Sunday, 18 December 2022

WineOs - 8th Edition of Osijek Wine Fair Featuring Exclusive Workshops

December 18, 2022 - The New Year is approaching, and with it, a real treat for true hedonists - WineOS. The eighth edition of the fair of wine, delicacies, and pleasant living will once again offer its visitors exciting content and the best wines and delicacies from eastern Croatia, as well as guests from other parts of Croatia and abroad. It is happening at the traditional Gradski Vrt venue in Osijek.

As SiB writes, one of the biggest lures for many wine lovers will be the wine workshops organised by the famous wine author Željko Garmaz. Speaking of popular wine stories, which regularly attract guests to WineOS, the biggest novelty is that starting next year, there will be even more workshops, and they will take place over three days, January 12, 13, and 14. Therefore, eleven excellent workshops await on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, featuring interesting, exclusive, and attractive topics, winemakers, and wines.

Three different topics will be explored on the first day, Thursday, January 12. At 3 p.m., representatives of Belje, one of the largest and most important wineries in eastern Croatia, will go on a journey through time into the wine past. That is, of course, tasting archival wines with interesting stories around their creation. From 4:30 p.m., sommelier Klaudio Jurčić, who has ventured into the wine industry, will talk about his friendships with winemakers while the guests are tasting his wines. The last workshop of the day, which starts at 6 p.m., is also a treat and will lure all true wine lovers. The famous Hungarian winemaker from Villany, Attila Gera, will present a vertical of his black coupage from the Kopar location.

On Friday, January 13, four workshops are scheduled, and the program will be opened at 1 p.m. by Gianfranco Kozlović with a vertical of his malvasia. At 2:30 p.m., all visitors will have the opportunity to meet another Istrian, Bruno Trapan, and his Uroboros, or aged malvasia. From Istria, at 4 p.m., the visitors can move to Fruška Gora and the Erdevik winery, which will present a vertical of its award-winning Omnibus Lector chardonnay. From 5.30 p.m., the story of the village of Umčani from the Vrgorac region and the Gašpar brothers will round it all up.

On Saturday, January 14, four unique workshops will take place as well. At 1:00 p.m., the visitors will have the opportunity to get to know the top-quality wines from the Croatian winery of the famous Mike Grgich. An hour and a half later, the story about the expansion of the Galić winery in Dalmatia and getting to know the "sea ego" of Jozo Galić is on the schedule. At 4:00 p.m., another treat for lovers of unique and different wines – a workshop of kadarka from Oszkár Maurer's cellar. The end of the programme is dedicated to the Herzegovinian winery Nuić and the native variety trnjak.

Finally, let's note that tickets can only be purchased in advance at the Viniti wine shop. Reservations can be made by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 098/1747-108. The price of individual tickets is HRK 150 or HRK 200 (depending on the workshop), while daily packages cost HRK 500 each. There are 20 tickets for each workshop, so get in touch as soon as possible to reserve your spot! You can find more information about the workshops on the WineOS website.

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

7th WineOS Event - An Osijek Success!

February 1, 2022 - The 7th WineOS event was held last weekend with over 100 exhibitors from Croatia and its neighbors. 

The 7th edition of the international fair of wine, delicacies, and pleasant living was held in Osijek last weekend. Ninety exhibition spaces with over a hundred exhibitors from Croatia and neighboring countries were set up on more than 1,900 square meters of the City Garden hall. Several guests and exhibitors once again had the opportunity to meet new people, old friends, learn something new, make business contacts, and enjoy wine and various delicacies.


During the fair's official opening on Friday, January 28, the speakers expressed satisfaction that this event is being held despite challenging times.

"We had a very short deadline to prepare for the fair, and I am very pleased that we are all here today and that we managed to prepare everything on time," said Boris Ocić, president of the Decanter association, which organized the event. He also thanked the partners and sponsors, especially all the Organizing Committee colleagues who managed to make a miracle in just a few weeks.


Speakers pointed out that the Croatian wine scene is living life to the fullest, even in difficult times. Thus, the president of the Graševina Croatica association, Josip Pavić, reiterated that WineOS is currently the largest event of its kind in our wine region and that he has a great desire soon to become the largest in the whole of Croatia. He was followed by the Deputy President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Dragan Kovačević, who emphasized the quality of our wines, illustrating this with the fact that the average price of Croatian wines in exports is three times higher than the average price of imported wines. He especially emphasized the exceptional quality of Graševina as the essential variety of our wine region.


