Friday, 29 January 2021

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

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

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

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

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


Wine tasting / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

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

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

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

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


Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

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

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

2021 is crucial for winemaking

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

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


Vineyard in Istria / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

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

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Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Vinart Grand Tasting and Vinart Petite Tasting Events Announced

“We want to encourage and develop excellence, and therefore we have invested a lot of effort in the selection of best wines, the quality of our workshops and the overall experience," said the creator of the project and the chief organizer Saša Špiranec at the presentation of Vinart Grand Tasting, a wine festival which will be held for the fourth time on March 1 and 2 at Lauba in Zagreb.

This time, 120 winemakers have been selected for the two-day wine festival, while in late February the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton will host as many as 20 specialised workshops and the first edition of Vinart Petite Tasting, which is one of the new projects from Vinart's team. All in all, it will be full two weeks entirely dedicated to wines.


Grand Tasting is an event which has been marked on calendars of wine fans and wine professionals for the fourth year in a row, and functions as an invitation festival where organisers host the best and most interesting Croatian winemakers and their colleagues from other countries. In the same vein, the day before the official start of the festival, on February 28, the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton will host the first topical festival called Vinart Petite Tasting, which will present wines from the countries in the region, i.e. wines from newer members of the European Union, named the New Europe Terroirs. Visitors will be shown with 130 wine labels from 12 countries: Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova and Turkey – which all strongly express the unique microclimatic and pedological conditions in which they are created.


"Most of the wines and winemakers that will come are unknown to the Croatian wine circles, so we believe that we are bringing something unique, new and different," said Špiranec, adding that in preparing the wine list for Petite Tasting they have selected mainly local autochthonous varieties, although there are some international ones as well. "The key elements were the excellent results in the given area and unique expression," explained Špiranec.

Some of the labels presented will be Veliko Belo (Movia), Rebula (Jakončič), Renski Rizling (Protner), Mjesečar (Brkić), Blatina Carsus (Škegro), Graffiti (Bjelica), Kremen Kamen (Matalj), Ryzlink Vlašski (Gala), Takvkveri (Gotsa), Feteasca Neagra (Bala Geza), Franz Ferdinand (Markus), Ocu (Boškinac), Santa Elizabeta (Benvenuti) and many, many others.


This year, the festival will also host a prestigious international name from the wine circles – Anthony Rose, who writes about wines for Decanter and Independent, and who is the vice president of the Decanter World Wine Awards Australia panel. This will be an excellent opportunity for Croatia to present him with the selection of its best wines.


Wine professionals and wine fans will be able to attend exciting wine workshops even before the festival starts, as early as from February 22, and tickets for them are already available for sale at the Vinart Grand Tasting website. At the festival itself, the visitors will have available a pop-up wine shop with the presented wines, and for every festival ticket, you buy there will be discounts for the pop-up wine shop or for using taxi services.

More news about Croatian wines can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Vinart Grand Tasting Coming to Lauba Again

Zagreb will on March 2 and 3 see the third edition of the Vinart Grand Tasting festival. It is an invitational festival held in the Lauba gallery and organized by a leading Croatian wine expert, Saša Špiranec