Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Croatian Wine Region: A Brief Recap of Dalmatia

5 March 2022 - With its diverse climate and terrains, winemakers produce over 45,000 tons of Croatian annually, alongside an astounding variety of award-winning wines. In line with the Dalmatian Wine Festival taking place this week in Split (April 8-9, 2022), here’s a refresher on Croatian wine and winemaking in this region.

Croatian wine and viticulture

Did you know that almost 85% of Croatians drink wine? Perhaps it comes as no surprise considering viticulture has been present in the region for almost 4,000 years.

Today, the tradition of winemaking is still going strong. Croatia has over 300 wine producing regions, clustered into 4 main geographical areas - the Croatian Uplands, Slavonia/Croatia Danube, Istria/Kvarner and Dalmatia. The differing climates and terrains between the 4 regions produce more than 130 indigenous grape varietals and distinct styles of wine.

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The vineyards of Korčula. (Image: Visit Korčula/Facebook screenshot)

Although the majority of wines produced are either white (67%) or red (32%), the wide variety of local grapes means that you’ll be able to find anything from bottles of dry, fruity white wines to luscious full-body reds that are a delightful addition to any meal.

To know more about different wines and wine regions around Croatia, be sure to read our series on Croatian wine regions.

Wine production in the Dalmatian region

As far back as the beginning of the 3rd century, works of Greek writer Athenaeus contained verses describing the high-quality wines produced on the Dalmatian islands of Vis, Hvar and Korčula.

The coastline is ideal for grape cultivation due to its hot summers (21–27 °C) and mild winters (6–11 °C) that do not typically fall below freezing. Dalmatia is also ranked as one of the sunniest places in Europe, receiving an average of 2,700 hours of sun per year.

These conditions make it ideal for grape production, resulting in the number of indigenous grape varieties in Dalmatia far exceeding that of the other 3 regions combined!

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Dalmatia is only one of the 4 wine-producing regions of Croatia. (Image: Geography.name/Screenshot)

18 centuries later, the Dalmatian region continues to produce some of the most well-known, top-quality Croatian wine. As a testament to their growing global recognition, a Pošip from Komarna and Babić from Šibenik, were served to attendees of the 2022 Oscars in Hollywood.

Wondering what characterizes Pošip and Babić wines? Let’s delve into some of the more recognized white and red Dalmatian wines.

White wines of Dalmatia

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Croatian white wines are extremely refreshing to sip on during warm summer evenings. (Image: Total Croatia Wines/Screenshot)

PošipPošip, with its greenish to deep honey gold hues and floral aroma, is a white-wine grape variety that was almost exclusively grown on the island Korčula and is indigenous to the village of Smokvica.

Pošip became the first white wine variety in Croatia with a protected geographical origin in 1967. In the last 20 years, Pošip cultivation has spread from Korčula to neighboring islands such as Hvar and Brač, as well as along the coast of Pelješac.

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White-wine grapes growing on vines that are usually ready for harvest in the Fall. (Image: Pexels)

Pošip grapes are usually harvested in the first week of September, producing wines with a crisp fruity aroma, containing notes of apples, vanilla, citrus, and almonds. Overall, a balanced and elegant wine that pairs well with fish and shellfish, or for slow sipping on warm summer nights.

GrkGrk is a golden-green, white-wine grape, indigenous to the sandy soils of Lumbarda on Korčula for over 2,000 years. While most wines are self-pollinators, Grk only produces female flowers and requires a male vine (often Plavac Mali) be planted nearby to enable pollination.

As a result, quantities of Grk produced are often quite small (1000 bottles or less per harvest), making this wine a rarity. The local lore is that wine producers used to only keep bottles of Grk for personal consumption, and to share with close family and friends.

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Pair a glass of Croatian wine with fresh seafood. (Image: Pexels)

If you manage to get your hands on a bottle, you’ll find that Grk is a dry white wine that can be adorned with notes of honey, pepper, pear, melon, herbs, and nuts. It pairs well with fish, seafood, chicken, and cold appetizers, but can also be served as an aperitif.

DebitAnother relatively obscure white wine of Dalmatia is Debit, produced from grapes of the same name. Debit is a straw yellow/gold, late-ripening grape variety grown along the northern and Croatian coast. Debit is indigenous to Croatia, but has some tenuous links to varieties in Italy and Turkey.

