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Sanja Brnobić about the Vinistra Festival

In the crowded Žatika hall, we talked with Sanja Brnobić, the marketing manager of Vinistra. Many exhibitors filled the hall, some of whom we often encounter at fairs in Croatia, but many are also local winemakers who deal with indigenous varieties and whom we have the opportunity to get to know better here. We saw how many of them are engaged in the production of indigenous Istrian varieties and are extremely proud of it.


Can you tell us how many exhibitors were there this year and what were your impressions? To what extent were native grape varieties represented compared to foreign grape varieties?

To begin with, the 29th edition of Vinistra brought together 120 exhibitors, of which 80 were winemakers, which particularly pleases us. At our wine exhibition, the predominant autochthonous grape varieties are malvazija and teran, but this year, the interesting thing is that one-third of the hall was dedicated to the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, a world wine competition held right here in Žatika in Poreč. That is why we prepared a part of the hall for sample collection, and the rest of the hall for winemakers and exhibition part. Therefore, the stands were unified to give everyone more space for exhibition. Visitors could also see how the samples are prepared while they tasted the wines, so I would say that this is a special feature of this fair. I must also mention that we are extremely satisfied with ticket sales and this year's number of visitors.


You mentioned that you are the hosts of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, the world wine competition. Can you tell us what that means for Croatia?

Hosting Concours Mondial de Bruxelles brings together a large number of judges, specifically 350 of them coming to Poreč, which carries a great tourist value not only for Istria but for the whole of Croatia. Therefore, the word about our autochthonous varieties will spread and, we can say, establish in the world. malvazija and teran are already well-known not only in the region but also worldwide, and what is especially pleasing to us is that Istria as a wine region has been integrated into the wine map of the world, and more and more foreigners recognize autochthonous varieties and gladly taste them. What is also particularly interesting is that in addition to autochthonous varieties, award-winning wines from Concours Mondial de Bruxelles could be tasted at two exhibitor locations where they present wines that cannot be tasted anywhere else. 


With good reason, you are proud of hosting the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles competition, can you give us some information about the judging process and what is the significance of this event for Croatian winemakers and our autochthonous wines?

The judging itself takes place here in Žatika where 10,000 samples that arrived from Brussels will be evaluated from May 12th to May 14th. Our winemakers, not only from Istria but from all over Croatia, had the opportunity to submit their samples at a more favorable price, which they did not have to send to Brussels, but rather deliver to us at the base, after which we delivered them to Poreč. This is an exceptional opportunity for Croatian winemakers to get their stamps at such a prestigious world wine judging. Given that we are a small wine region, we want to brand ourselves as best as possible in the world to become recognizable. We can compete in quality, but not in quantity. We cannot have more than we have, so it is important to maintain quality and become recognizable by it. Therefore, this is an exceptional opportunity for our winemakers to brand their wines and autochthonous varieties as best as possible at this judging.

 

After an extremely popular fair, it seems that you are running out of space. So we are interested to know what are your plans for the future, for the 30th Vinistra?

Next year will be, as you said, the 30th anniversary of Vinistra. We will certainly prepare a wine spectacle and after the end of this fair, we will start preparing for next year. There will be many surprises and we will certainly make an effort for winemakers and visitors to enjoy this jubilee edition. We will try to have as many of them as possible and experience together the greatness of our wine region.

Exhibitors listed in alphabetical order

Agrolaguna

Agrolaguna presents us with a premium line of Festigia wines as part of Agrolaguna, which produces oil, cheese, and wines exclusively with the geographical origin mark PDO Croatian Istria. In addition to Festigia wines, they also offer wines from the Vina Laguna winery for everyday enjoyment, lighter and with a reduced alcohol content, while Festigia wines are more complex, a more serious line from selected geographical positions. This year they offer a classic sparkling malvazija, fresh Festigia malvazija vintage 2022, and blanc de moi white pinot. Their most awarded wines are the black blend - Castelo Festigia, aged malvazija from 2016 from a special position in Istria, and the black blend with teran from 2015, LV Festigia. The representative of the Festigia brand says that they mostly have restaurant sales. Their annual production is about 4,500,000 bottles of wine. Most of the wines are for the domestic market, and 10% of production is intended for the foreign market.

