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    Trail to “Repnica” Caves

    Length: 5km
    Duration: 3 hours
    Starting point: Istenič Sparkling Wine Cellar

    The trail starts at a large building that the locals call “Ekonomija” (Istenič Villa). Shortly after the start, you will see the ruins of a red house that is supposed to be a reminder of the Turks. Continue past Smerde’s cross. Along the way, you will be accompanied by dog roses and willows, which are used for the first vine-tying in the spring. You will be also greeted by an old pear tree situated next to a 45m deep well, built in 1932. Descend slightly to a fork and go straight towards “repnica” caves (the left-hand route would lead you to the village of Dramlja). Don’t forget to stop at the top and admire the view of the Obsotelje Region, including the mountain peak of Sljeme above Zagreb. Continue past a renovated concrete cross to a fork where the left-hand route leads to the Church of St. Andrew. At the Chapel of St. Margaret, you will be rewarded by the view of the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Obsotelje Region and the Sotla River, which has co-created the picturesque landscape. The trail then leads you through the pleasantly cool linden forest to the abandoned blue Neral’s house and to the sand walls. The latter show that life and nature used to be quite different. The layers of sand indicate how the sea deposited the sand and marked the lives of the locals. You will then again see the Church of the Holy Spirit on the left and the village of Gregovce on the right. You will finally arrive at an abandoned “repnica” cave (on the left). If you turn right, the route will bring you to the Ogorevc “repnica” cave at the Pudvoj Tourist Farm.

    The trail ends in the village of Brezovica where “repnica” caves are still used by the owners. The inventive locals knew how to combine the tradition and expertise of their ancestors and the needs of modern winemaking and tourism. You can visit many “repnica” caves turned into cellars: Graben/Šekoranja, Kovačič, Najger, Balon, Jelčič and Kelher. The Balon “repnica” cave even served as a hideout during World War II.

    If you are not too tired from walking and testing the delicious Bizeljsko wine offered at every farm, you can continue the trail over the wine-growing hills and follow the St. Vitus Trail that starts at the Marija Sušnik Ethnographic Collection. If you want to return to the starting point, walk across the valley of ponds to the Dramlja Valley, where you can visit two other farms engaged in fruit growing − Križančič and Kovačič.

     
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