Dalmatian Wine Festival 2023.

Interview with the organizer

Teo Bikić from the organizing team of this year's Wine Festival Dalmatia, did not hide his satisfaction with the turnout at this year's festival and the full hall of the Hotel Lav in Split. He points out that they have increased the number of exhibitors from 53 last year to 70 this year, which is a big leap and a proof that they are doing things well, and that the winemakers have recognized the festival as something good and of high quality for promoting wines, wineries, and the entire region.


During our conversation with winemakers, we noticed that more and more of them are turning to autochthonous Dalmatian grape varieties. Can you share your experience regarding guests' impressions of Dalmatian autochthonous varieties?

We, as an association, advocate for absolute freedom of choice when it comes to which grape varieties and blends a winemaker chooses to produce. While suggestions can be made, the winemaker is the one who lives with the vineyard and knows best what can be produced most qualitatively in that area, and therefore has absolute freedom in their choice. Dalmatia itself is extremely diverse in terms of terrain and number of grape varieties, as you yourself mentioned - just by passing through two or three exhibition spaces, you already have a choice of seven varieties. For example, from Primosten to Kastela, about 50 kilometers apart, you can find various wines made from Babic and Crljenak, and this diversity is our advantage on which we are building. This may be difficult to promote from the start because of its diversity, but we will not give up on it. Diversity is our advantage, which has been recognized by our winemakers and visitors. Anyone who comes now doesn't just talk about posip and plavac, but also mentions other varieties such as zlatarica, bogdanusa, plavina, and lasina. So, this is a wealth that needs to be preserved and nurtured.


Family wineries are slowly being renovated and taken over by younger generations. What new things are they bringing to the inherited tradition?

Of course, the world is changing rapidly today, and so is winemaking, technology, and supply. As you have noticed, many of these wineries have been in winemaking and viticulture for generations, and now younger generations are taking over, who have, I hope, adopted the best things from new technology that can contribute to the development of even better and higher quality wines and keep up with the trends dominating the market today. We can cultivate something that was traditionally done, but there are trends, and we need to find a compromise between traditional and modern, which will be the right choice for Dalmatia..


There is a lot of supply that ends up in domestic restaurants and in free sale, but it is also noticed that more and more of them are opting for export. Is this because of the higher prices they achieve on the international market?

Certainly, we should work on exports, but it doesn't have to be a burden to take some wrong steps. Wines should be primarily of high quality, so when foreigners come and taste them, they want to take them back to their home countries. In my personal opinion, our export should be based on the fact that guests who have experienced Croatian wines in Croatia talk to their friends and want that wine, not that it is exported just for the sake of exporting. That would not be a good path. We have enough guests, good and quality tourist seasons, through which our winemakers can place a good part of their offer. It is also noticeable that an increasing number of guests see and remember this diversity of offers. It often happens that when they try some indigenous variety, they want to know if they can buy it at home, for example, in Italy, so they say - "We will take that with us" or they are interested in whether there are places where they can buy it when they come back to their country.


In France, there has been a saturation of the market with red wines. In your opinion, is there a strategy for developing our varieties and market development to prevent a similar situation from happening?

As an association, we will not restrict winemakers' freedom. It must exist, because we cannot say who will work with which style and variety. Perhaps there should be a compromise that is difficult for us to achieve because there are really many varieties, many areas, and many vineyards. We should not be burdened with whether to grow this or that variety, but focus on producing the highest possible quality when it is produced. The worst thing is to follow some trends, and the guest who tries it sees that it is not good. I think we should focus on quality and uniqueness. The only right way is to produce top-quality Dalmatian wines from Dalmatian grapes. Whether we produce more white or red wines, the market will sometimes have the final say. We see that the hall is full. What are your plans for the future and what are your impressions?


We can see that the hall is full. What are your plans for the future and what are your impressions?

The impressions are really great! 70 winemakers, never more. This means that they recognize our work and we hope that next year everyone will come back and even new winemakers will join us. But the number of 70 winemakers is really representative and anyone who comes, whether from the business world or as a wine lover, will really be able to recognize Dalmatia in all its diversity. We have many plans, from resolving protected designation of origin issues to holding smaller fairs throughout the year. In general, the plans are great and winemakers strongly support us in this.

