Matjaž's homestead is the result of the diligent work of the Pavlin family. Our primary goal is the preservation of the cultural heritage in the Slovene countryside, yet we also want to show our guests the exceptional cultural and natural wealth of this country.
Our story started in 1998 when we decided to buy the house next to ours which had been empty since the death of its last owner. As the house was in a very bad condition, we first wanted to tear it down and to plant an orchard, yet later decided to renovate the house, since buildings like this one are a rarity nowadays. At the same time we saved a hayrack from being torn down and placed it just across the street of our homestead. In the meantime we got the chance to buy 200 year old wooden barn which was originally located on the mountain of Planina next to the town of Sevnica. We moved it from there and placed it behind our house. These were the fundaments of our tourist-offers.
In 2006 we finished the renovation of all above mentioned buildings and started to ponder how to incorporate our house in the tourist offer we had established by then. Only a renovation of the house did not seem enough to provide an attractive offer, so we decided to tell more about the authentic wine of the Dolenjska region - the pride of the locals here - called “Cviček”. For a year we were collecting photographies and reading all sorts of literature about this wine, when finally we managed to put together “The story of Cviček”. It’s a story in seven chapters and it tells about the history of wine, the patrons of wine, wine containers, the production and keeping of wine, some legends about wine, as well as some basic knowledge on this topic. Wine is the only drink we toast with, a drink that has been appreciated a lot throughout the history and has had a very important role in everyday life, work, celebrations … Our story has been translated into nine languages.
For the renovation of our homestead and our tourist offer we were awarded the »Silver Seeder« award for the second place among the most innovative tourism products in Slovenia.
Yet this was only the beginning. In the continuation we bought the vineyard cottage Škatlar 1 in the wine-hills of Grčevje, two kilometres away from our homestead. The renovation works were supervised by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia. The cottage has a stone-built cellar, while its upper part is made of wood. Besides the beds in the lodge itself, there are also two sleeping places directly under the thatched roof. In the wine-cellar there is a mini spa with a sauna, a shower and stretchers, while there is a wooden hot tub on the outside of the cottage.
In the continuation we set up the vineyard cottage Škatlar 2 – a house which it’s previous owner brought here from the vicinity of the town of Šentjernej. We set it up on the place where once another house stood. There is no vineyard cottage without a cellar, so we added one to this lodge as well. We equipped the cottage in a traditional style and it is covered by thatched roof like the two others. Later we placed a 7000-litres-barrel form the wine cellar of the town of Ptuj next to the house. We built a sauna into the barrel and there is a massage-tug in front of it.
In front of the Škatlar 2 cottage there is an organic garden for guests.
In 2013 we hosted students from 10 European countries within the programme “Voluntary camp”. The students planted an organic vineyard of the German grape sort Regent. These grape-vines are being grown completely naturally – without any spraying or fertilizing.
The next step was the acquisition of the Škatlar 3 vineyard cottage – an exceptional lodge from the year 1848, built of stone. Next to the cottage there is a wooden stable, which once was used for the horses that the landlord used for riding to the vineyard. We renovated the Škatlar 3 and built in a wonderful cellar, a wine-bar, a kitchen and a room for entertaining up to 20 people. In the upper part we created a modern apartment, made of local materials such as oak, spruce and beech, and a sauna. The lodge is covered with a classical tile-roof.
Since we also extended our vineyards, we needed a new place for our viticulture equipment: containers, tubs, the wine-press, reservoirs, a tractor … We built a cellar for this purpose with a beautiful terrace on top of it. Later on we closed the terrace and turned it into a place for presentations, workshops, meetings … Next to it, there are interesting, a bit different toilets.
And there is one more object in our collection of lodges. It's a more than 200-year-old small wooden cottage brought to our homestead from the village of Kočarija where our grandmother used to live. We placed it next to our vineyard and covered it with straw. Within the next year we will find some content for this lodge as well …
Our tourist offer is not only based on our traditional objects of accommodation, but on our sincere and authentic approach to all our guests – to each single one of them, as well as to groups as a whole. Our guests come from Slovenia and from abroad – and all of them are cordially welcomed and served a welcome meal (home-made bread, salami, sausages, cheese … ). Every visitor is invited to our wine-cellar, and once a week to our homestead, where we present them the life in the countryside of the Dolenjska region, as well as in broader Slovenia, as well as it's exceptional beauty and tourist offer – both very worth visiting. Not surprisingly then – and to our great pleasure – many of our guests keep coming back and visiting us again.