Master of Wine Jo Ahearne to Debut Hvar Rose at Pink Day in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

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A great addtion to an already strong event, as the first Master of Wine to make wine in Croatia will be presenting her rose at Pink Day in Zagreb. 

After the successful Pink Day event organised by Women on Wine on International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016 in Zagreb, the arrival of the main event – celebrating the rich diversity of rose wines – will take place on March 19, and an already delightful lineup will have one more colourful addition, as Master of Wine Jo Ahearne, the first Master of Wine to produce wine in Croatia, will be debuting her first vintage, Ahearne ‘Rosina’, named after her mother and niece.

While it is important to note that Ahearne’s rose will be tank samples and is not quite the finished article, the very fact that a Master of Wine is making wine at all in Croatia is a boost for the country’s emerging reputation as one of the most exciting wine regions in the world. With more than 130 indigenous grape varieties in the country, Ahearne plumped for Darnekusa, an indigenous red grape only grown on Hvar, for her rose.

We first met at the Dalmacija Wine Expo in 2014, where she kindly agreed to an interview with me for Google News, before I introduced her to some of the Hvar wines on show. A visit to Hvar followed, including meeting Andro Tomic and his two children Basti and Janica, and a lifelong friendship was born, with the celebrated Hvar winemaker allocating some space in his winery for Ahearne to get started.

A popular figure on Hvar and not afraid to get her hands dirty, she soon found her own premises on the south side of Hvar in the village of Sveta Nedjelja, home to one of Croatia’s best-known winemakers, Zlatan Otok, and settled in to traditional Dalmatian village ways, even down to her chief taster above. 

Jo Ahearne is also a TCN contributor, and she explained why she wanted to make wine in Croatia – read the article here.

She will be producing just under 3,000 bottles of this first vintage, and has been aiming for a serious, gastro rose with good acidity and structure. The wine is 100% Darnekusa, a grape which typically grows at higher altitudes on Hvar, and these grapes were taken from the high plateau below the island’s peak of Sveti Nikola. 

(The end of a working day on Hvar. Masters of Wine have unique powers to make the cloud match their wine colour)

The Ahearne ‘Rosina’ may be tank samples at Pink Day in Zagreb, but Ahearne’s very presence at the event, just like her growing wine on Hvar, gives a significant boost to the Croatian wine story.

To learn more about Pink Day, check out the TCN interview with Pink Day organiser, Women on Wine President Sanja Muzaferija.

As for the winemaking experience of Jo Ahearne MW, it could be a story as good as A Year in Provence. We hope to bring some of it to you at some point on TCN.  


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