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.

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(Screenshot)

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.

Monday, 14 June 2021

8th Pink Day Festival Announced For June 27th With the Best of Rosé Wines!

June 14, 2021 - A press conference was held announcing the 8th Pink Day and its interesting program. In addition to socializing with winemakers and olive growers, this favorite wine event will be marked by an entertainment program, so visitors and exhibitors can expect various surprises and even more beautiful and modern space.

This year, the 8th Pink Day International Festival of Rose Wines, Sparkling Wines, and Champagnes is being held for the first time on the covered open terrace of the MSU Museum in New Zagreb, on Sunday, June 27. Although the location and date of the event have been changed several times due to epidemiological reasons and the consequences of the Zagreb earthquake, the festival successfully brings together numerous domestic and foreign producers of rosé wines, about fifty of them, with about 100 labels of rosé wines. Winemakers, oenologists, professionals, experts, and rosé lovers will take part, and there is, of course, an important part of the Festival: Green in Pink, with a dozen of the best Croatian producers of extra virgin olive oil.

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From Pink Day Official Facebook Page

At the press conference, WOW President and Pink Day founder Sanja Muzaferija, accompanied by art director Vlasta Pirnat, hostess Ana Lisak and MSU representatives, and in the presence of the co-organizer, IMC presented the novelties of the 8th Pink Day. Although the Festival always offers three or more wine and olive oil workshops, now for the first time, in cooperation with the Miva Wine Gallery, a Masterclass - World of Pink Champagnes by Moët Hennessy Group powered by Premium Visa has been organized, which has aroused great interest and sold out. just a few days. Visitors can expect two more workshops: Pink Austria, powered by Austrian Wine and with the help of the Office of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions, and Tourism at the Embassy of the Republic of Austria dedicated to Austrian rosés, and a workshop of extra virgin olive oils, Istria: Queen of Olive Oil powered by Catering Lisak, led by the famous Istrian expert Edi Družetić, who last year celebrated 40 years of work in olive growing.

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Sanja Muzaferija, Pink Day founder

‘‘I am extremely proud that this year our partner country is Austria and that, despite still somewhat problematic conditions, five exhibitors are coming from Austria, all under the auspices of Austrian Wine, but I am most looking forward to the exhibition venues of this year's Pink Day filled three weeks before the Festival. It is also important to me that we try, and I believe we succeed, to combine everything: to entertain, teach, cheer and celebrate rosé wines in a rosy mood. And let’s not forget the health and extra virgin olive oils. I thank the media that follow us faithfully and everyone who experiences Pink Day the way I imagined it: as a festival of optimism and enjoyment’’, said Muzaferija.

The ticket price for Pink Day is 150 kuna, while for members of the WOW association it is 50 kuna, and you can buy it at the entrance of the festival.

This year, Pink Day emphasizes the sale of wine, since last year was also extremely difficult for winemakers, and each winemaker will receive ten pink bags as a gift from the festival to sell their wine. Also, Pink Day continues to reward the most imaginative and creatively decorated exhibition table. Last year's prize, pink Jimmy Choo shoes, was won by the Italian winery Bottega, and this time as many as 4 prizes will be awarded. It will again be pink Jimmy Choo shoes: this time a Smokey model worth a thousand dollars, a work of art "DESIDERIO N° 1 ART MUST BE TASTED" by Austrian artist Andrew Stix, made especially for Pink Day, as well as Privee cosmetics Nikel, Croatian innovator Mirjana Brlečić, but also the ingenious bottle cap Coravin, worth 300 euros.

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Pink Jimmy Choo shoes, last year's festival prize

Additionally, the current offer of all Croatian rosés will be judged by an independent jury composed of the most experienced Croatian wine judges. It is a mini-project "Drink Pink" conceived as part of the iVino concept, whose founders are journalists Ana Rogač and Ivo Kozarčanin. The best rosé wines of their choice and judgment decided, logically, to present and announce the winners, right on Pink Day.

As part of the press conference, Kutjevo held a presentation of the limited label Premium rosé, designed by the art director of Pink Day, Vlasta Pirnat, and the famous winemaker from Plešivica, Krešimir Ivančić, presented his Provencal-style rosé, Griffin Ambassador rosé. and Istrian olive oils were also tasted.

All of the above and much more interesting content await you at the 8th Pink Day, June 27, 2021, at the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, MSU. All visitors will receive pink glasses as a gift until stocks run out so that after a long pandemic period they can try to look at the world more brightly and optimistically.

To learn more about the 8th Pink Festival, be sure to follow their Facebook and Instagram official accounts to find more information.

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 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Sasa Bernobic Employs German Production Skills at Istrian Winery

June the 8th, 2021 - Sasa Bernobic of the Istrian OH Wines winery does things a bit differently than one might expect, and he has put the ever-famed German production skills he was educated in into proper practice.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, although the wine world is often associated with terms such as family business and tradition, OH Wines winery has a completely different story, from the approach, the method of production, to the label and the name itself.

