“Vino i Vruja” Event to be Held in Ika near Opatija

Total Croatia News

Ika is a small fisherman’s village, located near Opatija, and for the last five years, it has hosted the unique event called “Vino i Vruja” (Wine and the Underwater Wellspring; you have to admit it has a nicer ring in Croatian).

A group of enthusiasts gathered together in the Ikarski barkajoli association, supported by the City of Opatija and the local tourist board, and each year, they put a selection of the best Croatian wines in the underwater wellsprings of Ika, where they are given a year in the perfect conditions to age. This Saturday, last year’s batch will be taken out and tasted.

The underwater wellsprings of Ika are a geological phenomenon, where freshwater from deep within the karst comes out into the sea. It is supposed that some of the water arrives here all the way from the Alps. After particularly rainy days, the wellsprings “activate” and the seabed of the bay becomes disturbed by the strong flow of freshwater. That freshwater is, of course, rather cold, and it makes the seawater in the bay to become much less salty, which is something a lot of fish appreciate. And, of course, the cold water makes it a perfect “cellar” for the wines to age in.

Last year, 4,000 bottles of wines were placed there, by winemakers such as Miklaužić, Kabola, Prelac, Bruno and Giulio Ferenac, Fuhtar, Pavlomir winery and Iločki podrumi (Ilok cellars). This Saturday, August 3rd, seven cages with around 3,000 bottles will be brought up to the surface; the wines by Iločki podrumi (cellars) will, however, be left at the bottom for another year, as per their request. At the same time, the new cages will be sent down, and this year’s vintage will include wines by the Rossi winery in Istria.

The most attractive part of the event, the actual “taking wine out and putting more wine in” part will start at around 10:00, and the divers participating are from the Opatija fire brigade, as well as some local diving volunteers. In the evening, after 19:00, a tasting of the wines that spent a year underwater will be held, as well as the tasting of other wines by these winemakers. The organisers promise that some grilled fish will also be offered to those attending the tasting.

On the second day of the “Vino i vruja” event, Sunday, August 4th, a regatta of traditional fishing boats will be held in the evening.


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