Pink Day Through Rosé-Tinted Glasses of Sanja Muzaferija

Total Croatia News

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Photos Rene Karaman

March 18, 2019 – One of the most eagerly-anticipated Croatian wine events of the year is almost here again. Organiser Sanja Muzaferija talks Pink Day 2019 in Zagreb.

Pink Day returns for its 7th edition later this month. Tell us about the concept and how it got started.

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On the 30th of March, Pink Day returns for its 7th edition in Mimara Museum in Zagreb. At the WOW (Women on WIne)  association, we have been working hard for almost eight years, meeting at least once a month to taste, discuss and study wine.

So far we have organized or co-organized more than 100 events and on various occasions tasted many interesting wines, promoted Croatian wines, learned about foreign wines and varietals; enjoyed, socialized, and visited wine cellars and vineyards both in Croatia and in Europe.

Our most important and biggest yearly event, Pink Day Zagreb, has rocked the wine scene a bit, especially when it comes to women and rosé wine. It was my idea to slightly provoke the predominantly male wine scene – since seven or eight years ago women in the wine world were still rare birds and more often than not mocked for not being able to differentiate anything but whites and reds.

In fact, women are active in wine business and industry, women own wine bars, work as sommeliers, oenologists, in wine marketing…so we wanted to somewhat subversively start a Festival that highlights rosé wine – like Barbies playing with pink colour – in spite of everybody thinking both women and rose wines are frivolous. And see what happens. What has actually happened is that rosé became highly popular and that women working in wine are much more appreciated that they used to be.

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Pink Day has grown year on year. What can we expect from this year’s event?

Every year the focus is slightly different. In the beginning, we were trying to show the audiences and the wine community that we mean business, so we were serious, “scientific” and scholarly with the international experts who we flew from around the world over to do workshops at Pink Day.

Over the years we have changed and shifted the focus every year – always trying to stay fresh and a little different from other festivals. Sometimes we focus more on extra virgin olive oil within our Green in Pink Festival in Festival, but I think it is safe to say that we constantly grow. Not in numbers, because we are a boutique festival with no intention to gain more exhibitors due to the Museum space which we intend to keep as our home, but in quality.  And popularity. I think there is hardly anybody who is anybody in the wine business that doesn’t know about WOW and Pink Day.

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With the focus shifts of Pink Day, we hope to remain interesting and fun. This year’s event is focused on Croatian rosé wines and is designed to be even more optimistic, fun, feminine and fashionable than before. Since we have noticed that the exhibitors try hard to be creative with their space and that both their clothes and their tables are regularly adorned with pink details and flowers – we decided to give out an award for the best table of the Festival. The award is pink stilettos by Jimmy Choo worth more than one thousand dollars. We think it will motivate exhibitors to be even more creative and that it will contribute to the overall atmosphere. Although, we are not complaining – our festival is always lively, happy, full of great wines and beautiful women. 

Tell us a little about the rosé scene in Croatia. What are the main trends, grape varieties, and what does Croatia do differently?

Croatian rosé is somewhat different because of the grape varieties and terroir – from, French rosé from Provence or Spanish or Hungarian… But so is every wine from some other wine. Nothing specific there. I think Croatian rosé can easily compete with any other from the world.

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And, of course, the wines from Istria or the ones from Slavonia; those from Kvarner or those from the surroundings of Zagreb or the ones from the south are not the same…That’s exactly why you have to come to this years’ edition of Pink Day. We have prepared three interesting workshops – covering three different areas of Croatia. “Istria & Kvarner” by Mario Meštrović, “Slavonija and Podunavlje” by Dario Grabarić and “Pink Souih” by Jelena Šimić Valentić. Total exploration of Croatian rosé was this year’s topic. 

Pink Day was the first public appearance of the wines of Jo Ahearne MW, the first Master of Wine in Croatia a few years ago. Tell us about her Rosina and also the impact of her decision to make wine in Croatia.


It would be much better if Jo would present her wine herself. It is so great to have such an expert and such a nice lady as Jo here in Croatia. We have collaborated with her on a few occasions, not only at Pink day and it was always nothing but pleasure and delight. Just as all her wines. My favourite is Wild Skins that she makes so perfectly. She deeply understands wines and she definitely knows what she is doing, regardless of the colour of the wine. Many winemakers decide to wait until Pink Day to fill their bottles – so Pink Day is a sort of En primeur festival for rosé wines.

As I understand, Pink Day is not just Croatian winemakers. Which other countries will be represented this year?

We have many different countries participating. There will be French, Italian, Austrian, Slovenian and Serbian wines present –as far as I know. Croatian wines are the majority, however – which is in perfect tune with this year’s orientation. Next year will be somewhat different again. 

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Your thoughts on how the Croatian wine industry is developing in general?

Shen I first started with WOW and today – incomparable. Much, much better now. Both our wines and the export and the marketing and branding. But there is still a long way to go. It could be much better branded abroad, to begin with. But, no criticism now – we are approaching the most optimistic and fun Festival – Pink Day. For one day in a year we should all deliberately wear pink glasses and enjoy.

You are a multi-talented lady wearing many hats, one of which is running Women on Wine (WOW). Tell us a little about that and how new members can get involved.

My background is first and foremost journalism. I have been writing about theatre, fashion, film – and wine is my hobby and my passion. Pink Day evolved from the idea of WOW. The women who surrounded me at the time in the association when I have just started it – were working very hard and earned no money. Just like me, but that was my choice. It wasn’t necessarily theirs.

So I wanted to create a commercial festival in order to give primarily them (and myself) an opportunity to earn some money and do something good for the wine scene – at the same time. That is my characteristic. Typical me:  trying to do as many things at the same time as possible and trying to aim for the win-win situation.

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In the meantime, some of the ladies left and now they are successfully doing businesses of their own while I am still trying to help out the winemakers, entertain and educate the members of WOW… But, I am not sorry – WOW  is steadily growing – there are almost 200 of us in Zagreb, Split and Rijeka. Everybody can join as long they are female – (maybe we are the only women-only club in Croatia) and pay the membership fee (700 kuna per year in Zagreb, 350 if outside Zagreb)…And – Pink Day is doing well, it is very successful and it does earn some money. Clearly – it makes everybody involved, including the visitors, happy. Me happy!

Working hours of the Festival12 (noon) – 7 p.m., March 30, 2019.

Mimara Museum, Zagreb

150 kuna entrance fee

Take a look at a video overview of the 2015 Pink Day below:

Follow the Pink Day story on Facebook

To learn more about Croatian wine, check out the Total Croatia new information site – Croatian Wine in a Page.



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