Anđelini

Anđelini Wines presents wines made from malvazija varieties, a blend of malvazija and chardonnay, as well as rosé made from cabernet sauvignon and merlot, and cabernet sauvignon and syrah. The annual production of the winery is about 70,000 liters of wine, which they produce on about 15 hectares of vineyards. They predominantly sell wine domestically through the HoReCa channel.

Anđelo Bečić

Arman Marijan Wines

Arman Marijan Wines presents sparkling and still wines made from malvazija, as well as chardonnay 2021, sauvignon blanc 2022, and two red wines: cabernet 2017 and teran 2020. Their annual production is around 100,000 bottles, which they sell both domestically and internationally.

Babos

Babos Winery from Vodnjan presents fresh, aged and sparkling malvazija, white muscat, as well as two different aged types of black wine in barrique and dessert wine Vin de Rosa. Their annual production is around 40,000 liters, which they sell through the HoReCa channel and on their doorstep.

Baćac Wines

Baćac Wines exhibit wines of fresh Malvazija, semi-sweet Muscat, rose, Merlot, and a blend of Merlot and Sauvignon. On a total of 8 hectares, they produce about 60,000 liters of wine which they sell through the HoReCa channel and at their own doorstep.

Banko Winery

Banko Winery presents wines from malvazija, four types of aged red wine, and rose wines. They produce about 15,000 bottles which they sell domestically and at their own doorstep.

Bastian Winery

Bastian Winery from Buje cultivates 30 hectares of vineyards and presents wines made from malvasia, merlot, and a 2022 rosé. Their annual production is around 75,000 liters, which they mainly sell in restaurants.

Benvenuti

Benvenuti Winery is presenting themselves with autochthonous Istrian varieties of malvasia and teran. They have two variations of malvasia, one fresh from stainless steel and the other from a 70-year-old vineyard, macerated and aged for a year in large barrels. Their annual wine production is around 120,000 bottles on 22 hectares of vineyards. They mostly sell their wines in restaurants and their own winery. They export 30% of their production to Europe and America.

Berba Bertoša

Berba Bertoša is presenting their aged Malvazija in oak barrels and pinot grigio. They produce around 20,000 bottles of wine per year, which they sell domestically through wine shops and HoReCa channels.

Bernobić Winery

Bernobić Winery is showcasing wines of teran, borgonja, malvazija, teran rosé and malvazija barrique. They cultivate 4 hectares of vineyards and produce around 20,000 liters of wine annually, which they sell through HoReCa channels in Croatia.

Bruno Ferenac

Bruno Ferenac Wines is showcasing fresh and aged malvazija 2020, muscat, teran, merlot, cabernet, and their own cuvee wines. They produce around 20,000 bottles per year and sell mainly in Croatia through HoReCa channels.

Cattunar

The estate of the Cattunar family encompasses 56 hectares of vineyards. The majority of the vineyard surface is planted with indigenous Istrian grape varieties such as malvazija, teran, muškat bijeli momjanski, and muškat ruža, as well as other world-famous varieties like chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and sauvignon blanc.

Cosetto

The main focus of the family estate is the production of wines based on the indigenous Istrian grape varieties such as malvazija, teran, and borgonja, but also world-famous varieties that complement their wine portfolio, such as chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, and muscat bijeli.

OPG Dario Sirotić

OPG Dario Sirotić presents wines made from varieties such as chardonnay, malvazija, muscat, teran, and rosé. They produce 15,000 bottles per year which are sold domestically and locally.

