The Wine Fairs of Croatia: Jaska Wine Festivities

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Jaska vine festivities are a festival taking place in a Zagreb County town of Jastrebarsko (shortened to Jaska usually) every September for the last 25 years. That makes it one of the wine festivals in Croatia with the longest tradition, especially since there has been a celebration of wine taking place in early autumn in Jastrebarsko even before the “recorded” time.

The town of Jaska is in a well-known winemaker location, a gateway of sort to the Plešivica region, Croatian sparkling wine capital and home of the best portugizac wines (or whatever it is we call it this year) with centuries long tradition of making wine. So, it makes sense that the town with that many winemakers will have a party celebrating wine – and that’s exactly what this festival is. Every year, the winemakers from the region, almost all of them – around 20, present the best of their wines to nearly 10000 visitors, along with other traditional products.

Various other craftsmen are an integral part of the festivities, so each year along with wine you can buy home-made honey, cakes, candles, various produce available in early autumn and many other products. Some hands-on workshops also take place along with the exhibitions, so you can learn how to make stuff on your own (this year, for instance, there was a workshop on how strudel with apples, a traditional Croatian dessert, is made from scratch – so no buying the dough in the shop and just grating apples!). A lot of traditional food is also offered, so don’t worry that you might get hungry with all that wine, since there’s always going to be a lot of kotlovina or other traditional foods around to help you get in the mood for a just another glass of sparkling wine! And during the four days of the festivities most of the establishments on the Plešivica wine road have special offers, menus and happenings for the numerous visitors as well.

During the festival no grading usually happens, it’s a celebration of all the winemakers in preparation of the harvest that starts a few days after the festival in most years, and an opportunity for some sales and purchases of the best Plešivica wines to happen “at the source”. Each year the festival has a partner, usually a Croatian winemaking region or location (this year it was the island of Brač, few years back it was town of Hvar and neighbouring Slovenian winemaking region of Metlika), so it’s an opportunity to introduce those winemakers to Jaska and its visitors as well.



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