Rajko Cmrečnjak from Sveti urban near Štrigova has been in wine making for many years, building solid foundations for his own family farm. Is his son Marko becoming the new wine star of Međimurje and Croatia?
Shiny medals, all the way to champion decorations, have finally begun to trickle down from Vino Slovenia in Gornja Radgona across the state border to Croatia. This year, at this long-standing competition with a great reputation, Croatia won three champion titles, three large gold and numerous gold and silver medals. Among the 2016 champions is the 2015 Sauvignon by Rajko Cmrečnjak, with another gold for the 2015 Rhine Riesling of the same wine maker.
This year has been especially successful for Cmrečnjak, one of the premier Međimurje wine makers and wine growers: his 2015 Sauvignon was also named champion in the Gast fair in Split, at the fair in Mostar, the St. Urban manifestation in Međimurje and silver at the Decanter World Wine Award…
Cmrečnjak has seen his fair share of medals in his wine making years. The newest ones are a logical continuation with significantly improved equipment for vineyards and cellar, but also the entrance of Rajko’s son Marko into production.
What do the medals mean for the Cmrečnjak family, what do they actually bring?
“It is certain that every trophy, especially won in strong competition and prestigious ratings, means a lot. It shows that the winner is correct in his thinking and work, confirms the value of the work and elevates confidence. Naturally, any award that raises reputation has a certain effect on market value, affecting sales, not only of the awarded product but also others. Croatia has an issue of lack of money, so the medals often don’t have an effect they should. But they do help the less costly wine to sell better,” said Rajko Cmrečnjak.
Cmrečnjak family manages 18 hectares with vines, with three more hectares being prepared, and another 5.5 hectares under rent. Vines are in very good positions, among which is Mađerka’s hill. It is interesting Cmrečnjak also planted there some red sorts that are not usual for Međimurje, such as Merlot and a trial – Plavac Mali! Of the whites he plans to plant Pušipel or Moslavac or Šipon, for serious dry white wines, but also high predicates.
Cmrečnjak family currently offers Pušipel Classic, a base wine with lower alcohol, meant for everyday use, along with Pušipel Exclusive, a predicate wine from Moslavac or Pušipel. This last sort, a brand of the Međimurje County, is being prepared by the Međimurje wine makers association – a dry wine obtained through maceration at lower temperatures and aged up to a year in Tonneaux 500 litre barrels.
Cmrečnjak wanted to try an orange wine type so he tried macerating and fermenting in alcohol a 2015 Pušipel, with the wine in Tonneaux at the moment, due to be ready in a couple of months. Other still wines by the Cmrečnjak family, from the 2015 harvest, are Green Silvanac, Graševina, Gray Pinot, Yellow Muscat and a high predicate Muscat ice harvest from 2012. Along with the still wines, the Cmrečnjak family offers sparkling wines – white and pink…
Read more by Zeljko on his popular Suhi u Casi blog.