Encouraging Overseas Statistics See Croatian Winemakers Resort to Foreign Markets

Through the withdrawal of EU money for promotion, Croatia's winemakers have been entering new markets more successfully over the last few years.

As Marta Duic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of June, 2018, in addition from European Union sources of funding, assistance is also available on the domestic market. For example, through the ''Vino Croatia - Vino Mosaica'' wine show, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) has managed to present Croatia's variety of wines on new markets around the world, from the USA to much closer to home in Switzerland and Germany.

After last year's successful wine promotion across the Atlantic in the United States, as well as in nearby Switzerland and Austria, the same story continued this year and recently the winners were introduced in both New York and in Munich. At the end of March in New York, about 300 American distributers and wine experts were presented with 22 Croatian wineries, of which 15 already have their distributor(s) on the American market.

Exports to the USA have been increasing in recent years and the US falls among top five markets for Croatian winemakers outside of the European Union. In May, the German market was a popular one, which for domestic wines is the second most powerful export "field" within the European Union. Munich, where 12 Croatian companies are present, is also an unavoidable place for European and world eno-gastronomy fans, and HGK is trying to help local wine-growers in numerous ways to reach new markets and attract new customers. Promotions with which the Croatian National Tourist Board (HTZ) is involved will continue in other countries from which tourists come to Croatia, too.

Visitors to one of the squares in Munich were able to taste some of the finest Croatian wines presented by 12 Croatian companies; Aura Delikatessen, Baba delicije - Kuća pršuta (House of Prosciutto), Badel 1862, Dingač Skaramuča, Kutjevo, Maraska, OPG Rajka Dvanajščak, Osilovac - Feravino, PP Orahovica, PZ Masvin, PZ Vrbnik and Zigante Truffles. Back in 2017 on this particularly demanding market, Croatia exported wines worth more than two million euro, and from Germany, Croatia imported wines worth 1.96 million euro, making it fourth place as far as import markets are concerned. Overall, in 2017, when compared to 2016, wine exports increased by 13 percent, while imports ended with a plus of two percent. Croatian winemakers exported a massive 4,693 tonnes of wine in the first 11 months of last year, which is 60% more than the 2016 level.

As a result, the value of exports was more than 36 percent, or more than 3 million euro.

Data from HGK shows that Croatia earned an impressive 11.89 million euro from wine exports from January to November 2017, while the year before, exports amounted to 8.73 million euro. On the other hand, wine imports decreased by 13 percent to 24,902 tons, and value decreased by five percent, to 26.7 million euro, which is 1.5 million euro less.

What about eco-production?


Kabola is the first and only singular Istrian winery that maintains its vineyards according to the principles of eco-production. "In the creation of wine, we're exploring the boundaries, but all in keeping with nature. When it comes to business, we're aware of the trends, but we're not just going to follow them blindly," explained Marino Markežić, the owner of the Kabola winery.

As they claim, in the last two years they have made significant strides in defining and creating Kabola's recognisability. ''First and foremost, we've verified who we are with the help of experts, and only then, in full light, did we presented in our authentic way to the public, and the public recognised it, and we're trying to communicate the emotion of Kaola, as well as the beauty of the destination, keeping in the context of quality gastronomic and wine stories,'' noted Markežić, adding that it is crucial to connect with prominent partners and engage real professionals.

"By carefully selecting the context of how we present ourselves, we keep our brand in mind, keeping a dose of moderation and elegance,'' Markežić pointed out, before noting that the aim is obviously to attract more and more visitors. Otherwise, the Kabola winery brand is present on as many as 15 markets, being chosen by more demanding consumers in both retail and restaurant environments, as well as in hotels.


Click here for the original article by Marta Duic for Poslovni Dnevnik