This is a winery in the municipality of Vizinada, in an ideal position between Mediterranean and continental Istria, and Sasa Bernobic produces wines according to the rules of the "German school".

“OH Wines was created back in 2015 on the modern idea of ​​a market accompanied by a different way of producing wine and olive oil, but also a different way of producting the very design itself. I wanted to stand out from a large group of markets by gathering practical and professional experiences from other parts of Europe and from across the rest of the world. So, I adapted my wine production to the German production model, my olive oil to that used by the Italians and the Spaniards, and the design to my own model where I simply reversed the mental circuit in people and did something unusual in design for the world of wine,'' Ssas Bernobic explained.

Bernobic claims that the "German school" of white wine production is the strongest in the world and has no competition, and is based on the accuracy of the data and extremely high "purity" in numbers when we talk about microbiology.

Clean numbers

"It was this precision and accuracy that led me to create a new style of wine that is different from the competition, and with that same new style of wine I stimulated the imaginations of some of the greatest wine lovers. Germany has extremely difficult conditions for wine production, and yet they manage to keep up with the world's largest wines easily.

They succeeded because by choosing the exact date of harvest and treatments in the cellars, they managed to create the perfect wine in a very harsh climate. As far as olive oil is concerned, we're still learning here, we're in constant contact with Italian and Spanish scientists who have introduced me to new methods and styles in production,'' revealed Sasa Bernobic.

Back during the 2020 harvest, they launched the first Croatian branded olive oil produced with a different technique. It's a process which involves technological processing and is called denocciolato, in which the olive is pitted to achieve a higher nutritional value and a fuller taste of the oil. Production is much more expensive, and the amount of the final product is much smaller. The whole process was done in Italy..

“When you’re first getting into some things, it gives you a huge market advantage and the market loves you. That was exactly my goal - to create something new and different. What made me especially happy was that this oil was sold out in advance, mostly going off to the kitchens of private customers, and partly to Michelin restaurants in Austria and Germany,'' stated Sasa Bernobic.

They currently have five hectares of vineyards and 1.5 hectares of olive groves, and offer five wine labels and a limited series of sparkling wine produced by 200 bottles a year of Teran. The winery also has a tasting room, and although about 80 percent of their sales are based on the German and Austrian markets, they're slowly moving towards a goal in which both local Croatian sales and foreign exports are half and half.

An imaginatively created name...

The OH Wines brand name is based on three segments - it boasts the name of the Ohnici microlocality where vineyards and olive groves are located, OH is a carboxyl group of ethanol in the logo of each wine that signifies a modern approach, and the third part refers to the reaction they want to provoke - that OH experience when one tries the taste of something of high quality.

"Our customers are mostly tourists who spend their summers in Istria, and lately we're also becoming more and more interesting to local wine lovers, mostly people from Zagreb. We work with a very small number of restaurants, but hopefully there will be more interest from them in the future. This year we applied for a wine envelope with which we want to completely modernise the cellar and speed up the process of harvesting and processing grapes, and the conversion of vineyards and the renewal of agricultural machinery is also in the works,'' concluded Sasa Bernobic.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Istrian Kabola Winery Drags Malvazija Wine from Depths of Adriatic

April the 10th, 2021 - The Istrian Kabola winery is sure to attract guests from near and far with the wines it has made and then aged under the surface of the sparkling Adriatic sea.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes, the Istrian Kabola winery has presented its Malvasia (Malvazija) Under the sea from the year 2017. It is a wine that has been aged for a year at a sea depth of 22 metres, in total silence and semi-darkness and kept under pressure at a temperature of seven to twelve degrees Celsius.

As they pointed out from the Istrian Kabola winery itself, unlike the Malvasia of the same year that was aged in the cellar in Canedol near Momjan, this limited edition of 200 bottles has totally kept its freshness.

"This is a good way to check the quality of our Malvasia, to see what the wine tells us after undergoing this sort of treatment, and it's a special feeling when after a year you pull it up out of the depths of the sea and taste it right on the shoreline.

It's a real pleasure for us winemakers, and it's a special experience for our guests when they discover new sorts in Malvasia from their original bottles onto which shells have attached themselves,'' explained Marino Markezic, the owner of the Istrian Kabola winery, who has dropped Malvasia wine down into cages in the Adriatic four times now.

Back in March this year, this winery opened its doors to visitors and reopened for wine tastings despite the coronavirus pandemic threatening every industry imaginable. With twenty hectares of vineyards at their disposal, Kabola annually produces about 100,000 bottles of bio-certified wine, which they deliver to the very doorsteps of their customers if they so wish.

They also produce their own Kabola olive oil, which is of course also bio-certified. Although the Republic of Croatia is naturally their most important market, their exports have been growing over recent years.

They mainly export to the countries of the European Union and Europe in general - Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, and some of their wine even heads across the Atlantic all the way to the United States of America.

