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En primeur 2022: last year's vintage yielded Malvasia of exceptional potential

More than seventy winemakers from Istria, Bregovita Hrvatska and Kvarner, excellent young wines and selected delicacies such as Istrian cheese and prosciutto - the tenth first wine tasting has ended in Zagreb

Restaurant owners, wine shops, hotel owners, the most renowned sommeliers and wine journalists gathered at the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb for a one-day premiere of young Istrian Malvasia, Žlahtina and indigenous varieties of Bregovita Hrvatska (Hilly Croatia). The tenth edition of En primeur traditionally brought about fifty winemakers from Istria, a few from Kvarner and about twenty from Bregovita Hrvatska to Zagreb.

Presenting the current vintage, while still in the barrels, is not new in the wine world. This interesting wine gathering was introduced by the French, and ten years ago it was first brought to Croatia by the Istrians, who announced excellent wines this time as well.

“The previous wine-growing year was favorable, we were surprised by snow and ice at the beginning of April, which is why the harvest was somewhat poorer, but considering the warm May and pleasant summer temperatures, as well as the nice and dry weather during the harvest, the grapes were of exceptional quality so the wines will exceed all expectations", said Nikola Benvenuti, the resident of Vinistra, the association of winemakers and winegrowers of Istria, and his words were confirmed by the tasting workshop of six Malvasias from different terroirs of the Istrian peninsula.

Even Ezio Pinzan, the head of the Administrative Department for Agriculture of the Istria County, who opened the event, did not hide his satisfaction with the young Malvasias, and Marko Miklažić, representative of the Organization of Winemakers and Winegrowers Bregovita Hrvatska, pointed out that its members have better wines each year.

Dragan Kovačević, Vice President for Agriculture and Tourism of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, pointed out that Croatian winemaking is moving in the direction of top quality

“Strengthening of Croatian winemaking should take two directions. On the one hand, it is necessary to raise the competitiveness of the wine sector, the technological level, increase and consolidate the areas, increase the production capacity and reach at least 100 million liters per year, and on the other hand, the country must invest more strongly in the promotion and marketing of wine. We need strong national marketing modeled on neighboring Hungary or Austria and an umbrella national marketing organization, with the Croatian Chamber of Economy is ready to take on such a role in order to better position our country on the international wine scene", said Kovačević, adding that export is recovering. By observing the foreign trade exchange of wine at the level of the entire Croatia, it is growing at a rate of almost 30 percent.

The winemakers in Zagreb were met with the sad news that one of the most prominent Istrian winemakers, the multiple champion of Vinistra, Marijan Arman passed away, so they honored him with a moment of silence.