Rado Stojanovič
Photo credits: Events by RadoSt

Slovenia really is a superior wine and culinary destination. However, those looking for the best restaurants and first-class wines are not fully aware what Slovenia has to offer. It is exactly what I have explained in the previous answer – we are missing an integrated strategy and a well-organised promotion to the foreign markets.

The company’s mission is to organise premium events that present wines and wine producers from Slovenia as well as abroad, and spread the culture of drinking quality wines. Another of their aims is to promote typical Slovenian culinary products and their producers.

Events organised by RadoSt include the Slovenian Wine Festival, Salon of Sparkling Wines, Culinary Festival and Ljubljana Wine Route.

Q: How have you seen the development of the Slovenian Wine Festival and Salon of Sparkling Wines throughout the years?

The decision to undertake the first festival was based on the need for a different and directed promotion of Slovenian wines. It was held in Cankarjev dom – Culture and Congress Centre, as we wanted to really define the target audience and emphasize the »culture of wine«. The supporting activity to the event took us into different environments – into the nearby hotel – and we therefore wanted to also emphasize the business dimension of wine. After 10 years of creating the festival we added the culinary aspect to the wine tasting, by which a new dimension of this sort of event was created. After 20 years of dedication and hard work, we now believe that a significant share of the better visibility of Slovenian wine, local cuisine and raising the culture and awareness of wine drinking and food consumption has been made. The Slovenian Wine Festival has become one of the most recognizable events on the theme of wine and cuisine in Slovenia and the wider region.

The Salon of Sparkling Wines was organised with the same motive as the Slovenian Wine Festival – only it came 15 years later and with the focus on sparkling wines, which has been taking off in recent years. We wanted to gather together and present the best of what Slovenia has to offer. Moreover, we are proud to say that we have succeeded in doing so.

Q: In recent years you have been cooperating successfully with the Grand Hotel Union, where the events are now held. How important is the partnership with hotel management when organising such events?

An excellent partnership with the hotel, as a guest of the event, is the key for a successful event. Topmost venues, equipment, and service are also the preconditions for a good event, but not only that; hotels are also an excellent selling channel for all of the great wines. Therefore, we have also expanded our partnerships to other hotels located in Ljubljana city centre. I do hope and believe that all of the partner hotels see the opportunity for increasing the sales of accommodation facilities, wines and local cuisine, which with our partnerships we help them to choose through evaluation and selection. By those partnerships, involvement, and also cooperation with Ljubljana Tourism the projects, joined under the name of Events by RadoSt, take on a new dimension, a dimension of the destination project of Ljubljana’s tourism

Sparkling wines
Photo credits: Events by RadoSt

Q: Which elements are key when choosing a location for such events?

The appropriate venue, equipment, excellent service and staff who think of such events as their own. Accessibility for all the participants, performing guests and audience is also of high importance.

Q: How do such events contribute to elevating wine culture and what is the role of Slovenian winemakers as promoters of Slovenia as a tourist destination?

All of our events also have an educational note. The first ones, who educate visitors, are the winemakers and chefs, who share the knowledge and much information on the proper consumption of food and wine. Various workshops and other side events make a great addition for those who want to deepen their knowledge.

Winemakers are also great promoters of Slovenia when they appear at the foreign exhibitions and festivals, or when tourists visit their wine cellars. They do an excellent job, but we believe that it is still not enough for the promotion of Slovenia as a wine and culinary destination. We will need to develop a special strategy for promoting Slovenia as an excellent tourist destination through the focus on wine and culinary aspects. Festivals and salons should be one of the main pillars of that kind of promotion. However, this is a story that is to be presented to the relevant ministries and agencies.

Q: How do you see Slovenia as a gastronomic destination?

Slovenia really is a superior wine and culinary destination. However, those looking for the best restaurants and first-class wines are not fully aware what Slovenia has to offer. It is exactly what I have explained in the previous answer – we are missing an integrated strategy and a well-organised promotion to the foreign markets.

Sparkling wines

Q: What are the possibilities of including gastronomy into the meetings industry (e.g. conferences, business meetings, events…)?

Slovenia has to offer its excellent wines and first-class winemakers. Furthermore, we have amazing organisers of congresses and wine and culinary events. In addition, we have wine grading and good selection processes. To sum it all up: we have amazing opportunities, but, as seems clear, we do not yet know how to properly exploit them. For example, when was the last time that attendees of some international congress had the opportunity to visit a wine cellar or culinary event and have a selection of first-class festival and salon wines presented to them? It is time for us to connect with each other and to take advantage of the full potential Slovenia has.

Q: Food and drink is definitely one of the top ways of getting to know a destination. Which Slovenian wine and local specialty would you recommend to a foreign visitor coming to Slovenia for the first time?

It would not be fair to claim that all the Slovenian wines are excellent, especially those among the culinary specialties. It would, however, be fair from my side to recommend the awarded wines that are selected in our festivals and salons. There are too many to list them all, which is why I would recommend to the organisers from the meetings industry to present and offer selected wines to the attendees. We, as organisers of the culinary and wine events, would be there for professional and logistic support.

Q: Which wine drop brings a smile to your face?

You will find the answer to your question in a previous response –the favourite one is the one with bubbles in it!