Hedonist&wine has passed the test. It would surely be very wise for the organisers to pay attention to the objections of presenters, even visitors in order to correct them, but the form of the festival is surely on target
Every attempt in a dominantly touristic nation to raise table culture, where a large 20 percent of GDP is connected to this very economy branch, surely deserves attention, even praise. This very thought can be applied to the impressions of the first edition of the Opatija Hedonist&wine festival held last weekend of October in the Kvarner Hotel, Novi List wrote on October 30, 2017.
The desire of the organiser to use the festival to accentuate the element of passion undoubtedly connected to the wine culture, also deserves a special compliment. Even more as the truly recent Croatian wine offer was completed with its equal in music, the one we connect with veterans of the domestic jazz scene Charlie Jurković and Tonči Grabušić. The Crystal Hall of Kvarner Hotel remembers some of the most important events of Croatian culture in the widest sense, from popular to classic, even as a space where one of the earliest Croatian punk festivals was held, gives a note of luxury and a message that Hedonist wants to bond wine and Opatija.
What is noted as a flaw, and brought forward by a line of presenters, is the relatively small number of visitors of the festival. What is the reason? Some are prone to claim the information about the type and time of the event was not promoted enough. They are partially correct, but we must admit the visually impressive campaign showed up in all the places it had to be. Others would claim the ticket price of 100 kunas was too high for the Croatian average. That claim can also be supported, but considering the quality of the offer, it was good value for money.
Does Opatija need such a festival? Of course, very much so. As it is another way for tourism to become a year-round business. It is not fitting for the Opatija restaurant scene to be pathetically empty at this time of the year as it was during the Sunday closing of the festival.
It was impossible to research and taste all on offer, but it was evident, also grace to certain producers of hard liqueurs or even truffles, that the overall accent was on quality which can make its way into our daily lives. If Agrolaguna was a pioneer in asserting that every Croatian family should have at least on Sunday seven quality decilitres of wine on the table, the message of the Opatija Hedonist is even stronger: not only a bottle of wine on the table, it must be filled with some of the highest quality content. Presenters witnessed this as a very large portion of the wines were priced at 50 kunas and above. This certainly is not a lot and surely contributes to raising the table culture quality.
In terms of presenters, it was especially interesting to meet Jadranka Lešić, owner of the wine line and company Agris, Stefani Tomaz from the same name Motovun winery, the team presenting the Badel line Korlat or one of the rare wine producers of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Miroslav Palinkaš from the same name winery from Vinodol. They all confirmed our impressions, but it is more interesting these are people who believe in the possibility for Croatia, also thanks to the Opatija fair, to turn into a nation which locals and visitors will appreciate and respect as a land of exceptional wine quality or wine culture. In the broadest sense.
For example, Agris is a company only a few years old. Their start was modest in quantity, but with god varietal coverage and a very clear and very bold development vision. They are devoted to learning, absorbing knowledge, but also discovering on their own to help them develop the specific business. Stefani Tomaz comes from a young winery, in business since 2010, and all their wines are of exceptional quality. Whether it is the light, fresh Malvazija or the surprisingly well balanced Teran.
With Korlat, as they are a large producer, the abundance of their offer attracts attention, and their Sauvignon from the Daruvar positions also ranks among the best we have had the opportunity to taste.
Miroslav Palinkaš is not the happiest man this year. Bad weather has ruined his crop. But considering this man left Šarengrad in war times and settled in Vinodol, salvation was found in the purchase of grapes from the well-known Šarengrad vineyards in the very east of Croatia. Thus he thrilled us with a Graševina which such a good balance fitting for a very large number of dishes.
Hedonist&wine has passed the test. It would surely be very wise for the organisers to pay attention to the objections of presenters, even visitors in order to correct them, but the form of the festival is surely on target.
Translated from Novi List.