Exhibitors listed in alphabetical order:

Antunović Winery

Antunović Winery, a family-owned winery from Pelješac, produces wines made from the maraština and pošip grape varieties, as well as three labels of plavac and a rosé made from plavac. They have an annual production of around 30,000 bottles on 6 hectares, and sell their wines in restaurants and through retail sales. They also export to Switzerland and Slovenia.

Baraka

Filip Karlo Baraka presents Baraka Winery from Šibenik, which produces wines from the varieties of debit, maraština, as well as a blend of debit, trnjak and maraština, as well as babić, rosé from plavina, babića and lasina, and some international varieties. They sell their wines in restaurants and retail stores. Their annual production is around 30,000 bottles of wine, and they export throughout Europe.

Birin

Nikola Birin, the owner of Birine winery, presents wines made from indigenous grape varieties such as debit, maraština, plavina, lasin in rosé, babić and prošek made from maraština grapes. Their annual production is about 25,000 bottles which they sell in restaurants and at the winery.

Blato 1902

Mileva Šubašić, a winemaker at Blato 1902 winery, is presenting their white and red wines made from the pošip grape variety, as well as the Korčulanka label which is a blend of cetinka, zlatarica, and bratkovina grape varieties. They are also showcasing their barrel-aged pošip Težak 2021, as well as their merlot and syrah wines in the premium category. Their annual production is around 700,000 liters, which they sell in restaurants and through retail, with a portion also exported.

Bora

Vinariju Bora presents young wines of the varieties pošip, sauvignon, maraština 2021 and a blend of merlot. They also exhibit cabernet sauvignon and syrah 2018, as well as a new label, Svrdlovina 2021. Their annual production is about 50,000 bottles, which they sell in free trade and in restaurants. They are also negotiating their first export quantities.

Carić

Vinarija Carić comes from the island of Hvar. They present eight different wines of varieties ranging from fresh bogdanuša and fresh pošip, a blend of pošip, bogdanuša, and prč, to aged plavac and a blend of plavac and cabernet. Their annual production is between 50,000 and 60,000 bottles of wine, mostly sold in restaurants.

Crna Ovca

Vinarija Crna Ovca is presenting wines of the varieties pošip, plavac, and dingač. They produce around 7,000 bottles per year, mainly sold in restaurants.

Deak

Damir Deak presents Deak Winery from Komarna, with wines of the varieties plavac and pošip, as well as rosé made from plavac and syrah. Their annual production is around 35,000 bottles, which they sell in restaurants and export to America.

Dubrovački Podrumi

Dubrovačke Podrumi are presented by the enologist Eva Krištof with eight red grape varieties and white grape varieties such as malvasia and maraština, as well as a rosé made from syrah and kadar. Their annual production is around 150,000 liters on 20 hectares of vineyards. They sell wines in restaurants and in retail, and export to Germany, Switzerland, Serbia, Montenegro, and the United States.

Fiolić

Ana Fiolić presents Fiolić Winery from Zadar with wines of the variety maraština but also autochthonous varieties, producing rosé and red wines. In addition to wines, they also produce liqueurs from dried figs and marasca cherries. Their annual wine production is around 30,000 bottles. They sell their wines in restaurants and hotels and are currently in negotiations for export to America.

Gašpar

Dario Gaspar presents Gašpar Winery with wines made from indigenous grape varieties such as zlatarica, plavka, and trnjak. Their annual production is around 12,000 bottles. They sell exclusively in restaurants and wine shops, and export to Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Grgić

Krešo Vučković presents Grgić winery with wines made from the varieties pošip and plavac mali. They sell their wines in free sale and in restaurants, and export to Europe, Canada, and America.

Grmoja

Lucija Plosnić presents the Grmoja Winery with wines of the varieties zlatarica, pošip, plavac, rosé made from plavac, and a blend of cabernet and vranac. Their annual production is around 20,000 liters which they sell in restaurants and through direct sales.

Jerković / Đuzel

Kairos Vina

Kairos Vina from Trogir present themselves with the 2020 rose, a blend of all the varieties from their vineyard, and the crljenak variety. Their annual production is around 20,000 liters, which they sell in restaurants and through direct sales.

Kastel Sikuli

Ivan Kovačević presents Kastel Sikuli winery with wines made from the grape varieties pošip, crljenak and rose. They produce about 25,000 bottles annually, selling them in restaurants - HoReCa and exporting to Germany, Switzerland and France.

