Bordeaux Calling: Croatia to Be Guest of Honour at France’s Oldest Wine Competition

Total Croatia News

An important moment for the progress of Croatian wine on the international stage. 

France is celebrating its oldest international wine competition on April 1-2 in Bourg Bordeaux, a special 40th anniversary, and to mark the event, more than 5000 wines from 38 countries will be blind tasted by some 700 experts, according to a press release from the organisers on February 12, 2016. 

And this year, the guest of honour will be Croatia and its winemakers. No details available yet about which Croatian wines will be taking part, but we will bring you more as we get it. In the meantime, this is how Croatian wine is presented in the official information:

This year’s Challenge International du Vin will take place on 1st and 2nd April in Bourg en Gironde, with Croatian wine invited as special guests. This is set to be a special year for France’s oldest international wine competition, as it celebrates its 40th anniversary!

Croatia: guest of honour

The Challenge International du Vin: «revealing talent» Selecting Croatia as the competition’s guest of honour was not a difficult decision for the organisers, who are looking forward to putting some of the nation’s magnificent wines on display.

Croatia, a country with 300 documented wine-producing regions and 200 grape varietals, 60 of which are native…

As the world’s 21st ranked wine producing nation, Croatia can claim over 300 documented wine-producing regions, spread over 33,000 hectares. In terms of surface area, that’s a quarter of the Bordeaux region!

The majority of Croatian wines are whites (Grasevina, Malvasie, Posip), with the rest made up of reds (Plavac Mali, Crljenak/Zinfandel, Babic), and a small percentage of rosé. While three varietals account for 50% of Croatian wines (Gravesina, Malvoisie for white and Plavac Mali for red), Croatia boasts a remarkably large amount of native varietals (60) and wine-producing regions (300), with an average territory of 5 hectares.

An increasing number of young winegrowers are placing their faith in this uniquely diverse region.

A historic region…

In the sixth century B.C., the ancient Greeks founded several colonies all along the Dalmatian coast, planting vineyards. Initially a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Croatia gained independence after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Today, the nation can claim a wine-producing region of over 33,000 hectares. As a result of its history, its geography and the wines it produces, Croatia is a land defined by contrast, a region rich in treasures with two distinct wine-growing areas.

Firstly, the Mediterranean region of Croatia stretches from Dubrovnik to Rijeka via the Peljecac peninsula and the Adriatic islands of Korcula, Vis, Hvar and Brac. This region is home to some excellent, full-bodied red wines, produced from local varietals including Plavac Mali (2 large regions, Dingac and Postup, are located on the Peljecac peninsula). The second main wine region covers the north of continental Croatia, in the region of Slavonia, producing mainly white wines including Gravesina, Zelenac and Traminac.

Wine has always had a privileged position in the lives of the Croatian people. It was traditionally considered to have magic properties, with women proclaiming a regular glass as the key to longevity. Today, wine has taken on new meanings, coming to represent a certain way of living and of thinking. The classification of Croatian wines is currently being comprehensively restructured, with a view to changing the amount of appellations and winegrowing areas. Croatia has been a part of the European Community since 2013. The nation’s largest union of winegrowing regions, «Vina Croatia», is based on the French «AOC» classification system.

For more details about the competition, click here.

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