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.


(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.


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.


(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".


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.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Croatian Winemakers Won 254 Medals at the Decanter World Wine

July 10, 2021 - Croatian winemakers continue to win, receiving 254 medals at the 18th edition of the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards, 28 more than last year.

The long-awaited results of the 18th edition of the Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 have been announced, Turističke priče reports. The world’s largest wine competition has had the biggest challenge to date, with a record 18,094 wines from 56 countries applying. For 15 consecutive days in June, nearly 170 wine judges, including 44 wine masters and 11 sommelier masters, declared the 50 best wines and 179 platinum, 635 gold, 5,607 silver, and 8,332 bronze medals.

Croatian winemakers won 254 medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards, 28 more than last year. Three Croatian wineries won the platinum medal and a total of 97 points - Benvenuti (Motova), Zure (Korčula), and Bire (Korčula). In total, Croatian winemakers won 3 platinum awards, 8 gold, as many as 80 wines were decorated with silver, and 163 bronze.



Unfortunately, this year we did not achieve positioning at the very top of Decanter's list with at least one wine in the category Best in Show or top 50 best wines in the world, but as more and more Croatian winemakers invest more and more in quality, we are sure that we will get to that last step.

Let's list the gold medals for eight wines: the coast was dominant, so five medals went to Dalmatia, and three to Istria.

Degarra Garageist Bili 2016.
Bora Posip 2019
Testament Tribidrag 2018.
Fakin Malvasia Istria 2020
Cattunar Collina Malvasia Istria 2017
Crvik Vilin Dance Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Plavac 2017
Vinologist Eclat Plavac Mali 2013
Vina Laguna Castello 2017. - Festigia

You can see the full list of winners here.

Last year, Croatian wines won three platinum, 11 gold, 68 silver, 88 bronze awards, and 56 awards. At this year's Decanter, Spain dominated and more than doubled the medals compared to the year before when France was the main one. Nine of the 50 Best in Shows were awarded to Spanish wines, and out of the nine outstanding, as many as three offer exceptional quality for less than around 15 euros per bottle. It is important to mention Germany, which achieved record results, and especially worth mentioning Spätburgunder Pinot Noir and world-class chardonnay.

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. Now in your language!

For more made in Croatia news, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Vinart Grand Tasting: Biggest Wine Event in Croatia to be Held in Spring 2021

January 29, 2021 – Winemakers are delighted as it's announced that the Vinart Grand Tasting, the most important business wine event, will take place in the spring of 2021.

As Turizam24 reports, the Vinart Grand Tasting will be held on April 30 and May 1, 2021, in Zagreb's Lauba. The organizer, the company Vinart, moved the fair's date from the beginning of March to the beginning of May due to the uncertainty of the epidemiological situation and the duration of anti-epidemic measures.

As a reminder, last year's Vinart Grand Tasting was the last professional wine fair in Europe. It was held on March 6 and 7, 2020, just before the first lockdown, while many details about the COVID-19 virus were unknown.

"It was uncertain until the last second, and in the weeks before the fair itself, we practically didn't sleep because of worries. We prepared the program, and after the fair, we organized a study trip to Croatian wine regions for a group of about twenty important European and American journalists. We invested a considerable amount of money, hoping that we would make a big step to recognize Croatian wines and winemakers globally, and everything was so risky and uncertain. In the end, only three journalists canceled our trip, and others came and were delighted with the offer and quality of Croatian wines. We did everything in our power to eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus," says Saša Špiranec, director of Vinart.


Wine tasting / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

At last year's fair, there was no information that anyone had become infected. From that experience, they are ready to boldly enter into the preparation of this year's edition of the fair.

If the economy doesn't restart in May, we can say goodbye to winemaking

On this occasion, Špiranec answered questions about the situation in winemaking after the pandemic 2020. As expected, the autumn wave caused the most significant damage to this branch of the economy, extremely important for the tourism sector.

"Judging by the comments we received from winemakers, last year's drop in turnover was more than obvious. Different wineries have different experiences, but the average should be between 20 and 30 percent drop overall. The year's start was a shock, and sales stalled, but a good spring and early summer made up for that decline. The second, autumn wave did more damage that was only partially offset by sales in December when many winemakers had good results in direct sales due to gifts and increased household consumption. If such problems remained in 2021, they would surely become insurmountable for many wineries. If the situation after the Easter moves towards full normalization, then most wineries will recover," said Špiranec, who explained the chosen date in the still uncertain first part of 2021.


Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

"We have chosen dates when spring will already be in full swing. The days are long and sunny, and we believe that in the meantime, the measures and vaccination will significantly reduce the risks. We think May is the last moment for normalization, regardless of the circumstances with COVID-19, and that is why we chose the first days of May for the fair. If the economy does not start working normally in May, we can say goodbye to winemaking as its branch," concluded Špiranec, the leading Croatian expert in winemaking.

This announcement speaks best about the consequences of a pandemic. They hope that the situation will normalize after Easter. In that case, we can still expect the recovery of most stakeholders on the wine scene.

2021 is crucial for winemaking

Winemakers and wine business people are delighted by the announcement of the Vinart Grand Tasting.

"The capacity, which is further limited this year, is almost full after the first week of opening the applications. Winemakers and their customers send us numerous messages that they cannot wait for the fair and the start of activities and wine events. Now, things that they used to complain about, like too many fairs and trips, seem to them to be a blessing compared to this past year of passively waiting and staring into space," announces Špiranec.


Vineyard in Istria / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

It is evident that this year is crucial for winemaking. Without the opening and launch of the economy in the spring, there will be no winemaking. It remains to be seen how the situation will develop by May, but any such announcement and event that gives hope that the recovery will begin soon is optimistic. For winemakers, as well as for caterers, it is necessary to start economic activities no later than Easter. Otherwise, we will have a total collapse.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page. 

