warm eyes and an easy smile. Her hair is cropped neatly into a bob that suits her well.
The Kabaj guesthouse sits above the winery on two floors. A terrace with comfy tables and chairs sits just outside the dining room where breakfast is served for guests each day. There are six rooms. Katja shows me to my room which lies in the rear corner on the ground floor of the house, above the winery. Large windows and a balcony looking out over sloping vineyards. Decorated sparsely and tastefully with pastel colors, and black and white photos. Wooden furnishings and hardwood floors accent nicely with the metal framed double bed. It’s gorgeous, especially with the warm orange glow of the late afternoon sun. Even better, it’s harvest time in the region and workers below just brought in a truckload of white grapes.
This is perfect, and the location is just a few minutes from the other wineries I plan to visit. The room is only available for two nights; she explains. I tell her I expect to be in the area for three nights and she promises to help me find accommodations for the other night. There is a restaurant at Kabaj, too. But it’s not open every night—usually just on weekends.
I explain I must unpack and run—for my appointment at Sčurek. She assures me we will arrange the time to meet and chat with Jean-Michel.