The International Wine and Culinary Festival VINOcom was held for the 13th time at the end of November and, as the organizer Professor Ivan Dropuljić proudly points out, gathered more than 300 exhibitors on 3.000 square meters in Zagreb’s Hotel Esplanade. In addition to winemakers, numerous family farms and producers of oils, meat delicacies and sweets also presented their products.In addition to tasting numerous wines and delicacies, the festival is a unique opportunity to exchange experiences among winemakers, both on techniques of growing and processing grapes in increasingly modern cellars, and on the adopted Draft Law on Wine and its impact on producers in the wine and viticulture sector. “The main goal of the event from the first day is to raise awareness about wine as an important part of the table culture, and judging by the growing number of exhibitors and visitors, especially younger ones – we have succeeded. said a well-known mathematics professor we know by the nickname Dropi. In addition to winemakers and visitors, they were able to participate in numerous, specialized workshops and get acquainted with lesser-known wines presented by winemakers from Russia, this year’s partner country. At the workshop with the intriguing title Let’s learn why Decanter published the title – Thank God for Croatian wines, those present enjoyed the vertical of Graševin Ivan Enjingi, a winemaker who almost has the status of a rock star. Through almost three decades of production of top wines (9 years, from 1990 to 2018), the participants were guided by the journalist and wine connoisseur Ivo Kozarčanin – Bach’s son and reminded us of an article published in 2008. Then, at a competition in London, Enjingi’s Venje in 1998 won a gold medal among wines priced below £ 10, and Decanter magazine paid tribute to a winemaker who has the patience to let the wine in the cellar do its thing and wait for the right moment to launch.Photo: Wine IllegalIn addition to the standard wine workshops, the 3 × 12 workshop, a large trinity of olives, wines and gastronomic icons led by Rene Bakalović and Zoran Šimunić, also attracted attention, and the basic guiding thread was top-quality (domestic) olive oils. In addition to the search for the perfect wine that matches the oil and the individual dish, gastronomic experts first carefully selected the appropriate food – a gastronomic icon such as white or black truffle or island honey prepared according to a specially designed recipe. In the end, the sommelier completes the story by choosing a wine whose grapes, terroir, winemaker and year perfectly match the selected oil and food. This exciting, stimulating and very demanding gourmet menu concept according to this year’s best young oils from olive groves from Istria to Dalmatia is offered to guests by the Gastronomad Club and the Apetit restaurant in Zagreb. Chef Marin Rendić and a team of experts have enriched the domestic tourist offer in the best way by presenting award-winning olive oils and wines, local ingredients and original recipes.It is the end of the year and of course it is time to recapitulate what has been done, so wine awards have been given. The day before Vinocom, for the 7th time, the White Cluster awards were given to wineries that successfully develop wine tourism and to individuals whose activities contribute to the development and promotion of wine culture not only in Croatia, but also in the region. The award was established in 2012 by the table culture association GET with the aim of promoting eno-gastronomy and eno-gastro tourism, and about 500 eno-gastro connoisseurs and another 1.200 people participate in the evaluation through an open survey. The best in Croatia in wine tourism this year is the Istrian winery Stancija Meneghetti, followed by the best winery Bregovita Hrvatske Vuglec breg and Orebic Korta Katarina. In addition to winemakers, awards called Wine Stars were given to the best wines that can be purchased in Croatian wine shops and stores. The award was founded in 2012 and represents the largest independent evaluation of wine in which, along with three permanent juries (Vito Andrić, Ivo Kozarčanin, Marija Vukelić), 20 evaluators participate, and this year, among 153 tasted wines, those recommended to wine lovers were singled out. The big gold medal went to 11 wines, 9 of which were domestic, and the Crystal Star for the best wine from the autochthonous Croatian variety was won by Dingač 2016 from the Pelješac family farm owned by Vedran Kiridžija.
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