Friday, 24 July 2020

Additional 13 Million Kuna for Croatian Winemakers Amid Crisis

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of July, 2020, at a recent e-consultation, the proposal of the National Programme for Assistance to the Wine Sector for the period 2019-2023 was published, giving ''birth'' to the so-called wine envelope, which significantly increases funding for crisis distillation and crisis storage measures, which is excellent news for Croatian winemakers.

Instead of the originally planned 43 million kuna, the Ministry of Agriculture provided an additional 13 million kuna, so now the total support for the stabilisation of the wine market which will certainly allow Croatian winemakers to breathe a sigh of relief amounts to 56 and a half million kuna.

"The Wine Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) welcomes such a decision, which envisages a significant increase in funds for crisis distillation and the crisis storage of wine from 43 million kuna to 56 and a half million kuna. Specifically, for the measure of crisis distillation of wine, the funds were increased from 38 million kuna to 46.5 million kuna, and for the measure of crisis storage of the wine, there was an increase from 5 million to 10 million kuna. I believe that the funds will be fully used and that they will significantly mitigate the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the decline in tourist spending, because we shouldn't forget that Croatian winemakers sell about 70 percent of their total production through the tourism sector and through HOREC channels,'' said HGK's Vice President for Agriculture and Tourism, Dragan Kovačević, adding that this is another example of good cooperation between Croatian winemakers and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Namely, the crisis caused by the spread of the new coronavirus has strongly affected the wine sector, so the Croatian Chamber of Commerce proposed changes to the so-called wine envelope to the Ministry of Agriculture even earlier.

Wine sales in Croatia have a very seasonal character, ie, a significant percentage is related to the tourist season, which this year will be at 30 percent of the level it was in previous years, which has already led to a drop in wine sales of 80 percent in the pre-season. An average annual decline of 50 percent is expected.

Crisis distillation and storage programmes will help Croatian winemakers and the wine sector to bridge current liquidity, preserve employment and prepare for the purchase of grapes in the 2020 harvest, not only through financial support but also by removing surplus wine from their cellars.

For more, follow our business section.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Government Assistance to Croatian Winemakers Needs Prompt Realisation

As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 25th of June, 2020, a package of measures for Croatian winemakers was adopted which will allocate 38.5 million kuna for wine distillation and 5 million kuna for crisis storage.

On the exact day when new data on the number of people infected with the new coronavirus in Croatia were published, Croatian winemakers finally received a bit of very welcome good news from the Government that a package of intervention measures to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic on wine sales was accepted.

The measures regard the conversion of the existing multi-year national programme to help the wine sector, which will, as stated, allocate 38.5 million kuna for crisis distillation of wine, and 5 million kuna for the crisis storage of wine.

For the wine sold and delivered to the approved distiller, five kuna per litre of wine has been provided and a large number of Croatian winemakers/producers are interested in the costs of transporting wine to the distiller being reimbursed, and it is expected that several dozen producers will apply for this measure.

One of them is Josip Pavic from Erdut vineyards, who is also the president of the Wine Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK). "It won't save Croatian winemakers, when it's estimated that wine consumption will fall by 50 percent due to the coronavirus crisis, but it will ease the situation," said Pavic, adding that there isn't much of an alternative to be had because harvest time is coming and warehouses are full.

Similar measures are used by other countries across Europe, which, in addition to crisis distillation and storage, also apply a third solution, the so-called green harvest in vineyards, which we haven't considered in Croatia, but some Croatian winemakers, such as Vlado Krauthaker, carry it out themselves.

Green harvesting cuts costs

"This seems like a quality solution, because we'll reduce the yield to 50 percent earlier and we'll have fewer grapes, we'll reduce the cost of production, but in turn we'll raise the quality of wine," explained the famous winemaker, adding that it's difficult to estimate losses this year.

Dino Galic from Kutjevo says that the winery will apply for both measures, more precisely for storage of about 100 to 200 thousand litres for Kutjevo, and that their Đakovo wines (between 200 and 300 thousand litres) will apply for crisis distillation.

"We also proposed that the Government, in these extraordinary conditions, help Croatian winemakers with subsidised purchases. Such measures would preserve current liquidity, which will be quickly jeopardised,'' says Galic, adding that this package won't save producers, but any help is welcome. Most Croatian winemakers sell their products here on the domestic market, but due to the uncertain tourist season, the placement of wine is still "hanging in the air", and the situation is no better on foreign markets either.

The problem, as Krauthaker explains, is in the hyperproduction of wine on a global level, and Croatia is not recognised on the world wine list. At the moment, even strong winemakers from countries like France are devising plans to mitigate the losses of this sector.

Krauthaker says the solution is for manufacturers to start connecting and acting together promoting their region, in order to gain recognition, and they will have to invest more in that.

Most Croatian winemakers used measures to preserve jobs during the crisis, and didn't need to lay off workers, and in addition to this particular package of measures, Minister of Agriculture Marija Vuckovic announced possible further measures to help yesterday, but she didn't specify what they could be.

As the parliamentary elections draw closer, the most important thing for Croatian winemakers is to start implementing the measures just adopted as soon as possible. Yesterday, the Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Agriculture and Tourism, Dragan Kovacevic, appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture and especially to the Agency for Payments in Agriculture to start implementing these measures urgently, so that winemakers could receive support as soon as possible.

"We expect an urgent announcement of the tender for the implementation of these measures, so that due to the deadlines, they wouldn't jeopardise the realisation of the secured funds, especially for the crisis storage measure.

The members of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Wine Association are therefore looking for a quick reaction and a simple tender procedure, without unnecessary administration,'' stated Dragan Kovacevic.

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