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article imageWine, tradition and Matej Ivanic remembered: Bogdanusa on Hvar

By Paul Bradbury     Jul 21, 2014 in Travel
Hvar - The Hvar Wine Association's impressive summer continues in Svirce on an evening of wine, song, sport and remembering a hero from 1514.
With the tourist season at its peak, The Hvar Wine Association drew a considerable number of tourists away from the coast on July 19, 2014, as their impressive tasting season continued in the picturesque wine village of Svirce with Bogdanusa Evening.
After the success of their first seasonal tasting in Vrboska, which was attended by Master of Wine Jo Ahearne, Hvar's winemakers headed inland to Svirce, home to two of Croatia's best producers — Ivo Caric and PZ Svirce — to celebrate the wines of the indigenous variety called Bogdanusa, which is only grown on Hvar.
The third Bogdanusa Evening in Svirce was the most successful yet  and the pretty Dalmatian square w...
The third Bogdanusa Evening in Svirce was the most successful yet, and the pretty Dalmatian square was illuminated with lighting provided by Ivica Blaskovic.
Mili Plenkovic
Literally translated as "a gift from God," Bogdanusa is slowly gaining an international reputation, and Caric in particular has enjoying global exposure, having won a silver medal at the Balkan Wine International Challenge in Sofia and exporting this local variety as far away as California. Joining the Svirce winemakers were Andro Tomic, Ivo Dubokovic and Zlatan Otok.
Hvar Wine Association President Ivana Krstulovic Caric (centre)  who has been the driving force of t...
Hvar Wine Association President Ivana Krstulovic Caric (centre), who has been the driving force of the association's heightened profile, talks to the Croatian media.
Hvar Wine Association
The evening was about much more than wine, however, and Bogdanusa Evening has become a symbol of the celebration of the tradition and heritage of this pretty Dalmatian island. In addition to the wine, there was live klapa music from Veli Kamik, a demonstration of the very traditional (and rarely seen) Dalmatian game of zoga falo (see video below for a report on a previous Bogdanusa event), and an exhibition of some of the weaponry used during the Great Hvar Rebellion of 1510-14, whose hero, Matej Ivanic, was remembered 500 years later by the winemakers. Digital Journal spoke to Hvar Wine Association president Ivana Krstulovic Caric about the heritage aspect of the event:
"Hvar Wine tastings are moving from place to place, uncovering beautiful and authentic sites of our Island of Wine, and even more, we are revealing the stories from the past. This year Bogdanuša Evening is dedicated to 500 years of the End of the Hvar People's Uprising, and visitors could see the arms from that time and find about the circumstances of the civil uprising. The story will continue in Vrbanj in the beginning of August, where the great hero Matij Ivanić was born."
Leading winemaker Andro Tomic came to support the event.
Leading winemaker Andro Tomic came to support the event.
Mili Plenkovic
Also in attendance was leading winemaker Andro Tomic, regarded by many as one of the faces of EU accession last year, as he led the fight against the EU's attempts to ban use of the name of his beloved Prosek. He was not the only Hvar cultural icon in attendance, as Professor Frank John Dubokovic also appeared. Dubokovic, who has become something of a local celebrity with his hilarious video explanations of the differences between local dialect and standard Croatian, is just one more example of the local colour added to these excellent wine events, which celebrate all aspects of the heritage and culture of Croatia's premier island.
The Hvar Wine Association season continues on July 29 in the square of Skor in Croatia's oldest town, Stari Grad, which was founded by the Ancient Greeks in 384 BC.
Although the main emphasis was on wine  there was also an exhibition of the weapons of the Great Reb...
Although the main emphasis was on wine, there was also an exhibition of the weapons of the Great Rebellion on Hvar, which ended 500 years ago in 1514. The weapons are from the private collection of Boris Caric.
Ivana Krstulovic Caric
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