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Croatia's gold medal winning wines
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  10/17/2009 | Tourism , Croatian Cuisine | Unrated
Croatia won 8 gold medals in the Decanter World Wine Awards

Đakovo wince cellar.

Croatia's Gold Medal Winning Wines

Croatia's discovery continues, with wine experts now realising what locals, and those in the know, have  been aware of for many years. The recent Decanter World Wine Awards gave eight gold medals to Croatian wines, whilst Argentina could only muster, seven and Chile four.

Today's photo is of the Bishop's wine cellar in Đakovo, Slavonia - tells you a bit more about this and it's interesting to note that nearly all the medal winning wines came from continental Croatia.
Croatia hailed as major force in wine after winning clutch of awards

Croatia has been hailed as a major force in the wine world after the country won more gold medals than established rivals including the US, New Zealand and Portugal at a leading tasting competition.

By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Editor/TELEGRAPH\Published:  14 Aug 2009

Croatia won 8 gold medals in the Decanter World Wine Awards

Eight Croatian wines were awarded the plaudits at the Decanter World Wine Awards, trumping the achievement of many far larger, better-known producers.

The number of gold medals is a particularly impressive achievement for a country which saw many of its leading vineyards destroyed in the Croatian War of Independence in the early 1990s.

 The judges were impressed by the strong, tannic red wines that are produced on the Adriatic coast, which has a similar climate to the South of France. But the real stars were sweet, white wines, which won the bulk of the medals.

Angela Muir, in charge of judging the country's wines for the awards, said: "Croatia really was the discovery of this year - some great white wines, both dry and dessert, with bags of character and a whole bouquet of varieties and styles."

One of the gold-winning white wines was the Bodren Pinot Sivi, costing about L35 a bottle, and was described by the judges in their tasting notes thus: "Toffee apple, clove, smoke with a silky sugared texture and persistent lingering finish."

Mrs Muir described the sweet whites as "exclusive, expensive, high-end and they are no question up with the great Sauternes."

The white wines, including the dessert wines, are made from Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Traminer grapes as well as the local Graševina variety, similar to Italian Riesling.

Adam Lechemere, editor of, said: "This really puts Croatia on the map. They are reasserting their mastery of dessert wines. And if you are a fan of sweet white wines, you would be a fool to miss them.

"Croatia really can now take its place as a serious player in the wine world."

Though Croatia's eight gold medals beat Chile's four and Argentina's seven, fans of unusual wines will have to make a serious effort to track them down in Britain.

While supermarket wine buyers have become increasingly adventurous in recent years, stocking more English wines, Austrian fizz and unusual sherries – another big winner in the Decanter awards - no mainstream retailers sells Croatian wine in Britain. Shoppers will need to find a specialist importer or join the increasing number of holidaymakers that have discovered Croatia and its wines in recent years.

Croatia boasts that its wine making industry is one of the oldest in the world, dating back to possibly the bronze age and certainly the Greek era.

Milijenko Grigich, a Croatian who has become one of the most successful Californian winemakers, has argued that the Plavac Mali - one of Croatia's main red grapes – is in fact the original variety from which Zinfandel, or the Italian Primitivo grape, is derived.

Malcolm Gluck, the author of the Superplonk guide to wines, said: "The Balkan region is hugely interesting. They enjoy much the same climate as Italy and southern France so there is no reason why they can't produce just as good as wine as these areas."

Croatian wine: why it is worth paying over the odds

Croatia has won an astonishing eight gold medals at this year's Decanter World Wine Awards. Angela Muir, the acknowledged expert on the region's wine, explains what makes them so good.

 By Angela Muir/Published:  14 Aug 2009

I went to a fascinating tasting in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, earlier this year.

It was the kind of civilized affair that importers and retailers in Britain might dream about: heaving with eager, yet well behaved yuppies, all anxious to understand and enjoy their own and other countries' wines.

The Dalmatian coast and islands produce everything from some of the soggiest, overripe reds on the planet to some truly intense, well balanced ones that should develop beautifully in bottle.

Inland, the hills not too far from Zagreb have a similar potential to that of their neighbours in Slovenia to produce great examples of tangy, appetising, definitively cool climate whites from a whole range of grapes.

Many of these white wine producers are still making concentrated, long-lived styles that need cellaring until they soften out but a few are making the more forward, lifted, user-friendly styles that we now recognise more easily in the "West".

There is a lot of often heated discussion about what is the "right" way to make wine from a specific grape type or region. From my point of view, it is fantastic that the Croatians haven't yet succumbed to following just one or two style leaders. I very much hope they never will.

A small warning to holiday makers, and those determined enough to track down Croatian wine back in Britain - you will have to seek out the goodies and pay over the odds. The best bottles can cost more than L30. It's a hit and miss business and the Croatian yuppies have got there before you.

Angela Muir is a Master of Wine and a leading wine consultant.

Source Croatia Online


List of wine producing areas in Croatia

Wine growing hills in Croatia

Sort list

Source Mali podrum (A small cellar)

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