Wine Bottles to be Lifted from Sea in Ika This Weekend

Total Croatia News

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Ika is a small coastal town, almost a suburb of Opatija, where a unique event and tradition take place. A group of enthusiasts from the Ikarski barkajoli association, organize a unique event during which the wines of renowned Croatian winemakers are brought out into the light of day. They have spent a year in the depths of the Ika bay, where they have matured in ideal conditions at the springs existing in the bay (in the local dialect, the springs are called ‘vruje’). 

The event, called “Vino i Vruja” (the wine and the springs) is being held for the eighth year in a row. The mayor of Opatija Fernando Kirigin is proud that the event will be one of the first events taking place on the recently renovated and decorated main square in Ika, which will make it even more spectacular this year. 

The springs of Ika are a geological phenomenon, where the freshwater from far away in the karst area of Croatia and Slovenia (as far as the Alps, presumably). The springs bring cold underground water into the bay, and because of the brackish water, the bay is a habitat rich in fish, especially sea bass and eels. Those cold springs are also an ideal natural “cellar” for maturing wine.

At the event last year, approximately 4,000 wine bottles from wineries Acinger, Ferenac, Herman, Kabola, Iločki podrumi, Rossi, Miklažić, Prelac, Sosich, Fuhtar, Matić, Vorić, and Kliković Mate (Austria) were placed in the sea at a depth of 20m. This Saturday, August 6, 13 wine cages with 4,000 bottles of wine will be pulled out after a year of maturing. At the same time, 14 new cages with 5,000 bottles of wine will be lowered into the sea.

The attractive scenes of wine extraction will take place on Saturday, August 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in cooperation with Ikarski barkajol, divers from the Public Fire Department of Opatija, the Opatija Volunteer Fire Department and local divers. In the evening, after 7:00 p.m., there will be a tasting of wine bottles from the last year as well as other wines from these prestigious Croatian wine houses. In addition to the wines, there organizers will offer some food to their guests, as well as some entertainment, with the concert by the band “Obrazovni program”

Vjekoslav Zahej, the president of the Ikarski barkajoli association, says that they are extremely satisfied with the response and cooperation with the winemakers. Also, they are particularly pleased that the winemakers are satisfied with the quality of their wines after the maturation in the spring.

On the second day of the event, on Sunday, August 7, a parade of traditional boats will be held. The gathering of the crews will begin at 5:00 p.m., while the start of the regatta will be around 8:00 p.m. After the end of the regatta, there will be an entertainment program with a DJ.


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