Why the name “Debit” though? Again, local folklore suggests that the wine’s name is said to date back to the Napoleonic Wars, where Croatian peasants lacked sufficient funds but ensured their safety by paying off French troops in local wine.

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The small island of Korčula produces some of the most well-known white wines in Croatia. (Image: Visit Korčula/Facebook screenshot)

Debit is a fresh, sharp wine with herbal notes and a minerally profile, with some describing the wine to carry hints of limestone and oyster brine. With age, the aromas develop toasty notes like roasted nuts, candied lemons, and browned butter. This wine pairs well with mild seafood, or ingredients like ginger and coconut.

Red wines of Dalmatia

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Croatia also produces delicious full-bodied red wines. (Image: Total Croatia Wines/Screenshot)

Babić Babić grapes are characterized by their blue-red color, with the best quality wine (vrhunsko vino) coming from Primošten vineyards. These grapes are notoriously difficult to grow, with vines often needing a decade or more to reach their full potential, compared to other varieties that may reach that point after 6-7 years.

Upon maturity, vines tend to produce only 3-4 bunches of grapes each harvest due to the harsh soil conditions and intense sun. This leads to more concentrated flavors, imparting bold flavors to the wines.

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A Primošten vineyard overlooking the Adriatic. (Image: Njuškalo/Screenshot)

Babić wines are dark cherry red in appearance and full-bodied due to their firm tannins. The most common flavors in these wines are sour cherries, plums, and figs. This wine pairs especially well with hearty tomato-based dishes such as goulash or a rich ragu sauce. It also makes a delicious accompaniment to a hearty steak or pork tenderloin.

Plavac MaliPlavac Mali or “small blue” in English, gets its name from the appearance of the grapes. It is also the most important and protected Croatian red wine variety, so much so that in 2021, experts from the wine industry dedicated a day to celebrate International Plavac Mali Day.

Like Babić, Plavac Mali has low grape yields which lead to concentrated, rich wines with deep burgundy colors. The “fiery” wine is typically dry, higher in both alcohol (12-17%) and tannins, making it slightly bitter, but with mild acidity. It is also full of ripe fruity flavor with notes of blackberry, cherry, smoke, and spice.

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The Plavac Mali grape. (Image: Goran Zdunić/Vinopedia.hr)

This wine pairs well with aged cheese, red meat, and hearty dishes like oxtail stew. A bottle of Plavac Mali would not be out of place at a family BBQ, weddings, or the most luxurious Michelin-starred restaurants in Croatia.

ZinfandelWhile Zinfandel is largely known internally as a Californian wine, it was confirmed by researchers in 2002 that its roots are proudly Croatian. Records from the 15th century reflect winemaking from Tribidrag grapes, the variety used to make Zinfandel, on the Dalmatian islands of Hvar and Vis.

Prior to Plavac Mali, Tribidrag grapes were the most abundant red-wine grape in Dalmatia partly due to its tendency to ripen earlier than other varieties. Unfortunately, in the late 19th century, Tribidrag grapes faced extinction due to disease and mildew. An initiative to revitalize Tribidrag production came about in 2001, elevating Zinfandel’s Croatian identity over the next decade.

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Croatian red wines tend to pair well with red meats and hearty tomato-based dishes. (Image: Pexels)

Zinfandel wine is a luscious red, with lower tannins than Plavac Mali. It usually carries notes of berries and spices, best paired with cured meats, red meats, and oily fish dishes like tuna.

Croatian wine and grapes are among the best in the world, and you can find more information about them in Total Croatia’s Guide to Croatian Wine HERE.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 28 March 2022

Oscars Celebrated with Croatian Wine in Hollywood

March 28, 2022 - The Oscars were celebrated on Sunday night with Croatian wine in Hollywood!

Celebrating the art of filmmaking is supposed to be the key topic of Hollywood's biggest night – the Oscars. While there are a few controversies about this one, no such thing was an issue at Jonathan Baker’s “Oscar is Women” themed viewing party, taking place at the former residence of Warren Beaty.  And guess what? Croatia played a key role.

Hollywood’s Entertainment Industry Is Into Croatian Wines

Can you imagine an entertainment party without libations? Of course, not. Croatian wines Pošip and Babić were served to the attendees as they got settled to watch the Oscar night.  

