November 12, 2014 – Visiting the Pilato Winery on the way to Ljubljana

The question in the morning is no longer, Is it raining? It’s, How hard is it raining today? Today the rain is coming down in sheets. It’s also thundering and streaks of pitchforked lightning are visible from our window. It’s like a bad Hollywood set. We manage the luggage down the stairs and I hide in an overhang while John runs it over to the car. It’s hard to carry an umbrella and luggage at the same time.

The weather is finally getting to me. We’ve done a good job over the last week+ keeping a happy face and dodging the raindrops. We’ve seem most of things we’ve wanted to see but we are getting tired of the rain and gloom. There’s been more rain in the last week than California has had in the last two years. But we soldier on.

On Wednesday when we arrived in Croatia, the waiter got all excited when he saw our name on the credit card. Pilat? Are you related to the Pilato Winery Pilats? There’s a whole town filled with nothing but Pilato and Pilat families. Then last night at the hotel, Pilato wine was on the menu. We had to try some.

John with namesake wine
John with namesake wine

We usually try to find something to do on our way from one place to the next. Today it will be to stop in at the Pilato Winery. After leaving the big highway we travel down winding country roads. We are really not sure where this winery is but we trust Jack, our GPS, to find it. Rounding a bend in a small town, there it is.
Pilato Winery
Pilato Winery
Cool logo
Cool logo
John and logo
John and logo

Unfortunately it looks pretty much closed up. We go to all the doors we can find and knock. We go next door. Finally a car with a delivery comes up. John runs after them. He explains he is a Pilat from the U.S. and he is trying to meet the Pilato’s of the winery. They oblige by calling the Pilatos up. A charming young lady comes out to meet us and open up the winery for some tasting.
Pilato Winery tasting room
Pilato Winery tasting room

John with wine boxes
John with wine boxes

We find out that everyone in town is basically a Pilat. Some append the final “o” and some do not. We chat and try their wine. The chardonnay and the malvasia are good. The cabernet sauvignon not so much. The winemaker and John exchange business cards. What a great experience it has been all around.

We travel on. After passing through the passport checkpoint into Slovenia we start looking for a place for lunch. Jack directs us to a restaurant off the main route, Gostilna Cah in Rizana.

Restaurant Gostilna Cah
Restaurant Gostilna Cah

The proprietor is definitely not friendly. In fact he seems a little scary. He tells us to sit anywhere and gives us a multilingual menu. None of the languages are English. There’s Italian, though, and we muddle through.

As we leave our somewhat unpleasant lunch experience, we give a glance at the macabre woodcutting on the wall – a group of animals carrying a coffin. It’s been kind of an Alfred Hitchcock lunch.
Doomsday plaque
Doomsday plaque

We drive the rest of the way to Ljubljana in the pouring rain an check into our digs, the Hotel Cubo. It’s very near the old center and everything should be walkable.

We have our usual breadstick dinner and settle down to watch the ATP World Tour Finals.

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