The 'Palir' Family
It all began without any special reason, but be that as it may, Jožef Vidmar, our greatgrandfather, was deported along with most other inhabitants of Branik after the village had been burnt down. He never spoke much of those events and when he returned home in 1946, he started digging a hole in the ground in order to build a place for wine storage
. After an experience like his, it is most likely that all he wanted to do was simply work in peace. Furthermore, it were probably the bitter events that Jožef had to face, which caused the saying ´Live and let live´
to become deeply enrooted in the family tradition. The work Jožef had done incited the production of wine and the building of a farm we now own; an old barrel with the year 1908 inscribed on it still reminds us of the days past. Today, there are four of us living on the farm: Armando and Dragica Vidmar, our sons Matevž and Urban.
Nowadays, a bit more than 10 hectares of vineyard surfaces belong to the farm. Most of the vineyards are located on the high hilly slopes under the Church of St Martin, while some spread out in the valley. Vineyards that are scattered over such a vast area do make the cultivation toilsome and time-consuming but when God shows his wrath and sends us hail, the distances are very welcome – there are always some grapes left after the storm. No longer than a few years ago, we also grew fruit – cherries and peaches – on our farm but then we decided to replace all the orchards with vineyards. During the last years, older vineyards – some already standing for more than 40 years – have been renewed. In the period from 1993 to 2000, two 'osmica' events have been organized every year: one around the Labour Day holiday and the other around St Martin's Day (November 11). We usually had many guests coming to enjoy the specialties, the main one being the home-made bread of nona Cvetka, baken in the traditional bread oven. Each time, a lot of work had to be done but the moments of fun were just as numerous.
Over recent years, we have planted olive trees in front of the wine cellar and are now extremely proud of our olive oil, which tastes best in combination with toasted bread and a glass of wine. A part of the oil is, however, obtained from a 60-year-old olive tree which grows in our loveliest vineyard just beneath the Church of St Martin. The old olive tree casts a delightful shade, in which one can rest and enjoy in a bite of food. The most important acquirement for our farm is without a doubt the new wine cellar, which contains all the modern technology necessary for grape processing and wine making.
The Grape Harvest
In the past, when, say, this young family started to attain the shape it has today, the vineyards covered only a quarter of the area they are spread on now. The harvests were delightful and traditional; everyone came to help – relatives, neighbours, friends – and many bonds of friendship were formed. Women enjoyed in sharpening their tongues with gossips from all year round, men exchanged a word or two and in the evening, there was no lack of songs either. 'Bndimači' could hardly wait to get something to eat: home-made dry-cured ham (prosciutto crudo), cheese, bread that was usually still warm and naturally a glass of wine were served.
With time, however, Armando's enthusiasm for winemaking along with changing social conditions led to a palpable increase in the quantity of grapes to be harvested. The traditional way of harvesting didn't suffice anymore: workers had to be hired, since no one could expect volunteers to come in such a number that could manage all the work in the vineyard. Yet 'bndimači' still come to help us and bonds of friendship often form among them, just as they did in the past. We're happy because most of them come back regularly every year and when the harvest is over, 'likof', a traditional feast prepared at the end of a strenuous task (a harvest, building of a house), is the time to gather in the wine cellar and enjoy in the tasting of musts and singing a song or two. More insight into grape harvest can be seen in our
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