Vinistra 2017 – Teran Returns Home

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Vinistra is a festival regularly visited by many foreigners, a tradition stemming from many years of effort from the entire Istrian region. Istria is not the leading region in the country without reason, in terms of wine and olive oil, or what is more important to us in the G.E.T. – eno-gastro tourism.

We could call Vinistra a glamorous opening of the season. A place and time to present new wines, oils or a new gin…

Karbun, the gin made by the Aura distillery, is fantastic and left an exceptional impression on me. I hope that quality will be recognised by Croatian bartenders and include it in their cocktail craft.

Unlike some previous years when Vinistra had a slightly greyish tone, this one was full of enthusiasm and flaunting, somehow everything was full of life. Maybe a reason is that we resolved the issue with Teran, so it finally came home (it never left, but it was a refugee in the European Union, due to the European Union) or maybe Croatia really is moving up, so it can be felt in the people. In any case, I like the optimism.

One of the largest novelties at this year’s Vinistra is that the renowned olive oil maker Ipša has entered the wine world too, as a producer. He presented three of his wines – Malvazija, Pinot Gris and Santa Elena (Merlot, Refošk). They are exclusively aged wines, and the way things are now, he will not make any fresh lines. Wines are very good and we will write about them, as I believe the wines we just tasted will be in top form in a year or two.

That was the big news; other winemakers are more or less consistent, without any large deviations. Each one of us has their favourites among Istrian winemakers and that’s good. It should be emphasised that the differences in quality are getting smaller, so even the so-called small winemakers have begun making really good wines.

My experience from this Vinistra is the following: there are winemaking classic in Istria such as Matošević, Degrassi, Coronica, Kozlović and others, but there are some upcoming wineries making their way to the top. In my opinion, Istria is getting a big and serious story in Damjanić. There are also the Benvenuti brothers, who are already wine greats and certainly Klaudio Tomaz, growing unstoppably. Medea wines need to be respected, if only for the fact they produce Punta Greca. Sailing into the wine world with full sails is also the young winery Deklić. And Romeo wines are strengthening their position with every day. There are other young wineries, not to list them all now, but the point is that Istria is getting excellent young winemakers, and that fact will make those more prominent work even better.

Agrolaguna, the largest Istrian winery, offered my insight into wines they are still preparing. I can’t wait to see them on the market! It is a wine spectacle! And I met their young oenologist, Mare Miošić – I predict a great wine future for her, as the passion she has for wine is beyond the normal; I thank her for the wonderful presentation.

Unfortunately, I must note there weren’t some large winemakers; that fact probably disappointed many, but whoever is not here, we can do without.

Vinistra offered many wonderful wine stories. I have the pleasure to write in the end: Yes, I look forward to the next Vinistra 2018.

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


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