Wines of Croatia News Round-Up for January 29, 2012

 

In case you missed anything, here is a round-up of the latest links to the news articles, blog posts and videos that highlighted Croatia, its wine or wine culture.

 1. Daily Mail: Croatia – On the Trail to Find Grk

January 22, 2012

 The UK’s Daily Mail writes of “Tipple Tourism” and goes in search of Grk, “a wine made on a Croatian island”. 

 

 

2. HM’s Food & Wine Magazine: Exploring the Croatian Wine

January 24, 2012

Nepal discovers Croatian wine.

 

 

3. Love that Wine: Diversity in Wine

January 24, 2012

The Wine Sleuth and Thierry’s Wines name Croatian wines and the Malvazija grape of Istria as “ready for prime time”.

 

 4. By the Tun: Top 10 Wines from Croatia (from my Recent Trip)

January 25, 2012

Wine blogger Mattie John Bamman offers his choice for the Top 10 Wines from Croatia.

 

 

5. Harpers: Trade Urged to Support Up-and-Coming Regions

January 26, 2012

Why new regions like Croatia and their wines are not “novelties” but are “here to stay”.

 

 6. Sherman’s Travel: Top 10 Off the Path Wine Regions

January 26, 2012

Travel experts Sherman’s Travel names Istria among it’s Top Ten wine regions to visit and includes shout-outs for Franc Arman, Benvenuti, Giorgio Clai, and Kabola wineries.

 

 

7. Wines of Croatia Blog: Images from the Wine Roads of Croatia #3

January 27, 2012

The third installment in a series of photos that celebrate the wine roads of Croatia. This time: the “Golden Slopes”of the Baranja wine-growing hills.

 

 

8. The Chicago Wino: 500 Years in the Making

January 28, 2012

Wine Review: Babica “Štafileo” 2008 from Vuina winery.

 

 P.S. We love to hear from you!

If you have comments or other news to share, please comment on this post or email us at info@winesofcroatia.com

 

2012 Reader’s Survey: Wines of Croatia Blog

 

Dear friends,

In order to provide you with the chance to share your opinions, thoughts, concerns, ideas and suggestions about the Wines of Croatia blog, we’ve put together a very quick, easy and anonymous survey for you to complete.

(Screen shot. Clink on link below to go to Survey)

If you have the time, please take a moment to complete it. There are only 10 questions, and it should not take you more than a few minutes to finish. Your feedback is very important and will help guide the development and direction of the blog as we go forward.

The survey will be open until February 6, 2012.  Below is the direct link to the survey. Happy clicking – and THANK YOU for your time!

Sincerely, Cliff

GO TO SURVEY NOW!

A Time for Pruning & Partying: The Feast of Saint Vincent

 

“Work hard, play harder” is a favorite slogan of mine. And while winter is not as intensely laborious as harvest time, winegrowers must occasionally brave the harsh winter days and work in the vineyard. Winter is the time for pruning the vines to prepare them for new growth in the spring. Often this means runny noses, frozen hands, and lots of dead vine stalks to haul away to the compost or firewood stacks.

But all is not sober and back-breaking among the vines. Each year on a certain day the time comes to cease work, pause to give thanks, pay homage to the vineyard, and celebrate another successful harvest and the promise of a new growing year. The day is known as the Feast of Saint Vincent of Saragossa. Celebrated each winter on January 22nd (Roman Catholic Church), St. Vincent’s Day marks the mid-point between the onset of dormancy and bud-break in the vine’s growing cycle.

St. Vincent of Saragossa

Born in Spain in the 3rd century and later martyred, St. Vincent is the patron saint of wine-growers and winemakers. The story behind how he became the patron saint of vintners is rooted in legend and has many versions. One prominent explanation focuses on the French pronunciation of the name Vincent, which is “Vin-sang” and translates into “wine blood”. It should be noted that when grapevines are pruned, they often bleed sap – or vine blood – from the cuts.