Degrassi

Alen Matolić from the Degrassi winery presents the winery with wines of the malvasia 2021 variety, chardonnay 2019 aged in wooden barrels, and two sparkling wines - chardonnay blac de blanc 2018, aged for two and a half years on yeasts, and a blend of malvasia, chardonnay, and sauvignon. From red wines, they present a cuvée blend of 7 varieties that mature for three and a half years in wooden barrels and about four years in the bottle. They produce 40 wine labels and sell in restaurants, free sale, and export worldwide.

Wines Deklić

Deklić Wines is exhibiting aged malvazija, merlot, teran, chardonnay, and rosé wines. They particularly highlight the Familia vintage 2019 and 2020. Their annual production is around 100,000 liters of wine, which they sell both domestically and internationally.

Wines Dešković

The vineyards are located near the village of Kostanjica and not far from the town of Grožnjan, where they produce a rich selection of their own wines - from white to red wines, from dry and semi-dry to sweet dessert wines.

Domaine Koquelicot

Olivier Ertzbischoff from Domaine Koquelicot winery in Gračišće presents wine varieties of chardonnay, a classic edition of Belaigra, and macerated chardonnay with 2-day maceration before fermentation - Epicuria. They also produce champagnes from chardonnay - blac de blanc, and rose wine made of 80% chardonnay and 20% merlot. They also offer a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and teran, as well as a blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Their annual production is around 10,000 wine bottles, and they mainly sell to restaurants in Croatia.

Castle Belaj

Winery Castle Belaj presents wines made of the following grape varieties: malvazija, blend of malvazija and chardonnay, malvazija vintage 2019, black blend of merlot and pinot noir vintage 2019. Their annual wine production is around 70,000 liters. They sell their wines mainly in restaurants and through retail, while also exporting to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Russia, and Belgium.

Fakin

Winery Fakin presents the following grape varieties: malvazija, teran, and muscat, from which they produce still, sparkling, and rosé wines.

Fiore Vina

Winery Fiore presents wines made of the following grape varieties: malvazija and merlot.

Franc Arman

Franc Arman exhibits wines from malvasia, muscat, sparkling malvasia and barrique teran and merlot as well as rose wines. Their annual production is about 100,000 bottles, which they sell in the country and abroad.

Winery Franković

Winery Franković exhibits 12 grape varieties, highlighting istrian malvasia, sauvignon, chardonnay, teran, and cabernet sauvignon. They produce blends, aged wines, and sparkling wines. Their annual production is around 50,000 bottles sold both domestically and internationally.

Fuhtar Wines

Fuhtar wines from the area of Labin present wines made of the grape varieties malvasia, sweet muscat, merlot, teran, teran aged in the sea for one year, and their rosé wines. They produce around 20,000 bottles annually sold domestically and through direct sales.

Geržinić

Family Geržinić cultivates their own 10 hectares of vineyards, most of which are istrian malvasia, as well as five other grape varieties: chardonnay, yellow muscat, teran, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah.

In Sylvis

On 2.1 hectares, there are 7,400 vines of istrian malvasia and 1,500 vines of merlot planted using the traditional cultivation system: single-armed istrian guyot. The In Sylvis wine offer includes fresh istrian malvasia and Florens Rosé, as well as an aged line called Arbor (meaning "tree" in Latin): malvasia, cuvée, and Selection dessert malvasia.

Katunar

Vinarija Katunar produces wines of the varieties merlot, syrah, plavac mali, žlahtina, as well as rosé and sparkling wines.

Kozlović

Winery Kozlović exhibits wines from the grape varieties malvazija, teran, and momjanski muškat. They produce about 250,000 bottles per year on 30 hectares of vineyards. They sell domestically through the HoReCa channel and export to Europe and America.

Juričić

The Juričić winery from Labin presents five fresh wines made from the grape varieties malvazija, chardonnay, white muscat, merlot, and teran. They also produce sparkling and barrique wines made from malvazija. They produce about 20,000 bottles per year, which they sell both domestically and abroad.

Legovina

Legovina exhibits wines made from the varieties malvazija, chardonnay, sauvignon, as well as rose from merlot and teran. The winery's annual production is around 40,000 bottles, which are sold domestically through the HoReCa channel.

