• Wine of the month – May

    It’s time for our #Wineofthemonth

    Over the next few months we will be recommending the finest wines for your enjoyment.

    You may be aware of the increase in popularity in sparkling wines and prosecco over the last year and it’s fair to say that experts agree 2019 is the year of sparkles.

    It’s easy to see why – who doesn’t love bubbly!? It’s the ideal way to celebrate in style and as it is best served chilled it is ideal for summer evenings in the garden.

    Champagne has always been considered the finest in sparkling bubbly whilst Prosecco is enjoyed widely and whilst it is very different to Champagne it offers a lighter, more crisp flavour and bursts of fruity green apples.

    Our range of sparkling wines is ideal for lovers of prosecco and champagne and its Charmat method of production means it has some bolder flavours to be enjoyed.

    Our Francesca and Grasecco sparkling wines are both fantastic alternatives to Champagne.

    Feravino Francesca

    Feravino Grasecco brut is made from 100% Graševina produced using the Charmat Method.

    2017 was an exceptionally demanding and dynamic wine-growing year with plentiful spring rains and a dry above average warm summer. The result, an exceptional quality harvest.

    Only the best hand-picked grapes were selected to produce this exciting new wine. A sparkling wine made using the tank fermentation method and bottled with a floating stopper.

    Grasecco brut is mild in taste with a yellow greenish colour. The wine has a soft, light sweet bouquet with a hint of almond bitterness and a pleasantly mild acidity from the Graševina grape. Refreshing and although very similar to a good quality prosecco, this wine is much more pleasant on the palate.

    The name ‘Grasecco’ is a trade mark of Feravino.

    The wine best suits cold starters, pasta, salads and served as an aperitif.

    Whilst enjoying a cool glass of this in the hot sun we have had recently we decided this is our #wineofthemonth as it is a delicious Croatian wine and perfect to compliment the nicer weather.

    Feravino Francesca brut is 100% the Frankovka grape

    2017 was an exceptionally demanding and dynamic wine-growing year with plentiful spring rains and dry above average warmer summer, resulting in exceptional quality harvest.

    Only the best hand-picked grapes were selected to produce this exciting new wine. This sparkling rosé wine was made using the tank fermentation method and bottled with a floating stopper.
    A pink sparkling wine with a lovely fruity scent of strawberries and raspberries. Fresh with an elegant taste, it is an ideal summer wine.

    Serve with fruit, desserts, pasta, salads and white fish.

    Feravino Grasecco Brut

    Enjoy something special!

    LYCHEE ROSE MIMOSAS

    6-8 SERVINGS | PREP: 5 MINUTES |

    This mimosa Francesca cocktail is perfect for brunch, and made with sparkling rose wine, sweet lychee syrup and rosewater.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 bottle Francesca sparkling wine
    • 180g can of lychee in syrup, strain and separate lychees from syrup
    • rosewater

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Pour 30 mL of lychee syrup and 30 mL rosewater in a champagne coupe or flute.
    2. Top with Francesca sparkling wine (about 110 – 160 mL, depending on size of your glass)
    3. Garnish with 2-3 lychees and enjoy!Be sure to chill your sparkling wine, lychee syrup and rosewater in advance of making your mimosas!

    Be sure to chill your sparkling wine, lychee syrup and rosewater in advance of making your mimosas!

  • Croatian Wine Tasting @ Kingswood

     

    What a fantastic wine tasting event we had last Saturday, 6 April 2016 at Kingswood Village Hall. Co-hosted with The Friends of the Children’s Trust, the event was an overwhelming success with nearly 60 people attending.

    A great time was had by all and the Croatian wine was flowing. We showcased a wide selection of 9 wines in total and accompanied these with fresh Croatian cheeses, meats and other snacks. It was a 360° taste explosion for our attendees.

    ac

    Lovely taste – reminds me of granny’s orange cake
    Very fruity scent, floral, honey flavoured
    Creamy, smooth on the back of the palate (Traminac Radosh)

    Guests were welcomed with a glass of rośe from Vina Edut.  Mikki led the evening by giving an eclectic mix of history, fun trivia and wine information accompanied of course by tastings of some very premium wines. These included Erdut Chardonnay and Graševina (Croatia’s favourite wine), Vina Papak Traminac, Erdut Merlot and Feravino Frankovka.