"Our winery is especially attractive to our European guests. We're mostly visited by guests from Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, and on top of that, a large number of guests come from the Asian market. However, since last year, due to the whole situation with the ongoing conronavirus pandemic, which has strongly affected the travel industry, most of our guests are still from right here in Croatia,'' pointed out Markezic.

For more on Croatian wine, click here.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Istrian Winery Rossi Outshines International Competition in Japan

April the 9th, 2021 - The Istrian winery Rossi, which is also a distillery, has become well known in distant Japan, shedding more light from that market onto beautiful Istria and its wide array of local produce.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after winning the quality award at the European competition The Europe Wine & Spirits Trophy, where the Istrian winery Rossi won gold for their Teranino and Amaro Istriano, they decided to see how their products would pass in an international competition and enter the challenging Japan Wine Competition.

The Japanese competition is one that is held once a year, and in which a jury composed of experts from the world of wine and spirits has the task of determining the level of quality of all registered drinks. On a scale of 0 to 5, each registered drink must meet very special criteria, and only those with a grade of five may win gold.

The Istrian winery Rossi proudly found itself in that category three times, with their drinks Teranino, Gin Nostromo and Pelinkovac Epulon. Although the competitors were from mostly other European countries, the winners included producers and winemakers from all over the world.

By winning gold, the Istrian winery Rossi has quite rightly found itself in the very same prestigious category as the famous Belgian gin Clover Gin Lucky n ° 4 and many more big names in that world from various countries, including Norway.

It is worth mentioning that at the Rossi winery and distillery in Vizinada, in the northwest part of the Istrian peninsula, the story began with winemaking way back in 1885, and today they produce multi-award winning top wines, traditional Istrian brandies, premium craft liqueurs, gin and more.

In addition, the Rossi family who own the winery strategically invests in new and innovative technologies that help them maintain and raise the quality of the products they offer on the market, and in competitions like this one held in Japan, they work to continue spreading the story of the quality of local Croatian products.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Dubrovnik-Neretva County Wineries Moving Into the Spotlight

April 11, 2021 -  Famous for its stunning landscapes, incredible history, and delicious gastronomy, Dubrovnik-Neretva County wineries are also moving into the spotlight. 

The county consists of the only river delta in Croatia, with fertile colorful grounds, delicious gastronomy, and some of the largest vineyards in the whole of Croatia. Some of the most famous wines in the country come from Dalmatia and more specifically Dubrovnik-Neretva County such as Plavac Mali and Pošip. With over 130 autochthonous varieties of wine in Croatia, it's clear why people from all over the world enjoy the local wine.

One of the most famous visitors to the Dubrovnik-Neretva wine region is Boris Johnson, prior to his promotion. He came to Croatia for a quiet getaway with his family and said "nothing can compare to the beauty of Croatia". The family stayed in a hidden villa in Stolovi, which among other things is famous for its wine production! Upon his return, the Prime Minister wrote about his positive impression of Croatia in a column for the Telegraph. Johnson wasn't shy to admit that the red Dingac, known as Croatia's best red wines, was his favorite.  

The first and famous Neretva vineyards which visitors can enjoy the view from the Magistrala road from Opuzen to Dubrovnik were planted in the 18th century. Some of the most popular wineries in Dubrovnik-Neretva County are located on the Pelješac peninsula, as well as in Stolovi, Komarna, and Opuzen. The Meditteranean climate makes the perfect surrounding for quality vine cultivation. On average, the county gets around 2700 hours of sunshine, so you get to enjoy a glass of wine or more with breathtaking views and sunshine! 

Rizman 

The family-owned winery dates back to the 20th century when the first vineyards were planted by the great-grandfather of today's generation of the Štimac family. Over the years, the family has established 22 hectares of vineyards in Komarna, known as the youngest winegrowing area in Croatia. The winery build meets the highest technological standards for the production of wine and 90% of vines belong to the indigenous varieties of Plavac mali and Pošip, together with the somewhat forgotten variety of Tribidrag. 

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Rizman Winery | Rizman Winery Facebook

In case you aren't able to visit the winery, the Rizman rest stop is located just on the side of the Magistrala road on the way to Dubrovnik. But in case you do get to visit, you will not only be able to enjoy some of the best wines Croatia has to offer, but you'll also get to experience breathtaking views of Dubrovnik-Neretva County,

Terra Madre  

One of the youngest wineries in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, with the first vines planted only 13 years ago, in 2008. Since then the winery has gained the prestigious certification for their ideal conditions in an ecological way since the opening in 2013. Terra Madre wines have won a total of 16 prestigious awards, and the one that stands out, in particular, is the Dubrovnik Festiwine Gold Medal. "This award was especially dear to our hearts because it is practically the first competition in our county." 

