A Croatian winemaker beating the bureaucracy to obtain significant EU funds.
Enver Moralić, owner of Kutjevo winery, is undoubtedly the best Croatian winemaker when it comes to receiving support from EU funds for development of the winemaking sector, reports Poslovni.hr on October 13, 2015.
For restructuring vineyards, based on the criteria from the National Incentive Programme for the Wine Sector 2014-2018, Moralić received approvals for two projects worth a total of almost 28 million kuna, for which he will get grants worth 5.9 million kuna. Paying Agency for Agriculture has just announced a new round of competition for grants from the European Wines program. Croatian winemakers can receive a total of 57,3 million euros for restructuring of vineyards, the construction and modernization of wineries and the marketing and promotion of wines in third countries for the period 2014-2018. The necessary documentation should be submitted by October 30.
In already concluded competitions, the Agency has approved 117 projects. All the projects together are worth more than 190 million kuna, and the total grants amount to 72 million kuna. The greatest number of applications have been recorded for new wineries and modernization of old ones, with a total of 73 projects valued at 131 million kuna. Although the majority of wineries expect support worth less than a million kuna, in addition to Kutjevo there are several other larger projects which have been approved.
In the sector of construction and modernization of wineries, the largest investment was proposed by winemaker Josip Galić from Požega. The project is worth about 16 million kuna, with 7.9 million kuna coming from European funds. Winemaker Dražen Bedeković also has ambitious plans, worth more than eight million kuna. Agrolaguna is also preparing a multimillion-dollar investment, with 3.3 million kuna coming from EU grants.
Croatia has 21,073 hectares of vineyards. There are 83,371 individual vineyards, which means that the area of an average vineyard is only 0.25 hectares. By area, the most vineyards are located in Krapina-Zagorje County (5,606 hectares), followed by Zagreb County (4,785 hectares) and Split-Dalmatia County (4,618 hectares).