But my favorite version of the story is the one that stars a hungry donkey.

I love donkeys. They are quirky, stubborn, unpredictable, sassy, lovable creatures. Their often-contradictory nature – stoic yet highly emotional, hard-working yet lazy, loyal yet defying) makes them the butt of many jokes, fodder for comical stories, and sometimes the stuff of folklore and legend (e.g. the famous Donkey of Dingac). In short, they are magnificent creatures.

(Photo by Boris Kragić, Studio Magenta)

As the story goes, one day Saint Vincent was wandering the countryside with his donkey when he encountered some workers in a vineyard. While Vincent chatted with the workers, the donkey entertained himself by eating all the young shoots off a nearby grapevine, reducing the limbs to stubs.

Later that year at harvest, the workers noticed that the vine that had been nibbled down by the donkey produced more abundant and healthier fruit than the rest of the vineyard.

And so it was revealed that grapevines – which can grow many meters long if not cut back – should be pruned in winter to ensure that the plant’s energy is directed more towards producing fruit than growing and sustaining shoots. Today pruning is a standard vineyard practice – a meticulous and painstaking task that keeps many skilled vineyard workers busy each winter.

But come St. Vincent’s Day, the clippers and shears are put down, and the celebrations begin!

(Photo by Cliff Rames)

In Croatia, the Feast of Saint Vincent of Saragossa is celebrated in all wine growing regions and is called “Vincelovo”, “Vincekovo”, or “Vinceška”, depending where you are in the country.

This year public festivals are scheduled to be held at Kutjevo in the Slavonia wine-growing region (“Kutjevačko Vincelovo”); in Zagorje at Bolfan Vinski Vrh winery (“Vincekovo”); and in the Baranja region at Vinarija Josić (“Vinceška”).

A typical St. Vincent’s celebration in Croatia consists of religious services, a blessing of the vineyards, a lighting of bonfires, live folk music performances and dancing, regional culinary specialties cooked over open fires, and of course plenty of local wine!

So here’s wishing you all a happy Feast of Saint Vincent of Saragossa. And if you are celebrating, don’t forget to raise a glass to Saint Vincent and our old friend, the Donkey!

“Živjeli!”

Text © 2012 by Cliff Rames

(Photo courtesy of Kutjevo d.d. winery)

Wines of Croatia News Round-Up for January 8, 2012

In case you missed anything, here is a round-up of the latest links to the news articles, blog posts and videos that highlighted Croatia, its wine or wine culture.

1. Europe Up Close: Daytripping Dubrovnik’s Islands & Beaches

December 19, 2011

After hiking and bathing comes an evening of freshly-caught Adriatic fish, delicious delicacies, liters of local wine, live music, and lots of singing (and maybe even a little romance) for visitors to Croatia’s southern Adriatic coast.

 

 

2. Come for the Wine: Croatia Part 6- Istria, Truffles, Olive Oil, Wine

December 19, 2011

The latest Croatia installment in Marcy Gordon’s travel blog in which she discovers the treasures of Istria: truffles, olive oil, prosciutto & wine. And in which we hear that in Croatia, “It’s not just a wine, it’s a lifestyle.”

 

 

3. Wines of Croatia Blog: Ensemble Vacations Magazine Calls the Wines of Croatia “Worldly Delights”

December 21, 2011

Croatia wines receive recognition in Ensemble Vacations Magazine.

 

 

4. Blue Danube Wine Blog: Shucking Plavac

December 21, 2011

Breaking molds, defying convention, shucking old assumptions, and moving barriers: Croatian red wine with oysters? When it comes to Miloš Plavac Mali, the answer is yes!

 

 

5. BK Wine: 11 Wine Regions to Discover in 2012

December 21, 2011

BK Wine Magazine names Istria as one of its “11 wine regions to discover in 2012”.  