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Terra Madre Winery | Terra Madre Winery Facebook

In 2019, Terra Madre won the Decanter silver medal for their Plavac Mali premium vintage 2016 production. The award came from a prestigious wine competition in London, UK. The winery itself is located in a stunning location with a view of the Adriatic sea. Nothing else matters when you're sipping on an award-winning glass of wine while looking out at the horizon. 

Vina Deak 

With its unique location in Opuzen, the family-owned winery only got started in the wine business about 10 years ago. Their vision is to combine the tourist offer with the autochthonous products of the Dubrovnik-Neretva region. With their location, Vina Deak offers a lot more than just wine tasting, they offer a whole experience. In 2020, Vina Deak received two awards for their prestigious wines, a silver and a bronze medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards! 

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Vina Deak | Vina Deak Facebook

If you aren't able to visit the winery, make sure to stop at the Deak Wines Rest Stop on the way to Dubrovnik! Visitors have the ability to book daily excursions to explore the Neretva Valley and nearby towns, homemade olive oil tasting, photo safari down the river delta, picnics, and lots more. Their luxurious villa in Stolovi looking over the horizon is Boris Johnson's secret vacation hideaway! 

Vinarija Edivo

Have you ever experienced an underwater winery? Located in Drače, a small village nearby Ston, Vinarija Edivo wanted to create a unique experience for wine lovers. They came up with the idea of immersing bottles and amphorae under the Adriatic Sea, around the Pelješac peninsula. Today, their creation is called The Sea Mystery, the first underwater winery. 

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Grgo Jelavic/PIXSELL

Besides tasting the unique product of love, effort, and time, licensed scuba divers can also take a tour of the underwater winery to get the full and possibly once-in-a-lifetime experience! "Everything is pure Croatian product, one that you will want to take it with you: product with a story that belongs to our land, that people will definitely talk about." 

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 19 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

People outside of the country really want to know more about Croatia. They search for answers online.

Here, we'll try to answer the popular search terms “What is Croatia famous for?” and “What is Croatia known for?”

Most of the people looking for answers to these questions have never been to Croatia. They may have been prompted to ask because they're planning to visit Croatia, they want to come to Croatia, or because they heard about Croatia on the news or from a friend.

What Croatia is known for depends on your perspective. People who live in the country sometimes have a very different view of what Croatia is famous for than the rest of the world. And, after visiting Croatia, people very often leave with a very different opinion of what Croatia is known for than before they came. That's because Croatia is a wonderful country, full of surprises and secrets to discover. And, it's because internet searches don't reveal everything. Luckily, you have Total Croatia News to do that for you.

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


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Croatia is best known globally as a tourist destination. Catching sight of pictures of the country online is enough to make almost anyone want to come. If you've heard about it from a friend, seen the country used in a TV show like Game of Thrones or Succession, or watched a travel show, your mind will be made up. Following such prompts, it's common for Croatia to move to first place on your bucket list. If it's not already, it should be, There are lots of reasons why Croatia is best known for holidays (vacations).

a) Islands


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What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

Within Croatia's tourist offer, its most famous aspect is its islands. Croatia has over a thousand islands - 1246 when you include islets. 48 Croatian islands are inhabited year-round, but many more come to life over the warmer months. Sailing in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the islands, and if you're looking for a place for sailing in the Mediterranean, Croatia is the best choice because of its wealth of islands. These days, existing images of Croatia's islands have been joined by a lot more aerial photography and, when people see these, they instantly fall in love.

b) Beaches


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What is Croatia famous for? Its holidays are famous for their beaches © Szabolcs Emich

Croatia has 5835 kilometres of coastline on the Adriatic Sea - 1,777.3 kilometres of coast on the mainland, and a further 4,058 kilometres of coast around its islands and islets. The Croatian coast is the most indented of the entire Mediterranean. This repeated advance and retreat into the Adriatic forms a landscape littered with exciting, spectacular peninsulas, quiet, hidden bays, and some of the best beaches in the world. There are so many beaches in Croatia, you can find a spot to suit everyone. On the island of Pag and in the Zadar region, you'll find beaches full of young people where the party never stops. Elsewhere, romantic and elegant seafood restaurants hug the shoreline. Beach bars can range from ultra-luxurious to basic and cheap. The beaches themselves can be popular and full of people, facilities, excitement and water sports, or they can be remote, idyllic, and near-deserted, accessible only by boat. Sand, pebble, and stone all line the perfectly crystal-clear seas which are the common feature shared by all.

c) Dubrovnik


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What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

As a backdrop to Game Of Thrones and movies from franchises like Star Wars and James Bond, Dubrovnik is known all over the world. Everybody wants to see it in person, and that's why it's an essential stop-off for so many huge cruise ships in warmer months. But, Dubrovnik's fame did not begin with the invention of film and television. The city was an autonomous city-state for long periods of time in history, and Dubrovnik was known all over Europe – the famous walls which surround the city of Dubrovnik are a testament to a desire to maintain its independent standing for centuries while living in the shadow of expanding, ambitious empires.

d) Heritage


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What is Croatia famous for? Heritage. Pula amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world

The walled city of Dubrovnik is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Croatia's rich architectural and ancient heritage. Diocletian's Palace in Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still the living, breathing centre of life in the city (that people still live within it and it is not preserved in aspic is one of its most charming features and no small reason for its excellent preservation).

