Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Virtual Wine Tasting Celebrating Women in Wine from Croatia and US

March 8, 2022 - To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Consulate General of the Republic of Croatia, Chicago, Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., and EventLab.hr organized a virtual wine tasting this Sunday of wine from Croatia made by three women winemakers.

Displaying the quality of Croatian winemaking and the role wine makes in Croatian culture, the wines were tasted by three US wine professionals. All nine women showed impressive backgrounds in their respective degrees and experiences, from business and oenology to WSET certification, wine judging, education, and sommeliers.

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Participants in 2022 Woman of Wine, Source: Croatian Premium Wine 

The event was opened by Sanja Laković, Consul General of the Republic of Croatia, Chicago who explained the long winemaking history in Croatia and stated that “even during the pandemic, wine found a way in events like this to connect people. Wine makes a big impact on the Croatian economy, I am happy to say that today we find a growing number of women in the Croatian wine making industry.” 

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Sonja Laković, Consul General of the Republic of Croatia, Chicago, opened the event, making a patriotic statement with a suit with Glagolitic letters.

Source: Croatian Premium Wine 

Mirena Bagur, the co-founder of Croatian Premium Wine, the online store with 70+ Croatian wines shipped to the US, moderated the event and gave an overview of Croatia, its wine regions, and its indigenous varieties.  She encouraged all to pay tribute to the people of Ukraine and raise a glass for peace, which immediately got a response from the audience, including a comment by Carol Ann Gartner “Yes, toast for peace. Hvala for acknowledging Ukraine.” 

Croatian Winemakers and American Tasters

Participating winemakers included Jasna Antunović-Turk, owner/winemaker of Antunovic Vina, Dalj, Slavonia;  Eva Krištof, wine production manager, Dubrovacki Podrumi, Konavle; and Gorana Dominikovic, assistant winemaker of Terra Madre Winery, Komarna Appellation. While the winemakers commented on their decisions to work in the wine industry, their American colleagues focused on tasting notes and conversations about Croatian wine in the US. Below are excerpts from the tastings. 

Anyone interested to hear the full tasting video can send a request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The wines are available for shipping to most US states, and in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th, the discount for these wines is extended till Friday, March 11 at midnight Eastern Time. 

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Croatian and American Women of Wine, Source: Croatian Premium Wine

Ksenija Matić, based in Dubrovnik, is a wine judge, sommelier, and co-founder of Eventlab.hr, a Dubrovnik-based company focused on organizing concerts and events, and she also teaches a summer semester wine class at the Rochester Institute of Technology Dubrovnik campus. Ksenija introduced the tasting notes for the first wine, Tango with Life, Antunovic Vina, a non-vintage red blend made of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, applauding its freshness and liveliness. 

The second red wine was Zinfandel, which originated in Croatia by the name Crljenak or Tribidrag.  Luciana Braz, based in Seattle, Washington, an engineer by training and wine lover with a WSET diploma entry approved status, who created a wine talk Alexa skill for audio, is an international wine observer who has visited over 100 appellations across the globe.  Luciana tasted  Zinfandel/Crljenak 2016, Dubrovacki Podrumi, stating that the wine is smooth and a great choice to take to a party where everyone will like it.

Explaining the benefits of pouring a glass of wine at a time while preserving a bottle, by demoing how to use the Coravin Pivot, Mirena introduced Lindsay Buck, WSET3, and a manager of Coravin marketplaces. Lindsay explained the company’s offering including the Timeless device and an explanation of their marketplace, including the Coravin Wine Shop, a wine selection to inspire exploration for novices and long-time wine lovers, where she has included three wines from Croatia.  

The last wine and the most robust red wine was  Plavac Mali Premium 2016, Terra Madre Winery, which received a Decanter Silver from the London-based awards. The American Wine Society wine judge, and the director of Education and oenologist from Cornell, Annemarie L. Morse, described the wine as robust for food pairing. 

For more information on Croatian wines in the US, go to: www.CroatianpremiumWine.com online store with 70+ indigenous Croatian wines shipped to most US states.

