Meet Katja – Our Slovenia Expert

26 Aug, 2014


Katja Pandel’s knowledge and experience in various sectors of tourism and events organisation led to the creation of her company A-DMC NIKAIA in 2005. Since then it has gradually grown into a respected travel company providing a wide range of services with a professional, flexible and individual approach to customers’ needs. Their personal touch and attention to details are the two things that give them their competitive edge, helping them attract and retain loyal clients.


Since the founding of the company she is deeply involved in the MICE and corporate travel – by organising and executing all levels of MICE projects for different international partners and also by presenting Slovenia and Croatia in the world’s biggest tourism fairs and travel business meetings.


When did you discover your passion for wine?

It was when I started to work in luxury tourism with wine pairing dinners and talking to the wine experts that a completely new window opened up… suddenly my love of wine was born!

What are you key highlights of Slovenia, as a wine region?

Slovenia is a very small, but very diverse country and it is the same with our wines. I am very proud to say we really do have top-quality wines which have been snatching up important prizes across the international wine fairs.


Do you have a favourite wine or winery in the region?

If I had to pick, my favourite wine is the very special Zelen. It is a Slovenian autochthonous grape variety and has a special bouquet and colour – I love it, because it’s different. The word zelen means green, so the colour of the wine tends to be on the greenish side.

Regarding the wineries – I could not pick a personal one since there so many on such a high level of quality and great tastes. If I could, I would pick 11 of them.. at least!


Which region do you wish to visit next?

On the world scale? Definitely Mendoza. In Argentina there are also a lot of Slovenians living and producing wine having immigrated there. They took with them their wine and the knowledge of wine production from their home country.

In Europe since I know the Spanish and Croatian regions well, I am visiting the Champagne region next spring which I’m already looking forward to a lot.


What is your favourite wine and food pairing?

It really depends on the day… and of course on the type of cuisine, the restaurant and the chef!


  • A glass of well-chilled, fresh & dry sparkling with a cold appetiser like a shrimp carpaccio pairs excellently.
  • Zelen goes well with a simple white fish on a grill.
  • Pair a fruity rosé with soft chicken or veal that melts in your mouth…
  • And with venison a glass of deep, dark red barique merlot is perfect.
  • Our iced wine/dessert wines go excellently with a creamy delicious Souffle to finish an unforgettable wine pairing dinner in Slovenia.


If you like the sound of Katja with her passion for Slovenian wines, why not join her on one of her fairytale gourmet adventures:

Slovenian Istria Wine Tour

8 Day Slovenia Gourmet and Wine Tour

Join our mailing list to stay up to date on our top travel tips and giveaways