 

6. Europe Up Close: Eating the Adriatic

December 23, 2011

Europe Up Close concludes their visit to Croatia with a culinary journey through Zagreb, in which they discover Dolac Market, Portugizac young wine, “domaci cvarci”, the Museum of Broken Relationships, “strukli”, Klub Gastronomadi, and that Slavonian oak is from Croatia, not Slovenia.

 

 

7. Brava Wine: Wine 6 on the Sixth Day of Croatian Vino

December 26, 2011

An American sommelier living in Zagreb reviews Kutjevo Graševina 2009.

 

 

8. Secret Dalmatia: Christmas in Dalmatia

December 27, 2011

 Another beautiful report from Secret Dalmatia, where the writer enjoys Korlat Merlot, one  in an exciting (and award-winning) new lineup of wines from Vinarija Benkovac near Zadar.

 

9. PB Pulse – the Swirlies: The Swirl Girls Picks of the Year

December 27, 2011

The Swirl Girls published their “Picks of the Year” for 2011 (Hint: One is a Croatian wine!)

10. Wine Chap: Round-up-of Top Wines of 2011

December 27, 2011

“Any wine that can be quite so compelling after 48-hrs with no sleep…must be special”. Read on to find out which Croatian wine made Wine Chap’s list of “Top Wines of 2011”.

 

 

11. On the Road with Grape Guy: Report from Croatian Wine Dinner at Wildfire – November 3, 2011

December 30, 2011

Michael Pinkus, aka “ Grape Guy” – discovers the wines of Matosevic and Trapan at a Chicago “Meet the Winemakers” event.

 

12. Wines of Croatia Blog: A Happy New Year 2012 Message

December 31, 2011

Wines of Croatia founder Cliff Rames offers a New Year Wish and some thoughts for 2012.

 

 

13. Bloomberg News: Ancient Croatian Grapes Revive Wineries in Home of Zinfandel

January 3, 2012

Bloomberg News suggests Croatian wines as an alternative to Bordeaux and California cabs and highlights Matosevic Malvasia Istriana, Saints Hills Dingac, and Trapan Syrah as excellent choices.

 

14. The Economist: Dalmatia’s Troubled Waters?

January 3, 2012

The Economist’s “More Intelligent Life” magazine examines the impact on Croatia’s seafood culture as a result of pending European Union integration.

 

 

15. Digital Journal: Improving Croatian Wines to Bring New Dimension with EU Entry

January 3, 2012

Paul Bradbury reflects on the “exciting new options” Croatian wines bring to the European market.

 

16. National Post: John Szabo’s Vintages – Preview for January 7, 2012

January 3, 2012

Master Sommelier John Szabo puts Croatian wines on his discover radar for 2012.

 

 17. Wines of Croatia Blog: Annual Report – 2011 in Review

January 4, 2012

Statistics and other 2011 site data for the Wines of Croatia blog.

 

18. Wine Compass: Winechat Transcript Discussing Eastern European Wines

January 5, 2012

Transcript from January 4th’s Twitter #winechat that featured wines from Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia.

 

19. Blue Danube Wine Blog: Terzolo

January 6, 2012

“Soil so red it stains your hands, a native red variety with off the charts acidity, and a family dedicated to tradition with an eye for innovation”….Meet the Terzolo family of Istria and their delicious flagship wine, Teran.

 

20. Taste of Croatia: Korak Wines – Keepers of Plešivica Tradition

January 7, 2012

The crew from Taste of Croatia profile Korak winery in the Plešivica Hills of Croatia.

 

21. Wines of Croatia Blog: Hills Like Sleeping Dreams – Bucavac Vineyard, Croatia

January 7, 2012

Cliff Rames of Wines of Croatia takes us on a journey through the hills of Bucavac vineyard, home to Babić, Damatia’s second most important native red grape.

 

P.S. We love to hear from you!

If you have comments or other news to share, please comment on this post or email us at info@winesofcroatia.com