The Wine Events of Croatia: Vinart Grand Tasting

Total Croatia News

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Vinart Grand Tasting is a wine festival, a two-day event held this weekend, 25th and 26th of February in Lauba in Zagreb, and Total Croatia Wine couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit and taste some of the wines presented by over a hundred Croatian and international winemakers present at the festival.

First let’s say a few words about the venue where the festival was held: Lauba has, again, proven to be an almost perfect setting for such an event. It’s just large enough not to be over-crowded, small enough to feel almost homey, wonderful industrial design and lighting, excellent ability to adapt to various events such as this one. I spoke to a few of the winemakers and they all said that the organization was near-perfect again this year, that everything worked as it should in an event of that scale, that the pop-up winery was also brilliant. Almost all of them said the same sentence: I wish all wine festivals in Croatia were organized like this! The organizers, lead by the festivals author Saša Špiranec, decided to invite the winemakers to participate in the event (not quite sure what the criteria for the invitation were, but they have to keep some mystery to it), and around 100 Croatian and 20 foreign winemakers participated.

There were most of the big guys – the best Croatian winemakers present, and the thing that seemed very well balanced was the ratio between the continental and seaside wines, as there were quite a few Dalmatian and Istrian winemakers, as well as Slavonian. Foreign winemakers were also nicely distributed, as there were a few from Vojvodina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Georgia (!) etc. The winemakers brought and presented to the interested public some of their best wines, so we had the opportunity to taste the rare and somewhat unusual wines, and most certainly some of the wines that are out of the budget for an average wine drinker. The pop-up winery was also very well stocked, since most of the winemakers sold their wines there as well, at quite affordable, festival prices (some didn’t, as the prices of their wines were almost the same as in shops everyday), so it was a wonderful opportunity to improve your wine collection at home.

In the days (and weeks) before the festivals, quite a few presentations and workshops were held as an introductory part of the festival – Grgić, Benvenuti and Krauthaker vertical tasting, Japanese Nikka whiskey tasting, Clai workshop, grand Postup tasting to mark the 50th anniversary of getting the geographical protection and many, many others. Most of those were sold out very soon after the tickets were available, showing that there is a large number in Zagreb interested in learning more about wine and tasting wine in a different way. Hopefully next year’s Vinart Grand Tasting will give us the same, or even better, opportunities to do so.


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