Photo Gallery: Dalmatia Wine Expo 2016

(All photos © 2016 Cliff Rames)

If you were unable to attend Croatia’s 2016 Dalmacija Wine Expo in April, don’t dismay (but start  making plans for next year!) and instead check out these exclusive photos for an insider’s look at the festivities. For a full report of the event and more photos, check out our recent post by Cliff Rames: “Dalmatia Wine Expo 2016: Three Things I Learned” .

Živjeli! (Cheers!)

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Sunday Snapshot: A Peek at Vuina Plavac

By Cliff Rames © 2016

Secrets from the cellar of Vuina winery in Kaštel Štafilić: Bottles of Vuina 2010 Plavac Mali Štafileo Barrique at rest, waiting to be sent into the world and into the glasses of happy consumers!

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Dalmatia Wine Expo 2016: Three Things I Learned

By Cliff Rames

(Note: I first visited the Dalmatia Wine Expo in Split, Croatia two years ago in 2014. You can read my 2014 “Three Things I Learned” post HERE.)

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Drinking wine could be compared to reading a book. Some books, like some wines, serve as mere entertainment, devoid of depth and enjoyed in a moment. Quickly they fade into the past without commemoration or recall.

Great books, though, capture and captivate your imagination. Glued to the page, each word enthralls…every sentence propels you deeper into the folds, eager to know what comes next…how the plot develops…what happens to the characters. The best among them may even influence and affect your life’s journey.

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Croatia Wins Big at the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards

Croatia’s wineries garner a total 63 medals, with Veralda winery from Istria taking a coveted Platinum – Best in Show medal. 

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London, June 14, 2016: Decanter magazine, one of the world’s most respected wine publications, today announced the winners of the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards. The competition, held each year in London, received over 16,000 entries from around the world. You can scroll through the lists of all winners here.

With the judging completed, we are so happy and proud to announce that Veralda winery, located in Brtonigla in the Istria wine region, was awarded the coveted Platinum – Best in Show medal for its 2015 “Istrian” red – a wine produced from Teran (which Decanter refers to as Refosco) – in the Best Single Varietal red category. With 95 out of 100 points, Veranda “Istrian” was one of only 31 wines to receive the top tier Platinum – Best in Show prize!

veris

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An American Master Sommelier in Croatia

An exclusive interview with Fred Dexheimer, MS

In September 2015, Fred Dexheimer, one of only 230 Master Sommeliers in the world, visited Croatia and spent four days touring the Dalmatia and Istria wine regions. Wines of Croatia recently caught up with Fred (who moves very fast!) for an exclusive interview, in which he reveals his impressions of the trip and expert opinions on the wines he tasted.

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Zlatna Žlahtina 1999: Golden Grape or Faded Glory?

By Cliff Rames © 2014 

A few weeks ago I was rummaging around my father’s wine cabinet and found a forgotten, dusty bottle of white – a 1999 PZ Vrbnik Zlatna Žlahtina from the island of Krk in the Kvarner wine growing region along the northern coast of Croatia. Since my father rarely drinks white wine and didn’t even know the bottle existed or where it came from, he let me have it. For “research” purposes. 

Photo: Cliff Rames © 2014
Photo: Cliff Rames © 2014

I was skeptical. A 15-year old Žlahtina? I mean, I’ve opened 3-year old Pinto Grigio wines that were an oxidized mess. Also this particular bottle was never properly stored, languishing for most of its life on a shelf in my parent’s sunny dining room.

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Wine-o-graph: Prošek and Prosecco made simple

By Cliff Rames © 2013

Not that it’s a very complex issue. It’s not really. It’s fairly straightforward. But decide for yourself, if you haven’t already. And if you want to learn more, check out my previous post called Are You Pro Prošek? 12 Reasons Why You Should Be.

And for those of you who are (like me) short on time and attention, I have compiled this handy, easy-to-reference and share “Wine-o-graph” chart.

Cut and diced like this, it seems clearer than ever that Prošek and Prosecco are distinctly different products. No one has anything to fear from them being allowed to peacefully co-exist in the European Union or elsewhere.

So feel free to print it out, put it in your wallet, hang it on the wall, share it with a friend, or shout it from the mountaintops. In the meantime, I wish Croatia and its Prošek producers all the best in their efforts to save Prošek and continue its legacy as the traditional dessert wine of Croatia.

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  Prošek vs. Prosecco – At a Glance
  Prošek Prosecco
History First written mention: 1556 First written mention: 1754
Pronunciation “Pro-shek” “Proh-sec-coh”
Grapes Varieties White: bogdanuša, dubrovačka malvasija, grk, malvazija istarska, maraština, plavac mali, prč (aka parč), pošip, tarpinka, trbljan, vugava, žlahtina. Red: babić, lasina, plavina, plavac mali.    Glera; sometimes bianchetta, charnonnay, perera, pinot noir, verdiso 
Area of Production The Adriatic coast and the islands of Dalmatia, Croatia Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Conegliano, and Valdobbiadene regions in northeast Italy
Number of Registered Producers 27 Over 3,000
Production Amounts 15,000 liters, or 30,000 bottles of 500 ml; most wineries produce less than 5,000 bottles each 225,000,000 liters, or 300 million 750 ml bottles
Winemaking Passito method. Hand harvested, sun dried grapes; 2-5 days skin maceration; fermentation lasting up to a year or more; mandatory 1 year of aging in wood Charmat method; secondary fermentation in autoclaves; bottling under pressure; no wood aging. 
Wine Style Still. Sweet with high residual sugar levels (70-150 g/l) Sparkling. Dry to semi-sweet with residual sugar levels ranging from 0 – 35 g/l
Color Dark golden, amber, neon orange, maple syrup, dark brown Straw to medium yellow
Commercial Bottle Shape 375-500 ml bottles of various shapes 750 ml sparkling wine bottle with mushroon cork and metal cage
Serving Glass Dessert wine glass Champagne flute
Availability on Export Markets Nearly non-existent; very limited distribution in export markets Widespread. In U.S.: 19.2 million bottles imported in 2012
Price $50 for 500 ml $10-$20 for 750 ml