Katich

Enologist Viktor Zdilar of Katich Winery from Imotski presents us with an indigenous grape variety from Imotski wine region - kujundžuša, and other grape varieties such as pošip, chardonnay, and a blend of chardonnay and sauvignon. For red wines, he presents us with plavac mali from the 2015 vintage, and a cuvée blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon with a certain percentage of the indigenous trnjak grape variety. Also, Reserva is the same blend as mentioned before, but made from selected grapes and aged for 18 months in barrique barrels. Their annual wine production is 60,000 liters, mostly sold in restaurants.

Korta Katarina

Vinarija Korta Katarina presents wines of the indigenous varieties pošip and plavac mali. Their annual production is around 60,000 bottles of wine, sold in restaurants and in retail, and exported to 15 countries worldwide.

Kraljevski Vinogradi

Zoran Pantalon, director of Kraljevski Vinogradi, presents wines of the varieties pošip, plavac, crljenak, and žilavka. Their annual production is around 150,000 liters of wine, which they sell in restaurants through HoReCa and also export to the United States, Japan, Iceland, Austria, and Germany.

Krolo

Vinarija Krolo produces wines of the varieties kaštelanski crljenak, a blend of merlot and cabernet, plavac and pošip. Their annual production is around 30,000 bottles which they sell in restaurants and through direct sales, and they export to Germany, France, and Canada.

OPG Kusić

Antonela Kusić represents Kusić winery from Imotski, which exhibits wines of chardonnay, syrah, and kujundžuša varieties, from which they produce blends and rosé. They primarily sell their wines in restaurants and in retail.

Livaić

Davor Livaić presents Livaić Winery from Pirovac with wines of the varieties babić, debit, and maraština. Their annual production is around 15,000 liters, which they sell in restaurants and at the winery.

Madirazza

Vinarija Madirazza from Pelješac presents wines of the varieties grk, pošip and dingač, from which they produce premium wines and blends. Their annual production is around 250,000 bottles, which they sell in restaurants and through direct sales.

Marlais

Vinariju Marlais from Pelješac is presented by Ante Marlais with wines of varieties maraština, malvasia, and plavac mali as well as their blends and rosé. Their annual production is around 15,000 bottles which they sell in restaurants and at the winery.

MasVin

Radoslav Bobanović represents MasVin winery with wines made from varieties such as maraština, plavina, babić, crljenak, syrah, merlot, cabernet, and pinot noir. Their annual production is around 35,000 liters of wine, which they sell in restaurants and at the winery. They export to Sweden and Denmark.

Matela

Ivan Kovač, owner of Matela winery, presents wines of varieties maraština bijela, pošip, vlaška, and for red wines crljenak, plavac, babica, ninčuša and babić. They sell wines in restaurants and in free trade, and export to America and Europe.

Milan

Vinarija Milan presents itself with the grape variety pošip from which they produce 9,000 bottles and is the first winery in the continental part of Dalmatia to bring pošip from Korčula, as the representative says. They sell in restaurants, wine shops, retail and in their own winery.

Miloš

Josip Miloš presents Miloš winery from Pelješac with wines of the varieties plavac mali and rukatac. They produce about 70,000 bottles on 15 hectares of vineyards, which they sell in restaurants and in retail. They export to Europe and the USA.

Mimica

Vinariju Mimica predstavlja Marko Mimica with wines made from the varieties of crljenak, tribidrag, cuvee of Dalmatian varieties, and prosek. They produce around 20,000 bottles annually, which are sold in restaurants and in the winery itself. They export to Germany, Poland, the United States, and China.

Nerica

Jakša Krajančić presents Nerica winery with wines made of pošip grapes. Their annual production is 65,000 bottles sold in restaurants and free sale.

Opus

Vina Opus is presented by Barbara Prović, who presents wines of the plavac mali variety as well as rosé. They produce around 30,000 liters annually, which they sell mainly to restaurants - HoReCa.

Pavičić

Mirko Pavičić presents Pavičić winery that produces indigenous grape varieties such as bogdanuša, pošip, plavac mali, and parč, which is very rare on the island of Hvar. They produce 12 wine labels, 3 variations of bogdanuša; fresh, barrel-aged, and aged on lees, as well as a few versions of pošip; fresh and barrel-aged. They mostly sell their wines in restaurants and produce around 30,000 liters of wine annually.

