Saturday, 9 July 2022

Winemakers, Croatian Diaspora from 16 Countries Gather for G2 DiWine Summer

The eighth edition of the business conference MEETING G2 - "DiWine
Summer" was held in Zagreb

About a hundred guests from 16 countries of the world, top winemakers in
two panels, in total

ZAGREB, July 9, 2022 - Traditional and famous MEETING G2 conference,
which connects business people from Croatia and Croatian diaspora, was
held in Zagreb this year under the name "DiWine Summer". Almost a
hundred guests from 16 countries from all over the world gathered in the
hall of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, as the host and partner of the
Conference. Two attractive wine panels and a total of 15 top panelists
and speakers made this conference interesting and attractive. The whole
commendable and useful conference was accompanied by a few glasses of
local wine and enriched by the promotion of excellent Croatian wines,
and ended with a festive dinner, which was graced by the Zaprešić

At the very beginning, the president of the MG2 Association Antun
Krešimir Buterin and the director of Matica Mijo Marić greeted those
present, and the special speaker was the guest from Australia, Luke
Jurcevic. Among other things, this successful entrepreneur and president
of the Western Australian-Croatian Chamber of Commerce spoke about
connecting Australian and New Zealand winemakers of Croatian origin, and
one of them - Dennis Yagmich - sent a video message to the participants
from his winery "Yagmich Estate".

The highlight of the meeting was the part called "Who's who in G2",
which is already a well-known part of this Conference, during which all
those gathered briefly introduce themselves to each other, in order to
get to know each other more easily and enable faster business
networking. This year it was led by the former president of MG2, Josip
Hrgetić, and the first to say a few words about himself was the
ambassador of the Republic of Austria to the Republic of Croatia, Dr.
Josef Markus Wuketich, a Croat from Gradišće. This was followed by two
extraordinary panels moderated by the editor of the wine magazine
"Vinum.In" Dijana Grgić, with occasional refreshments with a glass of
sparkling wine.

The first panel entitled "Croatia on the wine map of the world" was
attended by famous and award-winning Croatian winemakers Mateja Žužić
from Winery "Jagunić", Boris Vuglec from Vuglec Breg, Mladen Papak from
"Vina Papak Ilok" and Janko Kezele, representative of "Vina Kezele" ",
while Juraj Sladić from Winery "Testament" responded via video message.

Papak pointed out that domestic winemakers have excellent wines, but we
have a problem with quantity, and that's why we need an association. As
an excellent example of association, Kezele mentioned the Moslavina
variety Škrlet, which had been neglected for years, and all of them
were promoted independently. "We connected about 10 years ago, sales are
now twice as high, and Škrlet is more and more popular", boasted Kezele
and welcomed the recent changes to the Wine Law, which divided Croatia
into only four regions, which will facilitate foreign promotion. Vuglec
and Žužić added that our autochthonous varieties especially have a
bright future, and that tourists coming to Croatia want to taste that
autochthonousness. "Our varieties are wonderful, and there is no reason
why the world should not recognize them," added Žužić. Sladić said
in a video message that our winemakers will never win the match of
volume and low prices, but that they must focus on premium wines and
quality. "We need to take the best, and from our autochthonous varieties
produce modern drinkable wines understandable to the world market". All
the panelists agreed that Croatia is practically still an unknown
country on the wine map of the world, and that as a tourist country, it
must be able to explain to guests "that wine is part of our identity and
culture, that we are a country of good wines and that each of our guests
must try them". Croatia is making serious strides in winemaking, they
concluded and said: "winemakers make Croatia better".

In accordance with the long-standing practice of Meeting G2, at whose
conferences business people from Croatia and the world always gather,
the second panel "Croatian winemakers in the world" gathered Croatian
winemakers and wine experts from abroad. Mate Klikovits from the Mate
Winery, as a Croat from Austria, and Bruno Alexander Gantenbrink, a
German, owner of the Slavonian company Auric Barrels, which produces
wine barrels from Slavonian oak, took part in the panel live in the
hall. Three speakers joined the panel live, digitally with the help of
Zoom: Ivo Jeramaz - head winemaker of the famous California winery
"Grgich Hills" of our expatriate Miljenko Grgich, Mirena Bagur - owner
of the American company "Croatian Premium Wine Imports" from Boston,
which has been importing for several years Croatian wines in the USA,
and Saša Muradori who does the same in Canada through his company
"Croatia Unpacked".

Jeramaz says that he is happy that the Croats continued to grow
autochthonous varieties. "We cannot compete with Chile and Australia in
the production of well-known varieties. The greatest treasure of wine
Croatia is autochthonousness", said the head winemaker of the famous
winery Grgich from Napa Valley. Bagur is satisfied with the increase in
the quality of Croatian wines, and the price-quality ratio is getting
better. However, he believes that we still need to work on marketing and
branding because Croatia is "unfortunately not yet perceived as a wine
destination" in the world. Muradori from Canada also called on the
association of winemakers and branding of wine regions, while Jeramaz
suggested that American sommeliers should be invited to Croatia, because
he is sure that they will "fall in love with our wines". Gantenbrink, as
the owner of the Našić company "Auric Barrels", asserted that
Slavonian forests, especially oak, are perhaps the best in Europe and
that this can also help in the complete branding of Croatian wines. "Be
unique, unique, unique," Gantenbrink told the winemakers.

