After a successful opening day on the island of Brac, the Zagreb Vinocom international press trip continued on the island of Hvar on November 26, 2014, an event attended by Digital Journal.
As previously reported
, the group of 30 journalists from 18 countries were welcomed the previous evening by Andro Tomic and Hvar WIne Association president Ivana Krstulovic Caric at the Tomic winery in Jelsa, before embarking on a tour of the island's wineries the following day.
Day two kicked off in Vrboska at the charming Pinjata winery, whose intimate "konoba" is one of Dalmatia's most charming tasting experiences. After breakfast was served, the Pinjata range was presented, which consists exclusively of indigenous grape varieties of Plavac Mali, Bogdanusa and Prc, with the latter two only grown on Hvar.
In a very competitive global market, Croatia's rich range of indigenous varieties is seen as one of the key strengths of its winemakers, and greater international press exposure to these relatively unknown varieties is an important aspect in Croatia's wine promotion. This promotion is already yielding results, as more wine experts are discovering these exciting varieties, with Hvar's premier white indigenous variety, Bogdanusa, a case in point.
Translated as "a gift from God," Bogdanusa is a light, early-drinking wine which is only grown on Hvar. The Bogdanusa of Ivo Caric has made particularly good progress, and is exported as far away as California, while influential British wine blogger Jamie Goode discovered the wine at the Balkan International Wine Challenge, where it won silver.
After the gorgeous weather on Brac, the Hvar leg was unfortunately accompanied by grey skies and drizzle, which limited the effectiveness of vineyard visits, some of which exist on seemingly impossibly steep slopes, but the island's biggest winemaker, Zlatan Plenkovic was on hand to welcome the group to his underwater cellars in the southern resort of Sveta Nedjelja.
Among the wines tasted was the Zlatan Otok Posip 2010, which won Decanter Gold in 2012, and among the international gathering was Master of Wine Angela Muir, who as Chairman of the Central and Eastern European Decanter World Wine Awards panel, who was responsible for giving the award.
Lunch was served at the wine cooperative of PZ Svirce, which continues to impress with its range of organic and non-organic wines, most recently at Biofach Mundus Vini in Germany
, where the Ivan Dolac Barrique won organic gold for the second year running, this time for the 2008. There was a treat for the cooperative's guests, as the 2003 Ivan Dolac Barrique was opened with lunch, officially the first certified organic Plavac Mali in Croatia.
While the bottled oaked reds may have impressed, the wine which attracted the attention of Muir more was brought out in jugs for sampling. One week ahead of bottling, the the 2013 Posip De Luxe proved a popular choice.
The highlights of the Hvar wine scene done, the group continued their trip with a return to the mainland to the inland Dalmatian town of Imotski close to the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a region not traditionally known for its quality wine until some exciting innovations be entrepreneurial winemakers in recent years.