“The word got around about the quality wines and the line was long to get to them,” said Ms. Iva Bahunek Modrič, CEO of the Croatian Tourism Board office in Los Angeles, who attended the party with Mr. Larry Namer, the owner of the Entertainment Channel.  Mr. Namer has traveled to Croatia and loves the country and its gourmet and wine scene, and this evening he got the bragging rights about the Croatian wines which he has already experienced in Croatia.

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Indigenous Croatian wines – a Pošip from the Terra Madre Winery, Komarna Appellation, and a The Dalmatian Dog Babić from the Testament Winery, Šibenik was served to the attendees together with a California Napa Merlot.  

“Pošip and Babić are easy to sip and everyone appreciates their structured, yet soft Mediterranean flavors,” added Ms. Modric of Croatian Tourism Board.  “Sipping Croatian wine in a foreign country, envokes the scents of Adriatic which transfer people to Croatia. We are excited that Americans are starting to value the indigenous Croatian wines even in the middle of California, which clearly has many wines to be proud of.”

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The Jonathan Baker party at his Baker Manor was dubbed the “Oscar is a Woman” party where Jonathan shot a video with Variety Magazine about the concept behind Oscar being a woman. We are sure this brought up a great conversation at the viewing party.  But, most importantly for the Croatian community in the US – it was clear to the attendees, which were on Hollywood's whos who list, that Croatian winemaking can stand up to the best of California.

These two wines, Pošip and Babić, represent more than 70 indigenous Croatian wines currently available in the US and shipped to most US states. 

For more information about Croatia and the Croatian wines in the US, visit www.Visit-Croatia.org and www.CroatianPremiumWine.com

For more information on this Hollywood event and other happenings with the Croatian wines, visit @CroatianPremiumWine on Facebook and IG. 

Živjeli!

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Sixteenth Century Belaj Castle Selling Croatian Wine Successfully

February the 23rd, 2022 - The gorgeous sixteenth century Belaj Castle, brought back to life with a Russian investment, has been selling Croatian-made wine very successfully and without any worries when it comes to timeframes.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the sommelier vice-champion of Croatia, Josip Oriskovic, presented ten wines from the Dvorac Belaj Winery (from Belaj Castle) at the Wine Club over recent days, three of which were premieres because the wines won't even be placed and available on the market until next week.

Along with the Belaj Castle, which is located within the stunning and dramatic landscape of the Ucka mountain, there are also historical vineyards that were restored back in 2011 by the Russian Belay family.

Namely, the Russian financier Oleg Belay, who has been coming to Umag for years, decided to buy the castle and the property after learning that they bear the same name as their family name, leaving it to his son Zan Belay. The vineyards dotted around the Belaj Castle were soon restored, and today the estate houses a winery, a restaurant and even a proper space for events and celebrations.

“The Belaj Castle has a long history, and today we can boast of 12 hectares of vineyards and an annual production of 35,000 bottles. These are wines of smaller series, aged, and the vineyards and the castle have matured together. Although many point out that this is a Russian story, everything in the vineyard is the work of Croatian hands,'' revealed Oriskovic, adding that without this investment, there would be no restored vineyards to even speak of, much less visit and produce from.

Although most of the vineyard area has been restored, they have retained two acres of old Malvasia plantations and four acres of Chardonnay. The plantations are from the 1960's and it is from these positions that the Malvasia selection is coming along nicely, which will be available soon.

"The Malvasia selection 2019, which is due to arrive on the market next week, is a Burgundy-style Malvasia aged in Slavonian oak barrels of 3,000 litre capacities and has a creaminess to it. The last Malvasia Selection was from back in 2016, it was sold out, there are only about two hundred bottles of it left that are in our archive. As young winemakers, Kozlovic helped us out in the creation of this wine, and Ivica Matosevic helped us in the creation of our sur lie chardonnay from 2014,'' explained Oriskovic, noting that the vineyards are in an ideal position because Ucka protects them from the elements and that there is never fog on their estate.

On two hectares of Belaj Castle land they grow black varieties while everything else is white. In addition to wine production, the event organises various events about fifteen times a year, and they also offer guided tastings in which they nurture an individual approach to the guest. Oriskovic pointed out that the most frequent guests of their tastings are Scandinavians and Poles.