Winery Marčeta

Winery Marčeta presents wines of the varieties malvazija and teran, as well as cuvee and rosé wines.

Wines Mario Peršurić

Wines Mario Peršurić showcases wines made from malvazija, chardonnay, yellow muscat, teran, and cabernet sauvignon. They cultivate 12 hectares of vineyards and produce around 70,000 bottles, which they sell domestically and abroad.

Matić Wines

Winery Matić produces wines of the varieties merlot and pošip, as well as a rosé made from plavka.

Winery Matošević

Matošević winery presents a fresh 2022 malvazija from Alba stainless steel and a blend of malvazija, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc called Aura, along with an aged blend of these mentioned varieties. For red wines, they have a fresh teran and an aged blend of merlot, teran, and cabernet sauvignon. They produce around 120,000 bottles of wine annually, with a focus on fresh wines, and malvazija istarska accounts for 60% of their production. If we were to compare fresh and aged wines, 80% would be fresh and 20% aged. They are represented throughout Croatia in restaurants and shops and export worldwide to all continents, which accounts for around 30% of their sales.

Medea

Winery Medea from Vodnjan in southern Istria presents itself with dominant wine varieties - istrian malvasia, teran, merlot and chardonnay. They have vineyards on around 50 hectares, with a production of up to 400,000 liters of wine per year, producing domestic indigenous, but also world wine varieties. They introduce us to Medea wines that consist of medea malvasia, medea chardonnay, Medea Rose, Medea Merlot, Medea Teran and Medea Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the sparkling wine Medea Malvasia Brut. Malvasia Brut sparkling wine is made from malvasia using the Charmat method and is very dry, therefore not recommended to be paired with sweet notes. Their wines can be found in restaurant sales - HoReCa and in their own sales, which are mostly oriented towards the domestic market.

Novacco

Novacco Wines are presented with wines made from the varieties of malvazija, sauvignon, and muscat. They produce around 50,000 bottles per year, which are sold domestically through the HoReCa channel.

Leonardo Palčić

Leonardo Palčić winery presents wines from the Malvasia 2021 and 2022 vintages, as well as a sparkling wine made from Merlot and Teran 2022. They have around 12 vineyards in their holdings. They mainly sell their wines through retail channels and export to Italy.

Pavlomir Winery

Pavlomir Winery presents wines made from the varieties žlahtina, graševina, muscat, and a rose made from cabernet sauvignon, as well as a blend of žlahtina, chardonnay, and pinot blanc, and four sparkling wines. They produce around 170,000 liters which they sell in restaurants and through direct sales.

Pervino

Pervino Winery presents fresh and aged malvasia aged in acacia and oak, fresh and aged teran, and sweet muscat and semi-sweet teran. They produce around 120,000 liters on approximately 15 hectares and sell their wine in the country through the HoReCa channel.

Pilato

Pilato Winery presents wines made from malvazija in fresh and sur lie method, chardonnay, pinot blanc, white sauvignon, as well as rosé made from teran and red wines made from cabernet sauvignon, teran, merlot, and a rosé blend of cabernet, merlot, and teran. They also highlight a chardonnay made in sur lie method, aged on yeast in barriq barrels. They produce around 80,000 bottles per year, which they sell on site, through HoReCa channels, and by export.

Pino Rossi

Pino Rossi Wines exhibit white wines from fresh and aged malvazija, a rose consisting of merlot and refošk, and red wines from merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and pinot noir. They produce around 30,000 liters annually, which they sell through HoReCa channels and on-site.

Poleis

Winery Poleis produces malvasia, chardonnay, burgundy, sauvignon, white muscat, teran rose and barrique malvasia. They cultivate about 4 hectares of vineyards and produce around 35,000 liters of wine, which they sell domestically through HoReCa channels.

Poletti

Vinarija Poletti from the Istrian village of Žnjan owns about 10 hectares of vineyards and produces 7 labels that they sell in their own cellar, as well as in restaurants throughout Croatia. They produce around 40,000 liters of wine per year.