Having existed on the line of European defence against the Ottoman empire, Croatia also has many incredible fortresses and castles. The fortresses of Sibenik are well worth seeing if you're visiting Sibenik-Knin County and its excellent coast. A small number of Croatia's best castles exist on the coast, Rijeka's Trsat and Nova Kraljevica Castle is nearby Bakar being two of them. Most of Croatia's best and prettiest castles are actually located in its continental regions which, compared to the coast, remain largely undiscovered by most international tourists.

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Many spectacular castles in the country's continental regions are, for these parts, what is Croatia famous for

Pula amphitheatre (sometimes referred to as Pula Arena) is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A spectacular sight year-round, like Diocletian's Palace, it remains a living part of the city's life, famously hosting an international film festival, concerts by orchestras, opera stars, and famous rock and pop musicians. Over recent years, it has also played a part in the city's music festivals.

e) Music Festivals


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What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

There is a very good reason why the city of Pula leapt massively up the list of most-researched online Croatian destinations over the last decade. It played host to two of the country's most famous international music festivals. Though the music at some of these can be quite niche, the global attention they have brought to the country is simply massive. Clever modern branding and marketing by the experienced international operators who host their festivals in Croatia mean that millions of young people all over the world have seen videos, photos and reviews of Croatia music festivals, each of them set within a spectacular backdrop of seaside Croatia.

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage


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What is Croatia Famous For? Plitvice Lakes, national parks and natural heritage

Known for its chain of 16 terraced lakes and gushing waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes is the oldest, biggest and most famous National Park in Croatia. Everybody wants to see it. And many do. But that's not the be-all and end-all of Croatia's stunning natural beauty. Within the country's diverse topography, you'll find 7 further National Parks and 12 Nature Parks which can be mountain terrain, an archipelago of islands, or vibrant wetlands.

2) Football


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What is Croatia famous for? Football. Seen here, Luka Modric at the 2018 World Cup © Светлана Бекетова

The glittering international careers of Croatian footballers Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Ivan Perišić, Mario Mandžukić, and others have in recent years advertised Croatia as a factory of top-flight footballing talent. They helped put Croatia football on the map with fans of European football. Football fans in Croatia have a very different perception of just how famous Croatian football is to everyone else in the world. If you talk to a Croatian fan about football, it's almost guaranteed that they will remind you of a time (perhaps before either of you were born) when their local or national team beat your local or national team in football. 99% of people will have no idea what they are talking about. The past occasions which prompt this parochial pride pale into insignificance against the Croatian National Football Team's achievement in reaching the World Cup Final of 2018. This monumental occasion brought the eyes of the world on Croatia, extending way beyond the vision of regular football fans. Subsequently, the internet exploded with people asking “Where is Croatia?”

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for

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Croatians are enthusiastic about sports and engage in a wide number of them. The difference in perception between how Croats view the fame this gets them and the reality within the rest of the world is simply huge. Rowing, basketball, wrestling, mixed martial arts, tennis, handball, boxing, waterpolo, ice hockey, skiing and volleyball are just some of the sports in which Croatia has enthusiastically supported individuals and local and national teams. Some of these are regarded as minority sports even in other countries that also pursue them. Croatians don't understand this part. If you say to a Croatian “What is handball? I never heard of that,” they will look at you like you are crazy or of below-average intelligence.

3) Zagreb


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What is Croatia famous for? Its capital city Zagreb is becoming increasingly better known

Over relatively recent years, the Croatian capital has skyrocketed in terms of fame and visitor numbers. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world now come to visit Zagreb each year. Its massive new success can be partly attributed to the rising popularity of international tourism in some areas of Asia (and Zagreb being used as a setting for some television programmes made in some Asian countries) and the massive success of Zagreb's Advent which, after consecutively attaining the title of Best European Christmas Market three times in a row, has become famous throughout the continent and further still. Zagreb's fame is not however restricted to tourism. Zagreb is known for its incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture, its Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and the buildings there, an array of museums and city centre parks and as home to world-famous education and scientific institutions, like to Ruder Boskovic Institute and the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.

4) Olive oil


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What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

Croatian olive oil is the best in the world. Don't just take out word for it! Even the experts say so. In 2020, leading guide Flos Olei voted Istria in northwest Croatia as the world's best olive oil growing region for a sixth consecutive year. Olive oil production is an ancient endeavour in Croatia, and over hundreds of years, the trees have matured, and the growers learned everything there is to know. Olive oil is made throughout a much wider area of Croatia than just Istria, and local differences in climate, variety, and soil all impact the flavour of the oils produced. Croatian has no less than five different olive oils protected at a European level under the designation of their place of origin. These and many other Croatian olive oils are distinct and are among the best you're ever likely to try.