“The most significant investment we had was in the renovation of the vineyards because all twelve hectares were neglected. We're still concentrating on the vineyards, cellars and wines and we 're constantly investing in that. The basement has stone floors and we're the oldest Istrian cellar with a stone floor, and the property also has a tasting room, a wine cellar and a restaurant. Our main export markets are Croatia's immediate region, more precisely Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia,'' said Oriskovic.

Today, the beautiful Belaj Castle is known as the only château in all of Croatia, which means that wine production comes exclusively from grapes from the historic vineyards around the castle, and all of the wine is processed and aged right there on the property.

After they founded the Belaj Winery back in 2011, the Russian Belay family has been completely returning production to the cellars of the castle since 2016. Since 2003,  theBelaj Castle has been on the register of protected cultural assets of the Republic of Croatia.

It's also worth noting that the viticultural story of the Belaj Castle begins at the end of the 17th century, when the castle passed into the hands of Johann Weikhard von Auersperg (1615-1677), the Prime Minister of the Austrian Empire during the Habsburg Empire. It was he who initially recognised the benefits of the soil and microclimate of this part of Istria and began growing olives and vines there.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Sladic Winery From Skradin Finds Popularity in Germany and Sweden

February the 17th, 2022 - The Sladic Winery from near Skradin is impressing foreign visitors to Croatia from across the world with their flavours and their tasting room. The Germans and Swedes are among those who have had an impression left on them thanks to this Croatian winery.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the Sladic Winery is engaged in the production and cultivation of various indigenous Croatian varieties, they have vineyards in three locations which stretch over six hectares and produce a massive 35,000 bottles a year. The business is run by Joso and his sons Ivan and Marko, and in Plastovo near Skradin, they have a tasting room where guests from all over the world come and taste what they've produced. Ivan Sladic pointed out that the most common foreign guests are French, Americans and British nationals, and although their original market is the rest of Dalmatia, 20 percent of the Sladic Winery's production is exported to Sweden and Germany.

“Growing these vines and wine production has been in our tradition for a long time now and has evolved from generation to generation. The tradition began with my great-grandfather, but for the last 25 years, the Sladic Winery has had bottled bottles of the highest quality wine placed on the market. For us, the past year was challenging and unpredictable and marked by the collegiality of those in the catering and hospitality industry, as well as winemakers, to help get rid of old stocks in this difficult situation,'' said Ivan Sladic.

The Sladic Winery's current focus is on autochthonous varieties and they have as many as ten labels under their belts, and in 2020 they placed one of the first sparkling wines in Dalmatia from the Marastina variety. They believe in this variety the most and started building a business with it, and they make four different products from it - fresh maraschino, sparkling wine, aged wine in wood and dessert wine.

“Our Deorum, a maraschino dessert wine, has a special story behind it. It is produced according to a traditional recipe that is over one hundred years old. We also made a documentary about it, which showcases the entire production process. The maraschino dessert wine meant a lot to our region and was one of the biggest European brands. It was appreciated among people because the production process involved with it is very difficult, only 10 percent of the total amount of grapes is actually obtained, so we can say that it is real nectar in terms of wine,'' explained Sladic, emphasising that this wine was recognised back in 1934 by the Institute of General Pathology and the pharmacology of the Royal University of Zagreb, which approved for maraschino to be used for the preparation of medicines and medicinal wines.

As he added, this is a unique case in this country, and there are few examples in the world of a wine being officially included among medicines. They plan to plant two more hectares of the lasin variety, which thrives exclusively in the area, to place their babic on the market, and to improve the technology in their cellar from the Wine Envelope.

"We care about constantly improving our products in order to achieve the maximum, because our varieties have excellent parameters to be side by side with the world's great wines," they concluded from the Sladic Winery.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 31 December 2021

Increasingly Popular Croatian Sparkling Wines Most Sought After in Germany

December the 31st, 2021 - Croatian wines are extremely popular throughout the world and that isn't really news, but what about Croatian sparkling wines? It seems that the Germans have a real taste for it, with a lot of it being exported there.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), in the first nine months of this year, Croatian winemakers exported 403 hectolitres of sparkling wines worth as much as 870,000 euros.

The main markets for the wine were Germany, where 122 hectolitres worth 471,017 euros went, followed by the Netherlands, then neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. One year earlier, when assessing the first nine months, exports were slightly higher, totalling 457 hl worth a massive 1,173,292 euros.

Growing demand...