Wine writer and journalist Željko Garmaz also sent a pre-recorded video
message to the gathering, who, interestingly, is not a supporter of the
thesis that our wines must be exported. "First of all, they should be of
top quality, which they prove year after year, and they must be a lure
that will make tourists come to Croatia even more", Garmaz believes.

Two wine panels weren't all, though! "In vino veritas" is the title of
the closing speech of the advisor to the Croatian Minister of
Agriculture and distinguished professor from the Faculty of Agriculture,
Ivo Grgić, who compared winemaking and viticulture to marriage - it is
necessary to give a lot, in order to get a lot. "Croatia has the best
country with the best people, and let's try to cover domestic demand
with wines first, in order to reduce imports. Winemakers should be
ambassadors of Croatia and all that is beautiful. Tourists are looking
less and less for sun and sea, and more and more for food and wine,"
concluded prof. Grgić. Something completely different for the end of
the Conference, which left a deep impression on everyone gathered was an
inspiring story full of emotions and positive patriotism that brought
tears to the part of the audience. It was told by a man who, with a
Scots friend, became the first Croat to row across the Atlantic, and in
the process not only defeated the ocean, but also himself, storms and
other adversities on a months-long journey, equipped only with oars and
a seven-meter boat! Croatian veteran and retired officer of the Croatian
Army, Werner Ilić, told his incredible life story that began in
Germany, continued in the USA, and has continued in Croatia since the
first day of the Homeland War.

The eighth MG2 conference called "DiWine Summer" was an evening that
will be remembered for a long time. It brought new business
collaborations and friendships, and for some, as longtime friends and
guests testified, it will probably be a business turning point in their
lives! Namely, many experienced their successful turning point precisely
at one of the earlier meetings of MEETING G2.

The conference ended with a gala dinner, which in a mini wine lottery -
thanks to the donation of Mate Klikovits and Luke Jurcevic - delighted a
dozen lucky winners with premium wines from Austria and Australia.
During the dinner there were tastings of wines thanks to our generous
panelists. The participants were entertained by the instrumental group
Robostrop & the CEO, and they were also greeted by members of the
globally popular Zaprešić Boysi group. Saša Pleše and songwriter
Marko Novosel told live the details of the cooperation with the
Association Meeting G2 and the global initiative One Croatia - during
the making of the video for their latest hit - the song "Jedna domovina"
dedicated to the Croatian diaspora. At the end of the evening, the
organizers of Meeting G2 did not hide their enthusiasm for another
successful business conference.

Follow us for more, via the newsletter and our website"> [4], where you can find a photo gallery of the event.
We will publish stories and thoughts from the conference, introduce our
panelists and guests. And recordings of the conference is coming soon
for everyone who missed it!


Monday, 3 June 2019

Connect the Diaspora: G2 Meeting Next Generation 5th Edition in Zagreb in November

June 3, 2019 - Momentum is building in the relationship between the Croatian diaspora and the entrepreneurs in Croatia, as G2, Meeting Next Generation, returns for its 5th edition later this year.

One of the more interesting dynamics in Croatia in recent times has been the attempt to engage the business potential of Croatia's rich and influential diaspora with entrepreneurs in the Homeland. More than 30 billion euro has been sent to Croatia from the diaspora since 1991 and last year diaspora remittances exceeded foreign investment into the country. 

The recent 2nd International Conference on Diaspora Tourism in Split was an unqualified success, and the many speakers talking about their successful return to Croatia filled the room with positivity and great connections. As a foreign fly on the wall of the conference, here were my impressions on a fascinating couple of days in Split

It is, however, not the only diaspora conference in the Croatian calendar... 

Last November, I attended G2.4, Meeting Second Generation, a business-oriented conference connecting opportunities between the diaspora and local entrepreneurs. The G2 was in its fourth year, and I was impressed both at the positivity and also the opportunities that seemed to be there. The relationship between the diaspora and the Homeland is growing, and - just as in Split - it was a pleasure to observe progress from distance

This year's G2 conference will take place one more in Zagreb, from November 4-6, as has been announced on the official G2 website:

This year, the fifth Meeting G2 conference will be held in November. Please mark this down in your calendars from the 4th to the 6th of November and make the most of the time to investigate business opportunities and potential business partners. Last year, more than 200 participants attended the event, including more than 70 representatives of Croatian owned businesses from all around the world. This year, we expect an even larger turnout to attend the event to voice their opinions on the goals of the Conference, build a great atmosphere and create a story that connects all Croatians around the world. We will brief you about the conference program and early bird prices.


A multidisciplinary team of Croatians both in our Homeland and abroad whose main goal is to connect business people from Croatia and its diáspora in order to enhance the diaspora’s investment in the Homeland.


Because we know that Croatia has enormous potential which is still to be developed with its already fantastic quality of life and because we believe that Croatia’s population is 8 million people and not just 4.5!


To connect Croatians abroad with people and business opportunities in Croatia via practical online and offline knowledge-sharing, matchmaking and networking forums.


A future where possibilities, opportunities and dreams of doing business with or in the homeland will drive a new era of Croatian economic development, growth and productivity.

To learn more about the 2019 G2 conference, visit the official website