Slovenia's green-black gold

Kocbek - pumpkin seed oil coming out the press

Pumpkin-seed oil as complex, terroir-reflective and delicious as great wine.

The smell was rich in the air. Sweet, roasted, green, nutty, toasty. The landscape was flat, arable, no grapevines here. We squinted in the sunlight, were greeted by a slim, handsomely athletic and immaculately tattooed, blue-eyed man wearing a tight black T-shirt and a wide smile. We walked through a tall, broad, brand-new wooden door into a Scandi-sparse, very smart, very clean room.

Kocbek - arable surrounds
Pumpkin country

The night before, I’d confessed to one of Slovenia’s top winemakers, Uroš Valcl of Marof, that I loved Slovenian pumpkin-seed oil so much that all my previous...