The President of the City Council of Osijek, Vladimir Ham, commented on the importance of WineOS as a top tourist event. He pointed out that this fair is an essential piece in the mosaic of promoting Osijek as a destination in which one lives comfortably according to the name of the event. The fair was officially opened by Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Ivan Anušić, who praised the organizers' efforts from the stage. He also sent a message to all those involved in promoting eno-gastro tourism that the county will support them as a true partner.


"Osijek-Baranja County is here and will always be there with the event organizers who promote everything we have set as development goals, primarily the economy, agriculture, excellent food and wine, and the overall tourist offer," said Anušić. 



With the promotion of wine producers and delicacies from eastern Croatia, other Croatian wine regions, and neighboring countries, the two fair days also featured professional wine workshops and a cooking show in which local chefs prepared excellent snacks. Those present could see and try how Tomica Đukić, Igor Vlatković, Saša Vojnović, Mateo Meković and Nebojša Rajković cook. In addition, it should be noted that the evening before the start of WineOS, a gala dinner was held at the Waldinger restaurant where guests could enjoy top-quality bites prepared by our famous chef Goran Kočiš. His gastronomic creations were accompanied by the wines of the wineries: Krauthaker, Belje, Iločki podrumi, Apolitico, Kalazić, and Erdutski vinogradi.


Wine workshops have always been in demand and well attended, and this time too, there was no lack of interest from the audience. There was not enough space for everyone who wanted to hear great stories and try top and rare wines every year. A total of eight wine workshops were held where visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the wines of the wineries: Sauska, Gross, Josić, Krajančić, Krauthaker, Grabovac, Aleksandrović, and Brkić. It should also be reminded that the entire WineOS program started two weeks earlier when the famous master sommelier Eric Zwiebel held a masterclass at the Waldinger Hotel on Graševina Slavonia and the Danube and Riesling in the famous French region of Alsace.


After all, the organizers sent special thanks to all those who helped make this event a success: Osijek-Baranja County, the City of Osijek, Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Graševina Croatica, tourist boards of the city and county, Catering and Tourism School, Viniti Winery, Waldinger Hotels, and Lug, the city companies Sports facilities and the Osijek Fair, and the company All4Wine.

See you in January 2023 at the 8th edition!

All photos by Decanter Association

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Seventh Edition of WineOS Kicks Off on Thursday, Full Schedule Announced

January 22, 2022 - After its cancellation in 2021, due to the epidemiological situation, the seventh edition of WineOS will be held on 28 and 29 January 2022, in Osijek's Gradski vrt hall, with an extensive program that includes workshops led by wine masters, tasting of the best regional and international wines, and much more.

The seventh edition of WineOs wine fair will be held on January 28 and 29, 2022 (Friday and Saturday). Due to the great interest of exhibitors and visitors, and with the desire to further increase the attractiveness, the fair this year was located in the Sports Hall Gradski Vrt, Kneza Trpimira 23, Osijek where a large number of leading wine producers from all regions of Croatia and neighboring countries to embark on discovering new wine experiences.


The seventh edition of WineOS will present and taste wines, hold seminars and educational workshops for business people, traders, sommeliers, caterers, journalists, and all wine lovers.

"At more than 1,900 square meters, we have 90 exhibition spaces and more than a hundred exhibitors. In addition, we will once again be able to watch a culinary show on stage where specialties will be prepared by four top local chefs, recognizable wine workshops will be held in a separate space, and the day before the fair, on January 27th, a gala dinner will be held at Waldinger Restaurant, which will be taken care of by our famous chef Goran Kočiš", said the president of the Decanter, Boris Ocić.

"There is great interest in wine workshops. Even before we officially announced the program, interested parties came forward and all the places were quickly filled. The lucky ones who managed to get a ticket will once again have the opportunity to taste numerous exclusives represented by famous winemakers from Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina", said the head of the workshop program Željko Garmaz.


The association Graševina Croatica rejoined the organization as the largest and most important organization of wine producers in eastern Croatia. "WineOS is the central event for this wine region and is moving in the direction of transformation into the largest and most important fair in Croatia and the entire region. We will wholeheartedly help the organizers along the way. This year, as usual, we put the emphasis on Graševina as the broadest, most economically important, but also the most potent variety of this region'', Pavić added.