5) There was a war here


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What is Croatia famous for? A relatively recent war left its mark on the country © Modzzak

Under rights granted to the republics of the former Yugoslavia and with a strong mandate from the Croatian people, gained across two national referendums, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic country, with each republic containing a mixture of different ethnicities and indeed many families which themselves were the product of mixed ethnicities. Ethnic tensions and the rise of strong nationalist political voices in each of the former republics and within certain regions of these countries lead to a situation where war became inevitable. The worst of the fighting was suffered within Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and the part of southern Serbia which is now Kosovo. The Croatian War of Independence (known locally as the Homeland War) lasted from 1991 – 1995. The Yugoslav wars of which it was a major part is regarded as the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II. In many cases, this war pitted neighbouring houses or neighbouring villages against each other and sometimes members of the same family could be found on opposing sides. The war left huge damage on the country and its infrastructure, some of which is still visible. Worse still, it had a much greater physical and psychological impact on the population. Some people in Croatia today would rather not talk about the war and would prefer to instead talk about the country's present and future. For other people in Croatia, the war remains something of an obsession. If you are curious about the Croatian War of Independence, it is not advisable to bring it up in conversation when you visit the country unless you know the person you are speaking with extremely well. It is a sensitive subject for many and can unnecessarily provoke strong emotions and painful memories. There are many resources online where you can instead read all about the war, there are good documentary series about it on Youtube and there are several museums in Croatia where you can go and learn more, in Vukovar, Karlovac and in Zagreb.

6) Wine


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What is Croatia famous for? Its wine is some of the best you'll ever try © Plenković

Croatia is not really that famous for wine. Well, not as famous as it should be because Croatia makes some of the greatest wine on the planet. Croatian wine is only really famous to those who have tried it after visiting – you'll never forget it! A growing cabal of Croatian wine enthusiasts are trying their best internationally to spread the word about Croatian wine. However, there isn't really that much space in Croatia to make all the wine it needs to supply its homegrown demands and a greatly increased export market. Therefore, export prices of Croatian wine are quite high and even when it does reach foreign shores, these prices ensure its appreciation only by a select few. There's a popular saying locally that goes something like this “We have enough for ourselves and our guests”. Nevertheless, Croatian wine is frequently awarded at the most prestigious international competitions and expos. White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, cuvee (mixed) and rose wine are all made here and Croatia truly excels at making each. You can find different kinds of grape grown and wine produced in the different regions of Croatia. The best way to learn about Croatian wine is to ask someone who really knows about wine or simply come to Croatia to try it. Or, perhaps better still, don't do that and then there will be more for those of us who live here. Cheers!

7) Croatian produce


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Drniš prsut
is protected at a European level, one of 32 products currently protected in this way and therefore what is Croatia famous for © Tourist Board of Drniš

To date, 32 agricultural and food products from Croatia have attained protection at a European level. These range from different prosciuttos, olive oils and Dalmatian bacon, to pastries and pastas, honey, cheese, turkeys, lamb, cabbages, mandarins, salt, sausages, potatoes and something called Meso 'z tiblice (which took a friend from the region where it's made three days to fully research so he could explain it to me at the levels necessary to write an informed article about it – so, you can research that one online). While some prosciutto, bacon, sausages, olive oil and wine do make it out of Croatia, much of these are snaffled up by a discerning few of those-in-the-know. The rest, you will only really be able to try if you visit. And, there are many other items of Croatian produce which are known which you can also try while here

Truffles


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What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

By weight, one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, truffles are a famous part of the cuisine within some regions of Croatia. They feature heavily in the menu of Istria, which is well known as a region in which both white and black truffles are found and then added to food, oils or other products. Truth be told, this isn't a black and white issue - there are a great number of different types of truffle and they can be found over many different regions in Croatia, including around Zagreb and in Zagreb County. But, you'll need to see a man about a dog if you want to find them yourself.

Vegeta


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What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

Having celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019, the cooking condiment Vegeta is exported and known in many other countries, particularly Croatia's close neighbours. It is popularly put into soups and stews to give them more flavour. Among its ingredients are small pieces of dehydrated vegetables like carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, plus spices, salt and herbs like parsley.

Chocolate


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What is Croatia known for? Chocolate is a big export© Alexander Stein

Though making chocolate is only around a century old in Croatia, Croatian chocolate has grown to become one of its leading manufactured food exports. Some of the most popular bars may be a little heavy on sugar and low on cocoa for more discerning tastes. But, lots of others really like it.