    Our guests were lucky enough to be the first tasters of some of our latest stock including award winning wines never shown before including a Teran from Istria, Feravino Graševina Miraz and Skaramuča Dingač Reserva.

    The guests’ reaction to the new wines were excellent and we had so much positive feedback that we plan to introduce these into the Club’s collection so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for updates.

    We are busy planning our next event.  Don’t forget to get in touch to organise your chosen event and discuss how we can tailor that to you.

    Feedback on the wines included: ‘Very drinkable’, ‘delicious’ and ‘different to my usual choices…in the best way’.

    Finally, a note from Bob at The Friend’s of the Children’s Trust:

    ‘The Croatian Wine Club filled the Kingwood Village Hall last Saturday evening for an entertaining and educational wine-growing region which is newly re-entering the world wine market. The eager audience sipped and savoured unfamiliar grape types including Graševina and Traminac (whites) and Teran and Dingač (reds) accompanied by notes and geographic information from compere Mikki Hall. Due to the wine club’s generosity, the evening also raised over £500 for the Friends of the Children’s trust to support work at Tadworth Court for children with brain injury.’

  • A whole new world – a wine tasting test for Horsham

    We also offered our newest sparkling wines at this event – Grasecco and Francesca. These are an amazing alternative to Champagne/Prosecco. They are really delicious and easy to drink. Made using the traditional method of Champagne they have a fantastic depth of flavour but are light and crisp like a beloved prosecco. 86% of people at this tasting loved this product!

    Fancy trying some of the wines for yourself?

    Get in touch and book your tasting now.

    Until next time…

    Hello again readers!

    What a month January has been! We have been very busy and we are really enjoying having a very successful month as a result.

    We recently held a wine tasting session in Horsham which has proved a huge success. As we always promise this was a bespoke event and our customer was very clear they wanted to try a variety of Croatian wine so we delivered. It was really fascinating to see the comparisons and feedback on the wines and we thought we would share that with you.

    Our story was one of influence of the Croatian wine makers around the world. Our wine journey started in Croatian, we then visited New Zealand and California before returning back to Croatia. All our wine makers had one thing in common, they were Croatian.

    Some say there would be no modern New Zealand wine industry, and after showcasing Villa Maria and Babich Wines, we can see how these award-winning wine makers have made their mark.

    From Californian we showcased the famous Grgich Zinfandel. You might imagine what happened – some people absolutely loved it (and this includes us) and others less so. Yes, Zinfandel is somewhat a marmite of the wine, some love it and some don’t.

    We opened with a bit of background on the wine regions on offer which were our very own Croatian delights and some of New Zealand’s and Californian offerings. We kept it light with detail but focused on fun and informative facts.

    With each tasting, we spoke about what to expect from the wine and allowed the tasters time to relish the flavours and find their own interpretation of the wines (the best bit!)

    We were sure to include some snippets of jewels from our vineyards as well.

    What really stood out from this tasting was the feedback on our wines and it was a fantastic opportunity for us to see a comparison with some of New Zealand’s and Californian finest as well as getting some first-hand feedback on all aspects of our products.

    Thank you so much to the lovely customer that booked this and gave us a different angle.

    Get in touch with us today and book your own wine tasting experience.

  • Celebrations of St. Vincent’s at Feravino

    It is that time of year again and our regular readers probably saw our blog last year on the festivities of St. Vincent.

    This year we took a trip to Feravino  to celebrate with them and what a party it was!

    For those that missed it, St. Vincent’s celebration is a three day festival that runs over 20-22nd January which is the mid-point between the onset of dormancy and bud-break in our vine’s growing cycle and time when winemakers determine just how good the previous vintage is.