Prgin

Ivana Prgin Horvat presents the Prgin winery from Primošten, which produces wines from the babić and debit grape varieties, as well as rosé wines made from these varieties. Their annual production is around 13,000 liters, which they sell in restaurants, in their winery, and in wine shops.

Prović

Monika Prović from the Prović winery presents a winery with some of its products made from indigenous varieties such as zlatarica and trnjak. They also produce wines from varieties such as pošip, plavac mali, and chardonnay. They sell some of their wines in the winery but also to restaurants - HoReCa, and export to Switzerland and America.

Provin LNT

Vinariju Provin LNT from the island of Lastovo is presented by Tonči Šarić with wines of varieties pošip, maraština, plavac mali, merlot and rose. They produce around 10,000 bottles per year which they sell in restaurants and in retail.

Putniković

Vinarija Putniković represents a blend of white grape varieties, plavac mali, and rose. They sell their wines mainly in restaurants and in free sale.

Rizman

Salvador Mandarić presents Rizman winery, located in the Komarna wine region, with wines made from the varieties pošip, tribidrag, and plavac. The entire winery is based on organic production, and all wines are certified organic. They produce around 65,000 bottles of wine annually, selling exclusively in restaurants, with a small portion also being exported.

Vinarija Šain Marelić

Vinarija Šain-Marelić is presented by Dražen Šain with wines made from the pošip grape of older vintages. They produce around 30,000 bottles annually, which they sell in restaurants and at their own tasting room. They also export to Germany.

Saint Hills

Roberto Štokovac for Saint Hills winery presents Mala Nevina wine, which is a blend of malvazija and chardonnay, then Frenchie, a blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon, Le Chiffre - a new chardonnay from French oak barrels, Sv. Roko - plavac mali, and Black - a blend of plavac mali from Komarna and Dingač. Annual production is around 130,000 bottles of wine, sold in restaurants and retail, and exported to America. Sorts are written in lowercase.

Podrumi Šimunović

Podrumi Šimunović, represented by Ante Šimunović, produces wines of the varieties kujunđuša, white cuvee chardonnay, pošip, and žilavka, a rosé blend of merlot, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon, and a red blend of merlot, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, and trnjak. They produce around 40,000 bottles per year, selling primarily in restaurants, and exporting to Germany and the Czech Republic.

Skaramuča

Vinarija Dingač Skaramuča presents wines of the varieties rose, pošip, plavac mali and dingač, as well as young pošip from 2022. They sell wines in restaurants and in retail. They export to countries like Australia, America, and Europe. Their annual wine production is around 35,000 bottles.

Škaulj

Vinarija Škaulj produces wines of the varieties maraština, chardonnay, merlot, syrah, cabarnet sauvignon, plavina and crljenak. They produce around 200,000 liters annually which they sell to restaurants, wine shops and at their winery.

Skelin

Tomislav Skelin presents the Skelin winery with wines of the varieties pošip, maraština, debit, syrah, plavina, and lasina. Their annual production is around 50,000 liters which they sell in restaurants and through direct sales.

Ško Vina

Ško Vina presents themselves with wines of the varieties debit, maraština, merlot, and rose made from plavina. Their annual production is about 25,000 bottles, mostly sold in restaurants - HoReCA, and they also prepare exports to Germany.

Sladić Ante

Vinarija Ante Sladić presents itself exclusively with the assortment of the Dalmatian hinterland of Skradin. They have white wines of the debit and maraština varieties, and red wines of the lasina and plavić varieties. They sell their wines in restaurants and in their own winery, and export to Europe and the USA.

Sladić Marko

Vinarija Sladić produces wines of the varieties maraština, plavina, debit, lasina, and rosé.

Stina

Vinarija Stina produces wines of the varieties pošip, vugava, chardonnay, plavac mali, and tribidrag. Their expected annual production is around 300,000 liters of wine, which they distribute to restaurants and in free sale, and export to all European countries, as well as the US, Hong Kong, Japan, and China.

Sušić

Branko Tonković represents Vinarija Sušić with wines of the sorts kujudžuša, pošip and chardonnay, as well as cuvees with merlot, vranc and cabernet sauvignon. Their annual production is about 50,000 liters, and they sell them in restaurants and in retail. They export smaller quantities mainly to America.