Beer


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What is Croatia famous for? Its beer is becoming more famous internationally © The Garden Brewery

The exploding growth of the Croatian craft ale scene over the last 10 years is something that is likely to have passed you by, unless you're a regular visitor to the country, a beer buff or both. Most of the producers are quite small and production not great enough to make a big splash on international markets. However, even within a craft-flooded current market, Croatian beer is becoming more widely known – in one poll, the Zagreb-based Garden Brewery was in 2020 voted Europe's Best Brewery for the second consecutive year

8) Innovation


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What is Croatia famous for? Pioneers, inventors and innovation. Nikola Tesla was born here

From the parachute, fingerprinting, the retractable pen and the tungsten filament electric light-bulb to the torpedo, modern seismology, the World Health Oganisation and the cravat (a necktie, and the precursor to the tie worn by many today), Croatia has gifted many innovations to the world. The list of pioneers - scientists, artists, researchers and inventors - who were born here throughout history is long. And, although innovation is not currently regarded as experiencing a golden period in Croatia, there are still some Croatian innovators whose impact is felt globally, such as electric hypercar maker Mate Rimac.

9) Being poor


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What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

The minimum wage in Croatia is among the lowest in Europe. Croatian language media is constantly filled with stories about corruption. There is a huge state apparatus in which key (if not most) positions are regarded to be politically or personally-motivated appointments. This leads to a lack of opportunity for Croatia's highly educated young people. Many emigrate for better pay and better opportunities. This leads to a brain drain and affects the country's demographics considerably (if it usually the best educated, the ablest and the youngest Croatian adults who emigrate). Many of those who stay are influenced by the stories of widespread corruption and lack of opportunity and are therefore lethargic in their work, leading to a lack of productivity. A considerable part of the Croatian economy is based on tourism which remains largely seasonal.

10) People want to live in Croatia


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What is Croatia famous for? People want to come and live here. No, really.

Yes, despite many younger Croatians leaving or dreaming of leaving and despite the low wages, many people who are not from Croatia dream about living here. Of course, it's an all too familiar scenario that you go on holiday somewhere and while sitting at a seafood restaurant in sight of a glorious sunset, having had a few too many glasses of the local wine, you fall in love with Miguel or however the waiter is called who served it and Miguel's homeland. But, with Croatia, this is actually no passing fancy, no idle holiday dream. People do decide to move here. And not just for the sunset and Miguel (nobody in Croatia is called Miguel - Ed).

Croatia may be known for being poor, but it also has one of the best lifestyles in Europe. That it's cafe terraces are usually full to capacity tells you something about the work to living ratio. Croatians are not just spectators of sport, many enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This informs everything from their pastimes to their diet. There are great facilities for exercise and sport, wonderful nature close by whichever part of the country you're in. You can escape into somewhere wonderful and unknown at a moment's notice. The country is well connected internally by brilliant roads and motorways, reliable intercity buses and an international train network. The tourism industry ensures that multiple airports across Croatia can connect you to almost anywhere you want to go, and major international airports in Belgrade and Budapest, just a couple of hours away, fly to some extremely exotic locations. There are a wealth of fascinating neighbour countries on your doorstep to explore on a day trip or weekend and superfast broadband is being rolled out over the entire country. This is perhaps one of the reasons Croatia has been heralded as one of the world's best options for Digital Nomads. In a few years, when we ask what is Croatia famous far, they could be one of the answers.

What is Croatia famous for, but only after you've visited

Some things you experience when you visit Croatia come as a complete surprise. Most would simply never be aware of them until they visit. They are usually top of the list of things you want to do when you come back to Croatia.

Gastronomy


fritaja_sparoge_1-maja-danica-pecanic_1600x900ntbbbbb.jpgGastronomy is only one of the things what is Croatia known for only after you've visited © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board

Despite a few famous TV chefs having visited and filmed in Croatia over the years, Croatian gastronomy remains largely unknown to almost everyone who's never been to Croatia. That's a shame because you can find some fine food here. Croatia has increased its Michelin-starred and Michelin-recommended restaurants tenfold over recent years. But, perhaps the bigger story is the traditional cuisine which varies greatly within the countries different regions. From the gut-busting barbecue grills and the classic Mediterranean fare of Dalmatia to the pasta, asparagus and truffles of Istria to the sausages and paprika-rich stews of Slavonia and the best smoked and preserved meats of the region, there's an untold amount of secret Croatian gastronomy to discover.

Coffee


restaurant-3815076_1280.jpgWhat is Croatia known for? Well, to locals, it's famous for coffee - not just a drink, it's a ritual

Croatians are passionate about coffee and about going for coffee. It's a beloved ritual here. Going for coffee in Croatia is often about much more than having coffee. It's an integral part of socialising, catching up and sometimes being seen. It doesn't always involve coffee either. Sometimes, you'll be invited for coffee, only to end up ordering beer. It's not about the coffee. Although, the standard of coffee in Croatia, and the places where you drink it, is usually really good.

