For last eleven years, during the last weekend of November, luxury Esplanade hotel. Zagreb, becomes the venue of Croatian Wine and Food Festival, popularly abbreviated to VINOcom Zagreb. This is the biggest and most popular wine event in the Western Balkans, a place of pilgrimage for all wine lovers from this region, and this year we were lucky to be there.
Our first Zagreb VINOcom., and If we describe the organization quality, atmosphere and hospitality , score is excellent and fantastic. The manager of the festival Mr Ivan Dropuljic (or Professor for all domestic wine lovers ), and his organization team have done a great job. From the first communication with the organizers ( for press accreditation holders) to the send-off from the hotel after closing of the fair, everything was great. This event is highly respected in Croatia, and it is a matter of prestige and pride to appear here. Not surprisingly that the number of participants of the fair was just over 300, mostly from Croatia. Or 1700 wines from Croatia and more than 100 from the neighboring countries Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Serbian colors are very well represented by three participants : Zvonko Bogdan winery, Erdevik winery and Tonkovic winery.
Luxury, posh Esplanade hotel built in the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in their six halls and big closed terrace received all participants and a huge number of visitors and everything was perfect. In the halls on the floor a lot of workshops with the introduction of quality wines from Croatian and abroad, (on one of them, quite expensive, you could try wines from Romanee-Coti domain) . Winemakers – exhibitors have contributed to great atmosphere of event, too. they all were in very good mode and very generous in pouring of their wines. .
Now, wines . If we talk about the exposed wines, score is even better than the ratings for the organization 🙂 . Croatiia have more than 40 recognized and registered Indigenous grape varieties , many of these are very exotic, they are endemic, can be found only in one place such as a Greek white only on the island of Korcula, Zlahtina white only on the Krk Island and the hinterland, Vugava from Vis isalnd, Babic red and Posip white in central Dalmatia, Bogdanusa and Kujundzusa white from south Dalmatia, Blatina red and Zilavka white in Herzegovina , Moslavac white and Zelenac white in Slavonia …. So for the first time we tried a lot of wines about which we, previously, just read . Everything that we tasted was amazing, perhaps the tastes are recorded in our Mediterranean genes (collective unconscious memory of tastes 🙂 ), all in all great wine experience. Of course (and unfortunately) we did not get to try even a third of what we wanted, many great Croatian wines from international grape varieties that are rewarded in the world, we left for the next year . 🙂 The first time I will not mention the winery whose wines we tried, I do not want to leave out some, they were all good and by all of them we were welcomed guests.
And finally , something very interesting (and very glad to me ) : we were guests in care of our friend GET Report, to the Annual Award “Bijeli grozd ” , prize for the most successful wineries in wine tourism . Silvija and Tomislav showed us how the professionals do things, very instructive and cool. (The award for the year 2016 for Serbia was granted to Zvonko Bogdan winery.)
As you can see many beautiful impressions in just two days. We hope to come again. Also we recommend to all our friends, wine-lowers, that the last weekend of November spend in this event.