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Wines by women winemakers from Vina Antunović, Dubrovački Podrumi, and Terra Madre Winery. Source: Croatian Premium Wine 

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

5 Croatian Rosés Featured in Forbes Magazine

September 2, 2021 - 2021 is shaping up to be a great year for Croatian wines, thanks to the growing group of international Croatian wine enthusiasts who brought the International Pošip Day (May 21, 2021) and International Plavac Mali Day (September 21, 2021) to life this year. Meanwhile, another Croatian wine is starting to steal the spotlight, and it is none other than Croatian rosés!

Lana Bortolot, a certified wine and spirit expert who has been following trends in the wine industry for many years has given the beautiful Dalmatian rosés a big nod. The wine enthusiast, who also writes for top magazines and newspapers including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune has recently published an article in Forbes praising the pink wines of Croatia and called it the "new transitional summer into fall wines". 

While there are still many who are unfamiliar with Croatian rosés, Mirena Bagur, the co-founder of the USA-based Croatian Premium Wine Imports Inc., claims that rosés have already been well-established in Croatia for more than a decade or so. Locally known as opolo, the rosé varieties are widely produced in the Dalmatian wine-growing areas. Croatian rosés are known for their transparent ruby hues with deep hints of mature red and black fruits and savoury herbal undertones. They are usually made from Plavac Mali - a special grape variety indigenous to Croatia. Due to the popularity of Plavac Mali, enthusiasts from all over the world marked September 21, 2021, as the first International Plavac Mali Day.

Clifford Rames, a sommelier in New York and a brand ambassador for Croatian wines pointed out the similarity of Croatian rosés with those produced from the south of France. "They are built with a sturdier structure and a moderate tannic grip making them ideal candidates for the grill and beyond." According to him, even though Dalmatians usually enjoy their rosés with locally grilled cuisines such as fish, squid, and lamb over open olive-wood fires, Americans would enjoy pairing them with barbecued meats, burgers, tuna, and portabello mushrooms - dishes which tend to overpower the more delicate French counterpart. Clifford also introduced Darnekuša, Lasina, and Plavina, other varieties that are also indigenous to Croatia, which produce a lighter, coral pink rosés that can compete against Provencial rosés - both price-wise and quality-wise.

Mirena Bagur also additionally commented that each Croatian winemaker has their own version of rosé from Plavac Mali. According to her, Plavac Mali vines that were grown next to each other but processed by different winemakers could result in two very distinctive tastes and may easily be mistaken to be grown from different areas or even different varieties. "They have one thing in common, however, is that because of the tannic structure of Croatian rosés, they are best consumed at least after a year", she added.

Here is Lana's 5 recommended Croatian rosés to rid your summer blues: 

Rizman “Rusula” 2019, Komarna

Grown in Southern Croatia, Rusula is made with 85% Plavac Mali and 15% Syrah. The pinkish tangerine color comes with hints of strawberries and herbs.

Saints Hills “St. Heels” 2019, Dingac 

Lana advises not to get fooled by the playful stiletto heel on the bottle label because this wine is made from pure Plavac Mali with strong cherry and strawberry flavors that will knock your socks off.

Terra Madre “M” Plavac Mali Rose 2019, Komarna

Like Rizman's Rusula, M is produced from 85% Plavac Mali and 15% Syrah, but it boasts a completely different flavour profile than the former. Thanks to the sour cherries and rhubarb which make the wine tart and crisp, this wine is pleasing to the palate. 

Vina Deak Ćaća Moj 2018, Komarna 

This savoury wine is made of 100% Plavac Mali with overtones of dried red fruits, herbs, and vegetables so it pairs well with charcuterie and grilled meats or vegetables.

Volarevic “La Chic!” 2019, Komarna

Another wine containing 100% Plavac Mali, its distinctive savoury taste comes from traces of garden fruits like rhubarb and tomato leaves. It's great paired with food but also good on its own. 

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

For more about Croatia. CLICK HERE.

 

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, 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.

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