Days of Dalmatian Prosciutto and Wine Returns to Inland Dalmatia

Daniela Rogulj

The traditional wine and gastronomy event ‘Days of Dalmatian Prosciutto and Wine’ this year is held in the heart of Inland Dalmatia, in Vrgorac, where you can enjoy the best that the Vrgorac region can offer, reports Splitski Dnevnik on May 27, 2019. 

The festival opens on Friday, May 31 at 5 pm and runs until Sunday, June 2 in the impressive ambiance of the Vrgorac City Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Dalmatia. The three-day event will offer visitors plenty of fun and gastronomic delights and once again be a reminder of the reasons why Vrgorac is officially proclaimed the town of Dalmatian prosciutto and wine.

“Vrgorac will welcome all the fans of top-quality prosciutto, extraordinary wines and great entertainment at the most important event for our region, which puts us on the map of the most famous gastronomic festivals all over Croatia, and beyond. The ‘Days of Dalmatian Prosciutto and Wine’ are an excellent opportunity to enjoy our local customs and flavors, and great concerts will close each day of the event in the best possible way. Just an hour’s drive from Split, four and a half hours from Zagreb and only half an hour from the entire Makarska Riviera, Vrgorac becomes the ideal vacation destination for relaxation and enjoyment next weekend,” said Željka Opačak, director of the Vrgorac Tourist Board.

Vrgorac region is largely specific, and its inhabitants are particularly proud of their gastronomic successes – like juicy strawberries, top quality prosciutto, and specialty wines. More than half of the total strawberries cultivated in Croatia come from Vrgorac and its surrounding, with more than 13 million common grape vines planted in the area, as Vrgorsko polje is the largest vineyard in Croatia.

“Our region is unique because of the abundance of native varieties, some of which have almost disappeared but have been revitalized thanks to the great love of our homeland and the pride that we have. Today the attention of the acknowledged sommeliers is directed to Vrgorac and its surroundings, and our variety Zlatarica vrgorska, Trnak and Plavka respect the prices and have important places on wine maps. Visitors to the Dalmatian prosciutto and wine event will be able to see their specialty and quality as well, and we can hardly wait for the winemakers to welcome them,” said Dario Gašpar, co-owner of Gašpar Winery from Umčani near Vrgorac.

Vrgorac also boasts the largest prosciutto production in Southeast Europe, from which more than 70 percent of certified Dalmatian prosciutto production reaches Croatian tables.

“Dalmatian prosciutto is a favorite delicacy throughout Croatia, and the ‘Days of Dalmatian Prosciutto and Wine’ are a great opportunity to educate citizens further and encourage them to enjoy it even more often. The specialty of Dalmatian prosciutto is a protected geographical indication, thanks to a traditional and natural process of production without added preservatives and additives, salted with sea salt and dried and aged for at least one year. The skill of its production is part of the Dalmatian tradition, and we have to preserve it, and this event is one of the ways we remind ourselves of its authenticity and importance in the original gastronomic offer of Croatia,” said Darko Markotić, President of the Croatian Prosciutto Cluster.

The ‘Days of Dalmatian Prosciutto and Wine’ begins on Friday, May 31 at 5 pm by raising the flag of the town of Vrgorac, and every evening during the event, visitors will enjoy a vibrant entertainment program. As part of the event, visitors will be able to taste Dalmatian prosciutto and other traditional cured meats, native wines from the Vrgorac region and numerous other homemade products at stands from over 40 exhibitors from various parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

There will even be a culinary show focused on Mediterranean cooking and the Vrgorac region with top chefs from ŠKMER (Association of the Heads of Mediterranean and European Cuisine) Rene van Sevenant, Marija Lulić, Željko Neven Bremec and the traditional culinary star of the event, the legendary Stevo Karapandža will combine the flavors of Vrgorac into top gastronomic creations.

At the Vrgorac Agriculture Exhibition, visitors will be able to see historical photographs showing the most diverse agricultural activities in the Vrgorac region through the 20th century.

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