The vision of the estate is to connect, both local and global environment. And these are the reasons why we have combined the offer of local winemakers in one place at our location at the Vodole Wine Fountain. From here, the path takes you to explore every individual winemaker or you can find something else in the local environment …
On the outskirts of the city of Maribor, where time may seem to stop for a moment, farmers have been growing vines for decades. Hills, valleys and streams define the small village of Vodole, where we can feel nature, authenticity and homeliness at every step.
The agricultural estate, which had rested for many years, called us to change it and bring it closer to the people or to revive its fertile land. The sun, the source of energy, the earth that gives us everything we need to survive and love of nature are the forces that guided us to create the SUNNY PARADISE Estate.
In Malečnik near Maribor there is a special place that reveals the secrets of history. When we enter through a special entrance on the outer right side of the church, where the inscription is: God have mercy on you. faithful souls pugatory 1857 (God have mercy faithful Christian souls in purgatory), at the top of the staircase awaits us an ancient stone tombstone with a figurine of death and a monogram of Mary. Then we descend nineteen steps to the unique catacombs (tombs or crypts) in Slovenia.
Back in 1730, they were erected by the then parish priest of Malečnik, dr. Janez Sittich (pastor from 1724 to 1759). The catacombs are 12 meters long and 4 meters wide. In the front part is the stone altar of St. Cross with built-in relics, the sheet metal part of which is painted with marble.
A special feature of the catacombs of Malečnik are the rather large ossuary on the right and a mysterious tunnel for which it has not yet been determined where it leads. According to some, it was supposed to go under the river Drava to the other side of the city of Maribor or even to the pilgrimage church of the Mother of God on Gorca.
More about catacombs:
During the hike around Malečnik, you can discover pearls that some of the locals did not know about before. Such an example is “Knezarjeva lipa”, a good 18 meters high, and its circumference is as much as 9.30 meters. Some sources reveal that the linden is 500 years old, but its age has not yet been professionally confirmed. “It seems that the linden has not changed at all in the last hundred years, which proves that it is a high age. In the middle of its thick trunk is a chair where many people sit and reap the therapeutic effects that linden gives.
The second dendrological natural monument is the giant Vodole spruce, which according to the Maribor Institute for Nature Protection is 3.22 meters in size and 45 meters high. It is at least 200 years old, and its specialty is two peaks. It lies low, near the stream, and from its roots have grown many other deciduous trees, which wrap its beauty and might in a veil of secrecy. Despite its height, the hiker can quickly overlook it as it blends in with the forest background. Its peaks are difficult to see, there is a special point to see the peaks.
The path leads us from Maribor ob Dravi past the avalanche hill of Melje and the ancient parish church of Sv. Peter next to the chapels of the Stations of the Cross and vineyards planted with noble vines. Here, on the edge of Slovenske gorice, at a magnificent lookout point, 346 meters high, the Mary’s church of Gorca has reigned for almost half a millennium. As if on guard, her sanctuary stands and looks down the Drava towards Ptuj and up across Maribor into the green forests of Pohorje or the luxurious vineyards of Slovenske gorice.
History does not tell about the first church in this place and the beginnings of God’s way. It is believed that the origin of this shrine was influenced by Maltese knights, ardent worshipers of Mary. They had their castle in Melj and estates around Gorca. Today’s church on Gorca is built in the Gothic style. The year 1517 is engraved on the outer southern support of the church nave. It therefore belongs to the time when the Turks plundered Slovenian soil. Therefore, as they say, a high camp wall with towers was erected around the church. The story of the mountain bell and the Turkish commander who heard it, as well as many other legends, are also preserved from these times. Unfortunately, this wall was demolished at the beginning of the 19th century.
With the age of more than 400 years entered in the Guinness Book of Records.
In the central part of the old town on Lent, in front of the House of the Old Vine, the oldest vine in the world still lives today. Žametovka with a confirmed age of more than 400 years entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest vine in the world, which still bears noble fruit. The old vine symbolizes the rich wine culture of Maribor, Styria and Slovenia.
The old vine was planted at the end of the Middle Ages, when Maribor was besieged by the Turks. It survived despite fierce battles between the invaders and the defenders of the city, as today’s House of the Old Vine was once part of the city walls. The fires, which were quite common due to wooden roofs and thatched roofs in the late Middle Ages, neither the vine aphid that killed most of the other vines, nor the Allied bombing of the city when the Old Vine House was partially demolished, but this hardy plant managed to survive.
Thus, today the Old Vine is also the only plant that has its own museum in the House of the Old Vine. Today, the descendants of the Old Vine grow on almost all continents and in many places in Slovenia. The Maribor Octet and Neuwirt’s Styrians recorded the anthem in honor of the vine. Many picturesque wine roads and numerous wine cellars are arranged in the vineyard in Maribor and its surroundings.
Variety and quantity of Old Vine wine
- The grapes of Stara trta, the velvet or blue kavčina variety, are one of the oldest domesticated noble wine varieties in Slovenia.
- 35 to 55 kg of symbolic annual wine production is bottled in 2.5 dcl bottles by the famous artist Oskar Kogoj, which represent a valuable protocol gift – they fill no more than 100 of them a year!