The Belje winery is aware that Croatian sparkling wines are an important export asset, and just this week this winery launched a top-quality sparkling white wine - La Belle Grand. As they say from there, their new sparkling wine is a brut style wine, which is one of the most sought after in the world, and is characterised by "beautiful pearls" of many small bubbles.

“This summer, we installed a new line and equipment for bottling Croatian sparkling wines in our winery in an extremely short period of time, in order to expand our range and meet the growing market demands for this category of wine. La Belle Grand is our first sparkling wine prepared just for this year's festive period. With it, we're celebrating the end of the year in which we won 52 medals,'' points out Marijan Knezevic, head of winemaking development at Vina Belje. Another new brand on the market is the Slavonian Enosophia from Fericani.

“In the first year of Enosophia's existence, we achieved some really nice results. Although we've only been present on the market since July, we've distributed almost 16,000 bottles of sparkling wine. For next year, we plan to produce and distribute a total of 77,000 bottles of sparkling wine, Nice to see you, Today Blance and Today rose. Enosophia is a brand that is focused on combining innovative technologies and traditions in the development of new flavours. We create light and modern Croatian sparkling wines, produced by the Charmat method and by following the demands of the market,'' explained Martin Kovacevic, chief oenologist of the Enosophia winery. Their Nice to see you sparkling wine is a combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and Today blanc is made from the much loved and very well known Croatian Grasevina variety.

"We're currently present in 50 outlets, meaning in restaurants and other catering and hospitality facilities. In the first year, our focus was primarily on presenting the brand here on the Croatian market, but despite that, we've already achieved positive results in terms of exports. Enosophia has been launched on the Japanese market with the sparkling wine called Nice to see you and we expect this trend to continue in the future. Our Croatian sparkling wines under the Feravino brand have also found their fans across many European countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the countries of the more immediate region,'' added Kovacevic.

As he explained, their Today blanc sparkling wine is primarily intended for retail sale, while in the HoReCa channel it is marketed as a ''welcome wine'' or as a wine for the preparation of cocktails. Nice too see you is also available through the HoReCa channel, but can also be purchased through the Enosophia brand website. "As for our plans for 2022, we plan to present the second Today - Today rose, which will be produced from the Frankovka variety, which is the most represented in our vineyards," revealed Kovacevic.

The Pavlomir wine house from Novi Vinodolski also has a few export trump cards under its belt, producing four Croatian sparkling wines in the top category, an impressive 15,000 bottles a year.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

The Best of Hvar: 1st Business Meeting of Hvar Winemakers Was Held in Split

December 7, 2021 - The first business presentation and tasting of representative Hvar wines was held at the Cornaro Hotel in Split, called '' The Best of Hvar '', a collaboration between the Hvar Winemakers Association, the Wine Stars Evaluation Project, and the Jelsa Tourist Board.

On Friday, December 3, 2021, at 4 pm at the Cornaro Hotel in Split, the Hvar Winemakers Association organized the first business presentation and tasting of Hvar wines for representatives of the HORECA sector called The Best of Hvar. This event is designed as a continuation of good cooperation between the Hvar Winemakers Association and the Wine Star Evaluation Project which, with the support of the Jelsa Tourist Board, has been organizing a large island wine evaluation for the third year in a row. Every year the wines are getting better, and this is shown by the ratings that we monitor from year to year.

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(Photo: Julio Frangen)

At the Split presentation, Bell'Iakov, Vina Carić, Hvar Hills, Vina Leše presented their young wines and new vintages "en primeur" according to the evaluation categories of the 3rd Jelsa Summer Wine Tasting by Vinske zvijezde - bogdanuše, other white wines, plavci - Luviji, Pavičić vina, Vina Svirče, Vina Tomić, Vina Ventus, Podrum Vujnović and Zlatan Otok. The winning wines of this year's evaluation were at a special exhibition place: Bogdanjuša Carić 2020, Pošip Tomić 2020, Hvar Hills Plavac mali Pharos Maxvmus 2013. The wines were accompanied by excellent Hvar extra virgin olive oils, awarded at domestic and international evaluations: Božić Uje, OPG Eva Curin, and OPG Magdalena Plenković oils of Athens.

