Last week the 5th edition of Vinart Grand Tasting took place in Zagreb. This two day event with selected Croatian wineries rose to be the best wine festival in Croatia. It’s the very concept of the fair that makes all the difference, being especially attractive for the professionals in wine and restaurant industries.
So what makes Vinart Grand Tasting so special?
Photo credit: Vinart
The space where it’s held - Lauba
Centrally located, perfect size single-open space with enough light, high ceilings and good supporting services. Everything was easily reachable, clean and neat.
Winemaker selection and the event size
Only selected winemakers present at this event and the space isn’t overcrowded. Participating winemakers are preselected based on their quality and value for money. They are able to participate at the event by invitation only which ensures the highest quality and relevance for the visitors. This selection is made by the Vinart team led by the renowned wine connoisseur and critic Saša Špiranec who’s also just joined Decanter’s Judge team this year.
The variety and quality of wines
Outstanding! There was everything. From fresh new vintage of whites that are now entering the market, through the top quality sparkling and serious reds to natural, orange amfora or biodynamic wines. It’s a pleasure to see how fast Croatian winemakers are developing and how fast their overall quality is increasing. As a special bonus, there was also a small but fine selection of Slovenian, Serbian and Bosnian winemakers including Erzetć, Bikicki & Bakić.
Workshops and press trips
The quality of the Vinart Grand Tasting is further enforced by themed workshops and press trips organised around the main two day event. With over 20 themed tasting workshops, organised in days prior to the main event, Vinart has made a big difference we don’t often see at this type of events. Opposed to usual full agendas with workshops held at the same time as the wine exposition, at Vinart Grand Tasting visitors and the winemakers had the abundant time for a quality tasting and a good conversation. Probably the reason why so many winemakers came personally to represent their wine houses?
The Vinart team also brought quite a big group of international press to Croatia this year for whom they’ve organised various trips to different Croatian wine regions. This extra efforts are quite impressive and show how Vinart team is much more on the Croatian wine scene than just a festival organiser.
For me it has been great to participate at this festival for many reasons. I got to catch up again with my existing partners and try their new wines. I tried few new, exciting wines and found a couple of winemakers which certainly should be added to ThetasteofCroatia’s offerings this year.
Finally the event has been rounded up with some great recognitions - Kozlović, Galić, Korak and Stina (among few others) were the winners of the Vinart yearly awards. Each in its’ own region in different categories for their contributions on the Croatian wine scene. More on this in another post.
It’s been productive and pleasant in Zagreb this March despite all the troubles we are now encountering due to Corona virus. Needless to say, I can’t wait to hear the dates for the 6th Vinart Grand Tasting in 2021!