The organizers of the seventh edition of WineOS agreed on a greater engagement with the Osijek School of Catering and Tourism, which in this event recognized the opportunity for additional education of students and promotion of programs and projects. "Our students regularly go through internships in catering facilities, and this is an opportunity for them to learn how to work at big events. We have invested a lot in improving the program, additionally trained lecturers and mentors and now we want to apply it in the learning process", said the director of the School of Catering and Tourism Andrej Kristek.


Photo: Denis Despot

"Wine events are attracting more and more guests to the continental regions, and the events we have in our county are becoming a recognizable lure for domestic guests and tourists", said the director of the Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board, Ivana Jurić. She emphasizes that WineOS, as one of the largest events of this type, is already well known throughout Croatia and neighboring countries. Therefore, supporting this event, she says, is a logical and simple choice.

"It is not difficult to support such an event, which has grown seriously in recent years in every sense. More and more good and positive stories are coming out of Osijek, and WineOS is one of them. Despite the difficult times, the organizers made an effort to make our city a real wine center once again. Therefore, I wish them good luck with the message that the city administration is always ready to support quality projects", commented the Deputy Mayor of the City of Osijek, Dragan Vulin.


Photo: Denis Despot

The Head of the Administrative Department for Tourism, Culture, and Sports, Tatjana Roth, addressed the audience on behalf of Osijek-Baranja County. "Wine and gastro tourism attract many guests, and we do not lack offers. WineOS is extremely important in the promotion of this segment and we were certainly happy to get involved in this story as sponsors. I am sure that the fair will fulfill its purpose in these challenging times and bring a lot of work to wine and delicacies producers".

The seventh edition of WineOS will be held on both days from 3 to 9 p.m. It will only be able to enter the hall upon the presentation of a valid COVID certificate or negative test. Tickets will be sold exclusively at the hall entrance at a price of 100 kuna for one festival day. Visitors will also be able to rent a festival glass at the entrance.

Anyone who does not have a COVID certificate and wants to visit WineOS will be able to do by testing in the medical office of Dr. Špiranović, at 54 Stjepana Radića Street, at a preferential price of HRK 50. The clinic will be open from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on January 28 and from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on January 29.

It should also be noted that after the press conference, a wine workshop was held and led by the famous master sommelier Eric Zwiebel. On that occasion, those present were able to taste 13 Graševina from five vineyards in eastern Croatia, and the distinguished guests pointed out the good potential of the variety that stylistically fits into current market trends. Tonight, Zwiebel will hold another workshop to present Riesling wines from the French region of Alsace.

Here's the complete schedule for the seventh edition of WineOS:

  • Thursday, January 27, 2022 - Gala dinner "SLAVONIA ON A PLATE AND IN A GLASS" by Goran Kočiš and Graševina Croatica

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Hotel Waldinger

Entrance: 400 kuna


Duck liver torchon / brioche / black walnut

Beetroot risotto / blue cheese

Catfish / holandaise / black pig

Rabbit ravioli / parsley

Deer / red cabbage / chestnut

Bags / plum / cream

  • Friday, January 28, 2022 - Workshops

14:00 pm - Sauska - Hungarian wine giant with cover; entrance 100 kn

15:30 pm - Michael Gross - Austrian wine prodigy who brings glory to Slovenia with his wines; entrance 150 kn

17:00 pm - Josić Winery - Croatia Baranja fights back to Villany, and we have Cabernet Franc for the race; entrance 100 kn

18:00 pm - Luka Krajančić - Great vertical of Intrade, the most important white wine in Dalmatia; entrance 150 kn

Daily ticket for all workshops: 400 kn

  • Saturday, January 29, 2022 - Workshops

14:00 pm - Vlado Krauthaker - The Wonderful World of Graševina, entrance 150 kn

15:30 pm - Grabovac Winery - Blue Lake Riserva, Dalmatian "Superzagorac", entrance 100 kn

17:00 pm - Božo Aleksandrović - Pedigree, the best wine in Serbia, entrance 100 kn

18:30 pm - Josip Brkić - Good Bye, Limousine!, entrance 150 kn

Daily ticket for all workshops 400 kn


Source: Osijek 031, Vinske Priče

Croatian wines and grapes are among the best in the world, and you can find more information about them in Total Croatia’s Guide to Croatian Wine HERE.

