2019 Vincelovo at PP Orahovica

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Jezerac – the picturesque vineyard which has been giving us the finest grapes for years and which the renowned oenologist Ivana Nemet magically turns with a lot of gentleness into top quality wines that win numerous awards throughout Croatia and the world – was the venue for this years’ celebration of Vincelovo at PP Orahovica, which is always marked there on January 22nd, on the feast of St. Vinko. The specific location offers beautiful views of the nearby Slavonian hills, which were specially dressed in beautiful snowy watercolours for this year’s festival.


And just like in ancient times, the tamburitza players could be heard from the vineyards, these eternal friends of the wine, the winemakers and lovers of the drops of wine in which there is the truth. On Vincelovo, people send prayers to St. Vinko to have a good harvest in vineyards. Afterwards, the wine boss, in this case, Josip Tokić, the head of Department of Fruits and Vineyards, cut the first vine in the vineyard, which was decorated with bacon and sausages and christened with the wine.


The 4.5 hectares of Jezerac produce the best Zeleni Silvanac, the variety that is the pride of the Orahovica area. In addition to Zeleni Silvanac, prizes are regularly won by the Jezerac excellent wine.


As is usually the case at Vincelovo, the smell of roasted bacon and homemade sausages could be felt far and wide, with grill masters also preparing carp on the rake just nearby. The fish was from the company’s ponds at Grudnjak, a pond near Orahovica which covers 950 hectares. PP Orahovica is the largest producer of freshwater fish in Croatia, and according to experts, for the grilling on the rake, the best ones are those weighing between two and three kilograms. In addition to fish farming, PP Orahovica is the leading producer of hazelnuts in the region.


“Let there be snow and freezing weather when it is needed, and rain and sun when the vines need them,” said in his blessing Željko Strnak, the local priest.


“Last year, we had an excellent harvest and great sales results. Our wish for St. Vinko is for that to be repeated this year. PP Orahovica bases its wine production on 180 hectares, with 100 hectares of vineyards in full growth, and 80 hectares of young plants which are recovering,” said Tokić, pointing out that they annually offer to the market between 700,000 to 800,000 litres of wine.

It is commendable that they delivered around 100,000 litres annually to the demanding markets of China, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and other countries. “We are working on exports of Frankovka and Graševina to Japan and the Netherlands. Some of Graševina going to the Netherlands will end up on exotic Caribbean islands of Curacao and Bonaire,” said Igor Hruškar from PP Orahovica’s marketing department.

As it is proper for Vincelovo, the party continued deep into the night. For everything to turn up as it should and for St. Vinko to listen to our prayers, we all need to drink a bit and kiss a lot.

More news on Croatia’s wines can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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