Grand Tasting 2018: Croatian Winemakers Coming to New York City

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It’s been a long three years, but good news has finally arrived: The 2018 Vina Croatia Grand Tasting is coming again to New York City!

This trade and media only tasting is scheduled for Monday, March 26, 2018 from 11:00 AM till 4:30 PM at Astor Center.

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Guests will have the unique opportunity to sample over 100 wines from dozens of Croatian estates and award-winning wineries. Over twenty winemakers and/or winery representative will be on hand to speak with guests and answer questions, including Agrolaguna; Badel; Degrassi; Skaramuča; Erdutski Vinogradi; Fakin; Iločki Podrumi; Jako Vino (Stina); Kabola; Katunar; Korta Katarina; Kozlović; Matošević; Miloš; JasnaAntunović Turk; Osilovac; Rizman; Veralda; Bibich; Buhač; Cattunar; and Zlatan Otok.

This is the forth Grand Tasting of the wines of Croatia in the United States. The previous three were in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

The 2018 program includes two masterclasses, which are RSVP only and expected to sell out quickly. The first is masterclass, Cracking Croatian Wine, will be hosted by authors and vinous travelers, Dr. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan. The second masterclass, Croatian Hall of Fame Wines, will feature a selection of Decanter World Wine Awards and other award-winning wines and will be lead by Wines of Croatia founder, sommelier, and wine writer, Cliff Rames.

Registration for the walk-around tasting and masterclasses is complimentary and exclusive to members of the wine trade and press. To register and submit your RSVP, please follow this link or email: events@fmg.nyc

We look forward to seeing everyone in NYC!

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Major U.S. Magazine Publishes I Am Tribidrag Conference Report

The SOMM Journal, a leading wine and spirits magazine based in California with over 100,000 subscribers—many of whom are sommeliers, alcoholic beverage distributors, and other wine professions and enthusiasts—just published a three-page report from the I Am Tribidrag conference, which was held in April 2017 in Split, Croatia.

The I Am Tribidrag conference was a two-day celebration dedicated to a single theme: the amazing story of Tribidrag/ Zinfandel/ Crljenak Kaštelanski and the discovery of its origins on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. Speakers and honorary guests included members of the team behind the discovery: Dr. Carole Meredith of UC Davis, and Zagreb University professors Edi Maletić and Ivan Pejić.

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California winemakers David Gates (Ridge Vineyards) and Joel Peterson (Ravenswood Winery) also conducted presentations, as well as botanist and grape geneticist (and co-author of Wine Grapes) José Vouillamoz, and Italian winemaker Lisa Gilbee. Jancis Robinson, the distinguished British wine writer (Purple Pages) and Master of Wine participated as a special guest and moderator of a tasting of Tribidrag wines from around the world.

Written by Wines of Croatia founder Cliff Rames (who is also Contributing-Editor-at-Large for The SOMM Journal and The Tasting Panel magazines), the report includes exclusive quotes and impressions from Robinson, Vouillamoz, Meredith, Peterson, and Pejić.

You can read the article, available now in the June/July 2017 issue of The SOMM Journal, as well as via digital reader on the magazine’s website at this link: http://digital.copcomm.com/i/833814-june-july-2017/108

Enjoy—and share widely!

 

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New York sommelier promotes Croatian wine

(Translated from the original post, published 11.03.2016 by Peter Panjkota, RTL Televizija Croatia)

For the past ten years, Cliff Rames, a native New Yorker whose father is from Murter island, has been on a mission to popularize Croatian wines in America. Many top sommeliers have listened, and Croatian wines are now offered in many bars, including one in the heart of Manhattan.

“Sometimes bar owners or sommeliers have not heard of Croatian wine or do not want to take the risk to buy a wine they think nobody knows,” said Cliff. “That is why it is hard work and you have to personally hand-sell these wines. But once they taste them, they usually say, ‘this is interesting…this is great…we should do this’”.

And they do. Like here at Anfora wine bar, where Plavina from vineyards around Šibenik is offered among proven favorites from France and Italy.

“These wines are special in their own unique way,” said Cliff. “I think that people who understand wine will want to taste the uniqueness of the wines of Pelješac, Hvar, Slavonia or Plešivica and be willing to pay a few dollars more for the experience—the experience of tasting a unique, indigenous variety that grows no where else except on a single island or field in Croatia.”

And has this experience been shared by any American celebrities?

“I once served wine to Jennifer Lopez,” laughed Cliff. “Unfortunately it was not from Croatia. It was from France. There is still time. So, Jennifer, if you’re watching….”

Conversations over wine often turn to politics, so a question for Cliff: What about this crazy campaign for the US presidency?

“Before i answer that, I need a drink!” laughed Cliff. “This is one of the craziest elections. What will stay with me—I hate to say it—is fear. Fear that this has opened a Pandora’s box of craziness, intolerance, hatred and just terrible politics for the future. So much negativity. So much attacking. It’s going to influence elections in the future and it makes me afraid, it makes me unhappy,” revealed Cliff.

Regardless of whether Hillary or Trump prevails, we hope that Croatian wine will be ever more frequently consumed.

For the original text and video, please click HERE.

Los Angeles Times discovers the wines of the Plešivica region

By Cliff Rames

In a September 26, 2016 Los Angeles Times article entitled “In old-world Croatia, here are four trendy towns worth visiting”, author Margo Pfeiff lists four towns that one must visit in northern Croatia, which she describes as “rural regions known for their vineyards and welcoming agri-tourism farms….”

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(Photo: © 2016 Cliff Rames)

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Croatia’s Grgić Winery Heavily Damaged During Pelješac Wildfire

(Photo courtesy www.24sata.hr)
(Photo courtesy http://www.24sata.hr)

Late Monday night, a savage wildfire consumed large swaths of scrub pine, olive and fig trees, and vineyards on the Pelješac peninsula in Dalmatia, one of Croatia’s most renowned wine-growing regions, leaving as many as 600 hectares of rocky landscape–as well as cars and some homes–blackened and charred at the height of the tourist season.

Especially hard hit was the area around the tiny seaside hamlet, Trstenik—home of the world-famous Grgić Vina, a winery founded by legendary—and Croatian-born—Napa Valley winemaker, Mike Grgich of Grgich Hills Estate in Rutherford, CA.

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USA Today: The #5 “Best Wine Region to Visit” is Croatia

(Photo: Copyright © Cliff Rames)
(Photo: Copyright © Cliff Rames)

Okay, we already knew it. Anthony Bourdain discovered it (literally, he fell off his chair in wine-fueled amazement). And now the readers of USA Today have confirmed it: the wine-growing regions of Croatia are awesome – among the best in the world.

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Savor This: Croatian Food & Wine Featured in Saveur Magazine!

Just when daydreams of summer sailing, bathing in the crystal waters of the Adriatic Sea, and feasting on fresh fish in a favorite island café seem within reach, Saveur magazine has devoted its entire April 2014 issue (#164) to seafood, with seven full-color, mouth-watering pages about Croatia’s coastal food and wine culture.

Saveaur April 2014

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