Winery Prodan

Winery Prodan presents wines made from the varieties of malvazija, chardonnay, teran, and cabernet sauvignon. They have also enriched their wine range with homemade liqueurs and aperitifs.

Pulin

Wines Pulin exhibit dry yellow muscat, fresh and aged malvasia, pinot gris, burgundy, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, teran, semi-sweet yellow muscat and muscat rose, cabernet and teran cuvee, and Perversum liqueur wines. They produce around 6 to 7 wagons of wine annually, which they sell domestically through HoReCa channels.

PZ Vrbnik

PZ Vrbnik showcases žlahtina and rosé made from local Kvarner varieties: debejan, kamenina, and sansigot. The cooperative has 125 members and 25 cooperatives, 150 families who cultivate their vineyards, jointly process the grapes in the cooperative and market their products together. Their annual production is around 1.5 million liters, which they sell both domestically and worldwide.

Radanović

Radanović Winery presents a pet-nat sparkling wine made from malvazija, fresh malvazija, fresh teran, oak-aged teran, acacia-aged malvazija, white muscat, and rose made from teran.

Wines Radoš

Wines Radoš presents wines made from malvasia, chardonnay, a semi-dry rose and semi-sweet yellow muscat. They produce approximately 5 wagons of wine annually and sell them domestically through HoReCa channels.

Radovan

Radovan Winery presents wines made from malvasia, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, refošk and merlot grape varieties, as well as their own rose wines.

Vinarija Rossi

Rossi Winery presents wines made from malvasia in 2021 and 2022, rosé from the 2022 harvest, and Moro, a blend of black grape varieties merlot, teran, and cabernet sauvignon from the 2021 harvest. The expected annual production is 115,000 bottles of wine, sold in restaurants - HoReCa, as well as in free trade. They export to neighboring countries as well as to Germany and England.

San Martino

San Martino winery presents wines made from malvazija, chardonnay, yellow muscat, rose and red wine from cabernet sauvignon. They produce around 200,000 liters annually and sell them both in Croatia and abroad.

San Tommaso

Vinarija San Tommaso exhibits wines made from varieties such as merlot, aged malvazija, chardonnay, and rose wines. The winery's annual production is around 100,000 liters, which they sell both domestically and internationally.

Siljan Wines

Siljan Wines exhibit wines from the varieties of merlot, malvazija, muscat and cabernet sauvignon. They cultivate around 2 hectares of vineyards and sell their wines locally and on their estate.

Sirotić

Vinarija Sirotić presents wines made of malvazija, teran, chardonnay, muscat, and their own rose wines.

Sosich Wines

Sošić winery from Vižinada exhibits wines made from the varieties of malvasia, chardonnay, muscat, merlot, and cabernet. They also produce sparkling wines from malvasia and 14 types of liqueurs. Their annual production is around 60,000 liters, which they sell at their cellar door, as well as in wine shops and through HoReCa channels.

Tomaz

Vinarija Tomaz from Istria presents itself with autochthonous wine varieties - malvazija and teran, as well as sauvignon and muškat bijeli 2022. They also produce two sparkling wines from teran, rosé and white sparkling wine. They produce four lines of wine aged in wood made from malvazija, teran, merlot and black malvazija - an old Italian variety that they have renewed. The annual production is 150,000 bottles of wine. They sell in restaurants - HoReCa and in their own winery.

Valenta Wines

Vinarija Valenta produces wines of malvazija, white sauvignon, teran, and white muscat varieties.

Wiens Vivoda

Winery Vivoda showcases wines made from the varieties of malvasia, teran, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, rose from teran, white muscat, as well as sparkling and aged wines made from malvasia. They produce approximately 60,000 bottles of wine annually, which are sold both domestically and internationally.

Zigante d.o.o.

Zigante d.o.o. proudly presents their recently bottled malvasia 2022 among their many wine varieties. They sell their wines through retail sales within the country.