Svirče

Vinarija Svirče represents black wines of the plavac variety from the southern side of the island of Hvar and the autochthonous bogdanuša variety. Their annual production is around 400,000 liters, which they sell in restaurants and in free sales. They export to Canada and Italy.

Terra Madre

Vinarija Terra Madre from Komarna presents wines of sorts plavac mali and pošip, as well as fresh rosé - a blend of plavac mali and syrah. Their annual production is around 80,000 bottles which they sell in restaurants and at the winery, and they export to Switzerland, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and America.

Testament

Vinarija Testament produces wines of the varieties pošip and babić, from which they also produce rosé wines.

Tomić

Vinarija Tomić produces wines of the following grape varieties: pošip, bogdanuša, plavac mali, cabernet sauvignon, as well as blends and rosé wines.

Toreta

Vinarija Toreta produces the varieties of pošip, plavac mali, and rukatac. Their annual production is 50,000 bottles, and they sell their wines in restaurants and at the winery.

Velebna

Velebna Winery presents varieties of merlot, syrah, chardonnay, and Glorija rose. Their annual production is around 50,000 liters, sold in restaurants and in free sale, and exported to Austria and Poland.

Ventus

Vinarija Ventus from Hvar showcases wines made from plavac mali and autochthonous varieties bogdanuša, prč, and pošip. Their annual production is around 20,000 bottles which they sell in restaurants and retail, and export to Germany.

Vinoplod

Vinoplod winery presents wines of the varieties debit, babić, as well as a rosé and a label called Jakov, which is a blend of the varieties maraština, ugni blanc and trbljan. They sell their wines in restaurants and in retail stores as part of the Badel 1862 group, and export worldwide.

Vislander

Jelena Milanović, enologist of Vislander winery from the island of Vis, presents wines of the variety vugava: young vintage from 2022, fresh and aged in barrique barrels vintage from 2021, as well as white and rosé sparkling wines, and four lines of plavac mali. Their annual production is around 150,000 liters of fresh wine and around 10,000 liters of barrique-aged wine. They sell their wines in restaurants and in free sale.

Volarević

Josip Volarević from Volarević winery presents wines of varieties pošip and plavac mali, as well as the autochthonous variety malvazija dubrovačka. They produce sparkling, still, and macerated wines. Their annual production is around 100,000 bottles of wine. They sell exclusively through restaurants – HoReCa, and export 40% to America and Montenegro.

Vuina

Katarina Vuina presents Vuina winery with wines made from plavac, babic, and crljenak grapes, as well as a rose made from crljenak. They sell wines in restaurants and in retail. Their expected annual wine production is around 13,000 bottles, and they also export to Scandinavian countries and the US.

Zlatan Otok

Darko Janković, an agronomy master from the Zlatan Otok winery on Hvar, presents us with magnum and archive wines, among which he highlights the varietal wines: plavac from 2011, crljenak from 2012, Zlatan Babić Barrique from 2012, which is a rarity, and Zlatan Syrah. They also present themselves with young wines of the bogdanuša and pošip varieties, as well as other recognizable varieties of their winery. Their annual production is up to 900,000 liters of wine on a surface area of 180 hectares of their own vineyards. Their sales are mainly restaurant-oriented - HoReCa, and around 35% for the foreign market.

Additional offer of the fair

Pršutana Smjeli

Mladen Pranjčić presents delicacies from the Smjeli prosciutto factory in Dugopolje, which has been producing prosciutto since 1997. They export to Slovenia, Germany, and the Czech Republic, supplying restaurants and hotels.

OPG Kremenica SKradin

OPG Kremenica Skradin presents their own-produced olive oil from their groves, with an annual production of around 1000 liters. They sell their olive oil in local restaurants.

Korlat

Laurenta

OPG Laurenta presents Domagoj Živković with extra virgin olive oil made from their own grove of oblica variety. After the harvest, the fruit is processed within 24 hours, and they produce around 3000 liters of oil annually, depending on the year. They mainly sell on the domestic market and export to Europe and America.

Zajednica Maslinara

Tea Kalinić presents oils from a community of oil mills and olive growers. They sell olive oil in local restaurants.