For more on lifestyle, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

WineOs Festival in Osijek Exceeds Expectations

The fifth WineOs wine festival exceeded all expectations, which were quite high after the previous four successful WineOs editions. I have attended WineOs since the very beginning, since 2014 when the first edition was held at the premises of the Museum of Slavonia. In the very first year, WineOs immediately became the central wine event of eastern Croatia. Of course, events such as the Evenings of Wine and Art, which are held twice a year at the courtyard of the Kazamat gallery, must not be forgotten, but that is an event that brings together local winemakers, while WineOs, in addition to the locals, also brings in winemakers from the rest of Croatia as well as from abroad, making WineOs qualitatively and conceptually equal to the Zagreb wine events such as VINOcom. The only exception is the number of exhibitors, but the quantity and quality do not necessarily go hand in hand.

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Wine is a specific product, and even to highly-experienced tasters, it is difficult to taste many different wines in a relatively short time frame. Therefore, when I attend wine festivals, I am always somewhat disappointed that I will not be able to taste most of what is offered. Wine should be enjoyed, both organoleptically and in its flavours, and the goal is definitely not to get drunk. Therefore, I am glad when I am not faced with a sea of exhibitors at one location. In case of the festivals with a large number of exhibitors, I always advise the organisers to make the event last longer for a day or two so that visitors can accurately absorb and valorise all that is offered and seems intriguing to them.

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After two editions at the Museum of Slavonia, in the old town centre – Tvrđa, the WineOs moved for two years to the modern building of the Esseker Centre at Ribarska street in Osijek. It is an excellent location which connects the Osijek main square with the pedestrian zone along the Drava river promenade. The Esseker Centre itself is exceptionally functional and spacious but for my taste maybe a bit too modern. The best environment for wine festivals are venues with a tradition and a story to tell... The old saying is "the older wine is the better wine”, and that could be applied to the wine festival venues as well.

The fifth WineOs was held at the Muzej Okusa (Museum of Taste) restaurant, in the former City Garden pavilion. It is a protected cultural site built in 1804, thoroughly renovated in 2016. This is the location where, 210 years ago, Osijek was proclaimed a free royal city.

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In the central room of the Muzej Okusa, the exhibitors were divided into eight separate areas. The first exhibition stand to the right of the entrance was occupied by the Grafika company from Osijek. There is no quality branding and good marketing of wine without proper visual design solutions, so Grafika presented a whole range of different labels for wine bottles.

Per my personal habits, I always taste the wines in a defined order, starting with white varieties, followed by the rose and red varieties. This time I made an exception; when I saw Domagoj Buhač, one of the best Ilok winemakers, having previously heard that he had recently bottled his last year's rose, I just could not resist. I had to taste it, skipping the usual schedule. And why did I choose the Buhač rose? This wine has a sentimental value for me because it is the first wine my wife tried without saying that it was sour, bitter or merely unsavoury. A few years ago, I took her to WineOs to break her mental opposition to wines. I have to admit, it was not easy! I advised her to taste different types of sweet wines, late and elective harvests. By the expression on her face I realised that she was not really thrilled; after a modest and cautious sip, most of the content of the glasses would later end in a pouring bowl. And then, when I was starting to lose hope that I could ever turn her into a wine fan, we came to Domagoj who poured her a glass of his rose wine. By the expression on her face, I saw that was it! I finally succeeded in my mission to make her fall in love with wines. The fact that it was just one label from one producer did not mean much. Domagoj warned me that last year's vintage was somewhat sweeter than the previous ones, but I did not see that as something negative, on the contrary. I am only sorry that I will be in the Netherlands at the time of Vinkovo this year, so I was not able to accept Buhač's invitation to join his party. I will also have to skip the usual Vinceška warm-up event at Banovo Brdo in Baranja. But well, there will be more Vinkovos, Vincelovos and Vinceškas. In addition to the Buhač winery, the Ilok vineyards were represented by wineries TRS, Papak, and Iločki Podrumi.

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Immediately at the entrance to the festival, I was intrigued by two excellent wineries from Vojvodina, whose wines I regularly enjoy. They are the Erdevik winery from Erdevik in the Srijem region, located just south of Ilok, and the Zvonko Bogdan winery from Palić in the Bačka region. As for the wine hits of the latter winery, I must highlight Osam Tamburaša, a unique white coupage consisting of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Muscat, in the 50:25:20:5 ratio. Later, I could not resist to taste the black coupage Život Teče (Merlot / Cabernet Franc / Frankovka). The Erdevik winery offers a great chardonnay called Omnibus Lector. They also have pink wines Rosa Nostra (90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) and Tri Roze Koze (50% Merlot, 30% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon). Another exceptional wine is their black coupage Trianon that consists of 55% Merlot, 37% Syrah and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Krauthaker winery, as the best winery of the Kutjevo wine region, pleasantly surprised us with a large number of offered labels. One of their unique features, which makes them different from the competition, is that they separately bottle their Graševine wines from each separate location. Of all the wines offered, I was particularly impressed by their Silvanac Zeleni. The festival was also attended by the Sontacchi boutique winery from Kutjevo, which used to draw a lot of media attention with their “male virility” wine – Kitokret. In the meantime, they have begun to develop a serious wine and tourism initiative under the slogan "The Grape Escape".

