Vipava Valley, which ranks ninth on the Best in Europe 2018 Top 10 Destination list, is described by the tourist guide book publisher as an "undiscovered" region that is "peppered with terracotta-tiled hamlets and gothic spires, and lined with grapevines stretching along gentle slopes".
"Vines have been cultivated in Slovenia for millennia, but today this is a land of boutique winemakers whose experimental varietals and techniques are producing outstanding results and attracting adventurous oenophiles."
Lonely Planet advises visitors to explore the region on local-led cycle tours. "It's an excellent place to tour by car or bike, with outstanding gourmet treats and idyllic rural scenery."
The tourist guide also notes the region's mild climate and stone fruits such as peaches and apricots, which are pretty with blossoms in spring, and deeply colourful and photogenic in autumn.
One of the editors, Jessica Cole, labelled Vipava Valley a hidden gem in the heart of Europe that offers excellent culinary experiences, exiting adventures and breath-taking landscape only a stone's throw away from the capital of Ljubljana.
The mayor of Ajdovščina, Tadej Beočanin, told the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO) the ranking was a confirmation of their policies and joint efforts to make tourism a leading activity of Vipava Valley.
"We've built the story of tourism development on the natural and historical assets of the valley, top wine and culinary stories, and sports and adrenaline experiences," he said.
Lonely Planet's Best in Europe list is compiled by travelling experts to help travellers find an alternative to the popular and overcrowded tourist destinations.