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From left to right: Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board; Marija Marjan, director of the Jelsa Tourist Board; Ivana Klarić, director of Cornaro hotel; Marija Vukelić, Wine Star project manager; and Ivana Krstulović Carić, president of the Hvar Winemakers Association. (Photo: Julio Frangen)

The winemakers and business representatives were greeted by the director of Cornaro, the host hotel, Mrs. Ivana Klarić, emphasizing the satisfaction that a special event for Hvar's top winemakers is taking place in the top hotel. Mr. Joško Stella, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, praised the initiative, reminded of previous collaborations with the Hvar Winemakers Association, including an important presentation in Rome, and expressed the wish that such events continue. The director of the Jelsa Tourist Board, Marija Marjan, presented two significant Jelsa projects involving winemakers, oil producers, and family farms - "Wine, Olive and heritage festival" and announced the framework program of the jubilee 70th Jelsa Wine Festival, which is planned for last week in August 2022, Ivana Krstulović Carić, president of the Hvar Winemakers Association, reminded that the association has been operating successfully since 2010: "When we first met, we realized that the branding of island wines is extremely important, The island of wine, from 384 BC. Kr. In conclusion, Marija Vukelić, Wine Star project manager, praised the better ratings of Hvar wines, which give winemakers better visibility and placement in our and foreign markets.

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(Photo: Julio Frangen)

Representatives of the caterers were able to taste for the first time at the first joint exhibition place young bogdanuša, wines of the original white variety of the island of Hvar. In the second exhibition place were other white wines of the island of the varieties prč and pošip, and cuvée of white wines, and in a special place were plavci, new vintages on the market and some already existing and renowned. Three categories and three exhibition places gave an insight into the community of winemakers and the top quality of wine from the whole island. Winemakers and guests at The Best of Hvar event were satisfied with the way of presentation, expressing a desire to organize the Zagreb "En primeura Hvar wines".

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The wines were accompanied by excellent Hvar extra virgin olive oils, awarded at domestic and international evaluations. (Photo: Julio Frangen)

The Best of Hvar 2021 is the first business event of winemakers on the island of Hvar, popular "B2B" - business to business, which provides caterers with the opportunity to (early) assess the quality of new harvests, purchase (larger quantities) in advance for next season, on favorable terms - but also a reminder of existing harvests and Hvar wines that can be found on the holiday table and under the Christmas tree.

Croatian wines and grapes are among the best in the world, and you can find more information about them in Total Croatia’s Guide to Croatian Wine HERE.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Istrian Winemaker Ivan Damjanic Strengthening Position on Montenegrin Market

December the 7th, 2021 - The very well known Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic is set to strengthen his position on the neighbouring Montenegrin market.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, back in mid-November, Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic travelled south down to Montenegro as part of the project "Wine Envelope and Measures" which is the promotion of wine in third country markets to acquaint consumers there with their labels.

It's worth mentioning that promotion on the markets of third countries refers to wines with a protected designation of origin, geographical origin and wines with an indication of the grapevine variety produced in Croatia.

Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic held four eno-gastro presentations, which included the pairing of various dishes and his wines, and the list of restaurants that hosted Damjanic included Conte in Perast, Cattaro in Kotor and Podgorica's Restaurant 100 manira i Hemera.

The audience included renowned wine connoisseurs, sommeliers, caterers, hoteliers, bloggers, journalists and other wine lovers. While some of the wines, such as Damjanic's Malvazija, are already fairly well known to the Montenegrin audience, some labels of this popular Croatian winery have yet to find a place on that particular market.

The audience thus tasted labels such as Borgonja, Dura Istriana, Clemene blanca, Clemente and Suncerus, which will soon be on the shelves of Montenegrin wine shops. By the way, the winery or perhaps better to say the Damjanic family farm has existed since back in 2004, and their vineyards currently cover 10.5 hectares.

The last investment was in the reconstruction of the vineyard and equipping the winery, also as part of the wine envelope.

"Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, we exported about 25 percent of our production to Montenegro, the United States, Germany, Austria and Poland. This has slowed down a bit at the moment, but the Canadian market has opened up for us in the last two years.

We currently have eleven labels and the most sought after are Malvazija, Borgonja, Clemente and Clemente blanc. We cooperate with many people in the catering industry and hoteliers throughout Croatia, and guests from all over the world come to our tasting room. Most of them are from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy,'' Istrian winemaker Ivan Damjanic said.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Could Croatian Term Prosek Finally be Protected by European Commission?

