Jeunes Sommeliers Competition - Programme

International Final - Ljubljana (Slovenia), September 12-16, 2023

Dining events and a visit to the vineyards of the Vipava valley
" An interesting and ambitious series of events fully incorporated the values not only of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition and but also those of the wider Chaîne "

The Bailliage of Slovenia put together a supporting programme for the Semi-final and Final centrepiece of the 2023 Jeunes Sommeliers Competition.

An interesting and ambitious series of events fully incorporated the values not only of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition and but also those of the wider Chaîne.

Over five days the competitors, jury, committee and supporters could experience the best of Slovenian hospitality and the richness of the country's tradition, gastronomy and oenology.

As a kick-off event on Tuesday 12th, there was a relaxed dinner at P.E.N. Klub where Chef Mojmir Marko Šiftar created the first of what would be several unique and unforgettable dining experiences.

The Competition programme formally took off with a press conference at the Ljubljana Castle Wine Shop. This was followed by a guided presentation of Slovene wine regions and wines. Lunch at Slovenska Hiša - Figovec introduced us to traditional Slovenian fare, namely home-made cold cuts and sausages, cocktails, wines and beer.

In the evening, dinner was at JB Restaurant. The Bratov? family has built the establishment’s reputation on love and cooperation. It is a real gourmet’s paradise whose beginnings date from 1992 when it was opened by Janez Bratov?, His son, Toma?, is JB’s right hand in the kitchen. Daughter Nina is an Advanced Sommelier in charge of the wine list and customer service.

“Discovering the Vipava Valley” was the theme of the all-day tour of the vineyards on Thursday 14th. An early departure from Ljubljana saw the group at Guerila Winery for the first visit of the day. Lunch was at Majerija, the idyllic upper Vipava house, hidden among vineyards and orchards, offering simple traditional cuisine with a contemporary touch. A wine tasting at Faladur (an old Vipava dialect word for a working space that leads to an underground cellar) was the afternoon's event in the Vipava Wine Museum.

Heavy traffic meant that the return to Ljubljana took some two hours longer than anticipated. Nevertheless, there was just about time for a quick freshen up for the competitors to be ready for dinner at Restaurant CUBO where Chef Boštjan Trstenjak shared the establishment’s wholesome story of food, ambiance, and teamwork. Meanwhile, Bailliage of Slovenia officers hosted the Competition Committee and the Head Judge for dinner at the Castle Wine Shop.

After the Semi-final on Friday 15th, a coach took the group to the boutique hotel and restaurant Dvor Jezeršek. In an idyllic location in the heart of the Kamnik-Savinian Alps stands this magnificent, more than 240-year-old homestead. Devoted to the promotion and presentation of typical Slovenian cuisine, the Gostilna (Inn) boasts a prestigious title: “Taste Slovenia Culinary Centre”.

After the Final to place the 1-2-3 in the morning, Saturday evening, September 16th, was the grand finale of the five-day programme of events, namely, the Gala Awards and Induction Night. Dinner was a great treat courtesy of Chef Roberto Gregorčič.

Concluding the evening, on behalf of the Competition Committee, Klaus Tritschler presented Bailli Délégué Séku Condé with a commemorative plaque. Following this, in a touching ceremony in the presence of Sabine Tachot, the Chaîne’s Secrétaire Générale, International Vice-President Marie Jones handed Bailli Délégué Séku Condé a cheque for 5,000€ being a contribution from the International Chaîne to the Slovenia Flood Relief Fund.

Sunday came and we all headed for home, sad in a way that such a wonderful time in Ljubljana was over but very satisfied with the triumphant outcome.

Marie Jones
Chair, Jeunes Sommeliers Competition Committee
International Vice-President

Awards Evening Photographer: Adrijan Pregelj

Lisbon, October 16-20, 2024

International Final 2024

International Final - Ljubljana (Slovenia), September 15-16, 2023

Profiles of the fourteen who participated

International Final - Ljubljana (Slovenia), September 15-16, 2023

Slovenia did us proud!

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