First Sparkling Wine Salon in Zagreb

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Therefore, as you can deduce, champagne is for always. Personally, as a great lover of bubbles, I completely agree. So it is quite strange that we’ve never had a sparkling festival. There were some announcements, which never came true. As it usually goes with Croats, one festival just ended, another is announced for June, a third is in the works, with no date yet…

In any case, a sparkling wine festival or specifically, Sparkling Wine Salon, was especially needed. It has been a long time since sparkling wines were consumed only for New Year’s; today good sparklings are very much in demand. A joint project, connecting in a way the 4th Salon Penečnih Vin in Ljubljana and this one in Zagreb into a whole, I certainly support, as does the G.E.T. association, as the region needs work, we need to connect; we cannot make an island form our land.

Croatia and Slovenia can be proud of the quality of their sparkling wines. We must certainly single out our winemakers Tomac and Šember, not to omit Franjo Kolarić or Željko Kos… Naturally, there is the Kraljica of Puhelek family, but the crew from Hršak hill, Petrač winery, must not be forgotten. Their neighbours too, Vuglec Breg winery. Not to keep going, as I will surely forget someone… Personally, I am looking forward to more sparklings from the south of Croatia, where I would single out the Sabion sparkling wine by Korta Katarina. The young winemaker Igor Radovanović from Smokvica on Korčula is coming up too, with his Tris sparkling, at this festival we were introduced to winemaker Boris Šuljić – Boškinac, with his own sparkling and very pleasantly surprised. The Slovenians were led by Istenić and Graben wine house of renowned winemaker Šekoranja and the omnipresent Jeruzalem. There were also some Italian and French sparklings, so the pleasure was complete.

Did the festival succeed? I feel it did.

There were more than enough visitors. Organisation was very good and there isn’t much to be said; considering the tandem Nina Levičnik – Marija Vukelić, we didn’t expect anything less. The Dubrovnik Hotel space was quite nice, pleasant ambience, but the rooms are quite low and if the next one takes place here, it should be air-conditioned, as this time it was quite hot.

All in all, the first sparkling wine event in Croatia was very good. Organisers need some slack and support in many ways; this is after all our first sparkling festival. All who think it is easy to organise a wine festival are terribly wrong. So give them a year or two, then criticize if the festival is not good.
I did not write about workshops, as I didn’t attend them. Mea culpa! I will rectify this next year.

Rating of sparklings was definitely a good idea. Maybe the model and execution need some thinking… For example, Bjana wine house sparkling, Brut Rose NV, the best Slovenian sparkling in the rating, was not at the festival in Zagreb, while Šember or Tomac did not even provide sparklings for the rating (I really don’t know why), and they were at the festival. There is some room to improve here.

In any case: we have a sparkling wine festival and it is good!

For the original and more from the G.E.T. Report, click here.


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