November the 28th, 2021 - Could the Croatian term Prosek finally be protected by the European Commission (EC) and put an end to the dispute between Croatia and neighbouring Italy?

As Morski writes, On Friday, November the 26th, 2021, State Secretary Tugomir Majdak, in the presence of Member of the European Parliament Tonino Picula, participated in a panel entitled "Croatian quality on the European table - the protection of the traditional term Prosek".

The event brought together Prosek producers, oenologists and legal experts to discuss the course of protection, Croatian and Italian arguments and the problems of producers, and a day later, on November the 27th, from 10:00 to 16:00 on Petar Preradovic Square, a public blind tasting of Prosek and Prosecco was planned, with the shooting of a promotional video about the important and undoubted differences between these two wines, all with the tasting and sale of Prosek made by Croatian producers.

Back in 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture submitted a request to the European Commission for the protection of the traditional Croatian term Prosek, and this year, the European Commission closed the application review process and approved it as well-founded and justified, with an expected objection from an Italian organisation.

In order to advocate for successful protection of the Croatian term Prosek at the European level and in order to promote this Croatian wine, a panel was organised at which State Secretary Tugomir Majdak stated:

''I'm satisfied with the development of events in the process of the protection of this wine, which is extremely important for all of us in historical, tourist and gastro-oenological terms. I'd like to remind you that relatively recently, we successfully resolved another wine dispute, which was both legally and technically extremely demanding, and then our producers from Istria were given the opportunity to continue marketing the wine "Teran".

In the same way, the Republic of Croatia now has an answer related to Prosek and that's the only way in which our approach can be based in this case because we really have all the professional, historical and legal arguments for its protection. Croatian producers certainly have a legitimate right and expectation to have their products protected, which have all been produced in the traditional way and with full access to the market as their European counterparts have.

Today, Croatia has 31 products with their names registered in the EU with protected designation of origin or protected geographical indication, and is proud of seventeen protected wine designations of origin, six geographical indications on strong alcoholic beverages and one geographical indication of aromatised wine products.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Wine Roads of Jastrebarsko, Samobor, Sv. Ivan Zelina Presented through New Website

27 Nov 2021 - Central Croatia is rightfully getting more and more acclaim as a top-notch travel destination. This is especially true when it comes to its offer of food and wine. Another step in the right direction is the unveiling of the new project Gourmet Tourism – GoWine.

There are numerous attractive towns, villages, and micro-regions around the Croatian capital Zagreb. Some of them are well known among Croatians, most of them unfairly neglected by international travellers. However, things are changing at a rapid pace and we are seeing an increase in promotional actions uncovering the wonders of Central Croatia. The Gourmet Tourism project is a joint effort by tourism boards of three towns: Sv. Ivan Zelina, Jastrebarsko, and Samobor and aims at promoting the food and wine offer in these three areas. This project is backed by the Zagreb County Tourism Board and authorised by the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Increasing visibility of Jastrebarsko, Samobor, and Sv. Ivan Zelina

The primary goal of the project is to communicate a local offer of authentic food and wine more clearly and efficiently by creating interactive and printed maps, a promotional website (www.gowine.hr), WebVR app, as well as to give the project its own recognisable visual identity. The most attractive parts of all these three areas covered in the project are their wine roads. Using stylised maps, the users will now have an easy time navigating them. The locations of numerous local wineries and countryside estates offering quality, authentic bites and sips are now there for all to find and enjoy. With plenty to explore in the area, the creators of the maps had their hands full at selecting those local businesses that will represent the area well.

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The presentation of the project itself took place at the beautiful Mirnovec Ethno Farm. While there was plenty of information to go through, representatives of the three tourism boards and their associates kept the protocol dynamic and interesting. With plenty of mouth-watering local food and delicious wine, all gathered members of the press were able to taste for themselves exactly what wonders lie in the vicinity of Zagreb. Well-known names of the Croatian food and wine scene: Mr. Bakalovic, Mr. Spicek, and Mr. Spiranec created a lunch menu perfect for showcasing the finest this region has to offer. 

So, next time you get a chance, make sure to explore the areas of Jastrebarsko, Samobor, and Sv. Ivan Zelina. With gowine.hr and all the local information one click away, you now officially have no excuse not to do so. Just make sure you go hungry and thirsty.

For all the tourism information in Croatia, do not miss Total Croatia

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