The misapprehension: What is Croatia known for (if you are a Croatian living in Croatia)

Handball, music

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Croatian Wines Win 86 Medals at International Wine Challenge 2020

November 28, 2020 - Another great recognition for Croatian winemakers, as Croatian wines win 86 medals at International Wine Challenge 2020. 

Jutarnji List reports that at the prestigious wine competition International Wine Challenge 2020, Croatian wines excelled once again, winning 86 medals. This competition is held in two parts, and on Thursday, the awards of the second part of the competition were announced, in which Croatian wines won 1 gold, 28 silver, 39 bronze medals, and as many as 18 recommendations.

The Istrian winery Monte Rosso has the most reason to celebrate in the autumn edition of one of the strictest and most rigorous international wine competitions in terms of judging, winning the only gold and the corresponding 95 points for 2019 Malvasia. In the previous edition of this year's competition, the gold was won by Iločki podrumi with their 2018 Graševina vrh. Thus, the highest medals at IWC 2020 went to the two most represented domestic varieties.

The Krajančić winery, Luka Krajančić, achieved exceptional success with 5 silver medals. Most of them, or 93 points, were won by Pošip Intrada ’19 wine. Ninety-two points went to Pošip macerirano ’16 and Pošip Statut ’16, and 90 points each for Opera ’19 and Moro ’19 wines. Kozlović winery won three silver medals, 90 points for Malvasia '18, 91 points for Malvasia Selection '17 and 92 points for Malvasia Santa Lucia '16, while Rossi winery won 90 points each for the Malvasia '19 and Malvasia Templar wines and 91 points for the Chardonnay Riserva ’17. Among the most significant successes are two silver medals for Agrolaguna wineries, Fakin and Testament, and several wines in the silver medals class with the highest scores of 93 points, namely Andrea Cosetto Prima Luce '19, Testament Pošip '19 and Benvenuti San Salvatore Muscat '15, reports Jutarnji list.

At this autumn edition of the International Wine Awards, the winners from 14 countries were selected and declared the best wines, proving to be the absolute top in their categories after intense blind tasting. Six of these excellent wines have been named champions by the co-chairs of the International Wine Challenge, a group of the world’s six best wine tasters.

Chardonnay from Tasmania, the Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2018, won over wines from more than 50 countries that were awarded the Champion White Trophy at this year’s competition. Australia was one of the countries with the best performance, with four wines ranked in the top 30.

For the first time in the history of the International Wine Challenge, Georgian producer Tbilvino was awarded Champion 2020 for its wine produced from the indigenous Saperavi grape variety. Portugal was the best this year with four wines on the list including Justino’s overall winner Madeira Terrantez 1978, which was awarded the highest Champion of Champions award.

See the complete list of awarded wines HERE.

Recall that at this year's 17th edition of the Decanter World Wine Awards, a total of 226 Croatian wines received one of the Decanter labels. Of these, Croatia has three platinum medals, 11 gold, 68 silver and 88 bronze medals and 56 Decanter recommendations.

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

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

226 Croatian Wines Received Decanter Labels at Decanter World Wine Awards

September 23, 2020 - After a month of judging, the long-awaited results of the 17th edition of the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 have been announced. This year, 226 Croatian wines received Decanter labels, including platinum, gold, silver, bronze, and recommendations. 

HRTurizam reports that for 28 consecutive days in August, 116 of the world’s leading wine experts, including 37 wine masters and nine Master Sommeliers, blindly tasted 16,518 wines under strict safety guidelines for COVID-19, resulting in a total of the top 50, 178 platinum, 537 gold, 5,234 silver, and 7,508 bronze medals.

The best wine regions this year are France, Italy, and Australia.

This year, a total of 226 Croatian wines received one of the Decanter labels. Croatia was given three platinum medals, 11 gold, 68 silver, 88 bronze labels, and 56 Decanter recommendations.

It is important to point out that Croatia has not had a single wine in the platinum category for two years in a row, and this year, Croatia now has three.

At next year's awards, Croatia will try to reach the top of Decanter's list with at least one wine in the Best in Show category or the top 50 best wines in the world.

Platinum medals:

 Kozlović Selection Malvazija 2017 

 Kutjevo Graševina de Gotho 2018

 Catunnar Nonno 4 Terre 2015

Gold medals:

 Tomaz Barbarossa Teran 2017

 Vina Laguna Festigia Castello 2016

 Fakin Teran 2019

 Rossi Templara Riserva Malvazija 2017

 Pilato Istrian Malvazija 2019

 Terzolo Campi del Bosco 2019

 Vina Laguna Festigia Istrian Malvazija 2016

 Tomaz Sesto Senso Istrian Malvazija 2017

 Testament Pošip 2019

 Štampar Urban White NV sparkling wine

 Testament Babić Dalmatian Dog 2016

You can see the list of all awarded Croatian wines HERE.

The Decanter World Wine Awards is known as the largest and most influential wine competition globally, which is judged by the top wine experts from around the globe through a rigorous judging process.

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