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Celebrating the grand jubilee of Vinistra with a birthday cake and awards ceremony.

Tomorrow marks the opening of the 30th anniversary of Vinistra! The ceremonial awarding of medals to the best wineries from Vinistra's evaluation sets the stage for the event, which will turn Poreč into the epicenter of the wine world until Sunday. 

The traditional award ceremony for winemakers and producers of strong alcoholic beverages who submitted their samples for the 30th Vinistra evaluation and the 15th World of Malvasia was held last night at the Parentium Hotel Plava Laguna in a celebratory atmosphere. The birthday cake was jointly cut by the three former presidents of the Vinistra association – Ivica Matošević, Nikola Benvenuti, and Luka Rossi, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Istrian association of vine growers and winemakers, as well as the most attractive wine exhibition in the region, which opens tomorrow and runs until Sunday (from May 10th to 12th) at the Žatika hall in Poreč.

"Last year, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Istrian County. It's a period where you can take stock and see what has been accomplished. Undoubtedly, we have made great strides in agriculture in our region. This is primarily evident in vine growers and winemakers, as well as in olive growers and other producers. Today, Istria is a very strong brand, and we can be proud of that, with much credit going to all of you. We have chosen a development path based on added value and quality. I'll quote the first president of Vinistra, Ivica Matošević - that was our romance, and today I'm glad to see that it has become a very good and quality business. I'm pleased to see many young people who have embraced this, which guarantees a good and quality future. In the Istrian County, you've had a partner from the very beginning, and I believe that in recent years, we have made great strides," said Boris Miletić, the county prefect of Istria.

The Mayor of Poreč, Loris Peršurić, mentioned that the city has been a partner of the association of Istrian vine growers and winemakers since its inception, and during the Vinistra exhibition, there is a demand for extra accommodation. Today, this wine event has great significance for the economic development of Istria and Poreč.

The President of the Management Board of Plava Laguna, Dragan Pujas, also congratulated Vinistra on its 30th anniversary, emphasizing how this well-known company, as a long-standing gold sponsor of Vinistra, has contributed to the promotion and branding of Istria as a top wine destination.

"Vinistra today functions as a modern organization with a clear strategy and plans. We continuously invest in improving the quality, strengthening the identity, and enhancing the competitiveness of Istrian wines. We will continue to maintain synergy among all our members because it is precisely our unity that has brought us to where we are today - on the wine map of the world," said Luka Rossi, the president of the Vinistra association, inviting all wine lovers to Žatika, where there are a total of 125 exhibitors, including 85 winemakers.

Among them are this year's winners of awards from the Vinistra wine and spirits competition and the Malvasia World, where a total of 15 platinum, 178 gold, and 78 silver medals were awarded. Let's remind ourselves that the champion titles were won by the wineries Bastian for the best fresh Malvasia, Deklić for aged Malvasia and young Teran, Benvenuti for mature Teran, Vinska klet Kralj from Slovenia for young Refošk, and Bordon, also from Slovenia, for mature Refošk.

The Greek Monemvasia-Malvasia from 2011 was the best-rated Malvasia with the title of Best in Show, and the owners of the winery highlighted last night at the award ceremony how for 20 years they have been sending samples for evaluation to Istria, driven by the beautiful Istrian story and friendship with the first president of Vinistra, Ivica Matošević.

The "IQ" mark - Istrian Quality, was awarded this year to 27 winemakers for Malvasias from the 2023 harvest and seven winemakers for Teran from the 2021 harvest.

Furthermore, special recognition was given to the wineries Cattunar, Kozlović, and Benvenuti, which have so far won the most champion titles, each of them with seven.

Luka Rossi also presented special acknowledgments to the external collaborators of the association: Katarina Radola, Petar Šegon, Maja Laginja, Krešimir Juričić, the association's secretary from 2009 to 2022, and Miljenko Bošnjak, the sole judge at all 30th Vinistra evaluations.