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The festival open to the public at 3 pm and the opening ceremony was scheduled for 4.30 pm. Just half an hour after the opening, queues were forming at some stands, which demonstrated the substantial interest of visitors and the fact that are many fans of wines in Osijek and Slavonia. But, someone needed to create this fan base, and most credit for this definitely goes to the Vinita wine-shop, which has held presentations of winemakers and their wines for years, with a symbolic 50 kuna entrance fee, which is also a voucher to buy the wines.

An essential role in the initiative to make Osijek-Baranja County perceived as a wine-growing region, and not just as an area characterized by endless fields of corn, also belongs to the Wine Tour project, which helped organise a dozen wine roads and establish wine museums in each of the four wine areas of Osijek-Baranja County, as well as the central wine cellar in the Osijek's historic town centre - Tvrđa. To be honest, of these four museums the only one which is genuinely operational in the one in Zmajevac in Baranja, primarily thanks to the members of the Surduk Hungarian traditions association, but that is a topic for a different article. What is positive is that Osijek is now finally perceived as the centre of a wine rectangle, with Baranja wine area on the northern tip, Erdut on the eastern, Feričanci on the western, and Đakovo on the southern tip.

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As for the Baranja wine area’s representation at WineOs, it included Svijetli Dvori from Karanac, wineries Pinkert and Kolar from Suza, Kalazić and Josić from Zmajevac, and the wine giant Belje. The Kolar winery successfully combines winemaking and tourism and owns the Suza Baranje mini-camp which, along with three more camps from the Slavonia region will be presented at the Caravana camping fair to be held from 17 to 23 January in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.

The Erdut wine area is geographically the closest to Osijek, and the Erdutski Vinogradi is the cornerstone of the winemaking in this area. Under its patronage and thanks to Hrvoje Pavić, a collection of papers from the scientific conference “Wine and Wine-Growing in the History of Slavonia, Srijem and Baranja” is about to be published. When it comes to Erdut, one must mention the Brzica winery. I was most impressed by its Chardonnay. The winery is located at perhaps the most visually appealing part of the Erdut wine area, on a Danube meander that offers excellent views. It was a pleasure to listen to Borna Brzica, one of the sons of the winery owner Ivo Brzica, talking about plans for a glamping resort. We should also mention the Süber winery, which recently launched the flavoured sweet Sibernet wine and changed the graphic design of its products. Feravino represented the Feričanci wine area and Misna Vina from Trnava the Đakovo wine area.

The festival featured winemakers from neighbouring Hungary, from their winemaking centre Villány – Maczko, Gere Tamas & Zsolt and Bock. Of the winemakers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the most prominent was the Povratak iz Žepča winery with its unusual wines, such as the one made from the Czech variety Palava.

All those who had too much wine could make a radical break and enjoy the beers of the von Becker craft beer brewery from Osijek. Brewer Bojan Pap personally served the beer from his workshop. In addition to the beer, you could have a glass of the Jedan (One) brandy. Well, more than one, perhaps.

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A particular highlight of the first day of the festival was the workshop called Croatian Wine Treasures of Hrnjevac Wine Genius, presented by wine writer Željko Garmaz, which offered a tasting of a whole range of archival wines by Ivan Enjingi. The legendary winemaker immediately emphasised that he is trying to produce the healthiest wines possible, just like they were made 100 and more years ago. “Industrial wines will ruin the mankind,” said Ivo. After the attendees tasted his fantastic wines, they simply had to agree with him.

In the end, we should praise those without whom this great event would not be possible: Vinko Ručević, who came up with the initial idea, and president of the organisational committee Boris Ocić. Given the development of the event so far, there is no doubt that the next, sixth WineOs, will be even more interesting, splendid and exciting.

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

Sunday, 5 November 2017

WineOS Among the Most Important Eno-Gastronomy Events of the Year

The festival includes the first rating of wine and kulen combinations