    This is the ideal time and setting, and in this part of Croatia it is usually a beautiful winter wonderland with snowy vineyards, to reflect and plan for the new growth of the year to come.

    Guests can even get involved with cooking traditional feasts over an open fire. This year nearly 1000 guest joined us for the celebration.

    We love looking forward to this festival and it instantly dissolves our January blues.
    For now, we will say Zivjeli! (A toast meaning to live, exist and be alive!)

    During the festive period the vineyards are blessed so that they may have many a successful harvest. The winemakers relish this opportunity to showcase and share their wines with everyone and share they definitely do!

    This year Stjepan Mesic (the ex-president of Croatia) was the guest of honour and assisted with trimming back the vines.

  • 2019 has arrived!

    Happy new year to all our avid readers and wine club members!

    We are really excited about the coming year ahead. We are busy planning and running some special events but we figure it is never too early to start planning for the next big event and the one on our minds is Valentines day in just 5 weeks!

    This is some text!That’s right, only 5 weeks! Obviously, the perfect gift would be a wine tour with us which we can completely tailor for you and your loved one. We also thought you might love a really simple meal which you can prepare at home with ease and pair perfectly with our wine.

    Our Feravino Dika Rose Vino is a beautiful pink wine, with flavours of red fruit, flowers, citrus and melon. This fruity wine is the perfect accompaniment to a delicious Dalmatian cod and we have a recipe below courtesy of our friends at Croatia Week.

    * 400g/15oz cod
    * 2 dl/0.4pt olive oil
    * 3 cloves garlic
    * parsley, pepper, salt

    Soak the dried cod in warm water for an hour. Remove from the water and beat the fish with a wooden mallet so it becomes slightly tender. Put it back in the warm water again over night, before beating it once more so it becomes more tender. Scrape off the scales and rinse it under the tap. Cook until soft and then cool it and taken any bones out and slice it. Season with salt, pepper, chopped parsley and garlic and add some stock in which the fish was cooked. Mix all the ingredients well together. Serve either with polenta or boiled or mashed potatoes.

    As a special treat for all our members who place orders in February we will offer complimentary gift wrap so you can really make the night special.

    We hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s with someone special – love is in the air for 2019.

    Cod Dalmatian style (serves 4)

  • Christmas Preparations underway!

    Now that we are heading into December we are busy preparing for a visit from the big guy with the white beard!

    We are a fairly large family and it’s great getting everyone together. With so many of us, the kids often play together and keep busy leaving the adults to enjoy some Croatian wine.

    As the day approaches we are getting together our Croatian wine wish-list for the big day. It’s time to get any orders in to make sure the wine is with you for the cooking and the eating!

    We have put together our recommendations for you and remember to order a little extra as these Croatian wines make the ideal addition to a Christmas hamper gift. This is a fantastic idea and very cost effective as a gift – who wouldn’t love wine in their hamper?

    When everyone is seated around our Christmas table, gravy is such an important part of the meal. A little splash of Croatian wine is the ideal pick me up for your gravy.

    So, for that all important Gravy!

    The technical Stuff

    So technically, wine helps improve your gravy because the alcohol helps release flavour molecules in the food and assists in breaking down fats in a different way to other liquids such as olive oil or water. The wine also adds its flavourings to your food so choosing the right wine is key.

    Enough of that, onto our selection for the perfect Christmas gravy…

    Tip number one: pick what you enjoy drinking. You are not going to put a whole bottle of wine in your gravy (unless you want an excessively boozy result) so pick one that you will want to finish whilst cooking as a treat to the chef!

    If you are a white wine drinker, our chardonnay is ideal for gravy as it is tropical in flavour and will result in a rich gravy which is well balanced for that delicate turkey flavour.

    For a red option, our Erdut Merlot Barrique is also ideal for your Christmas gravy. Being low in tannins it won’t overpower your turkey like a cabinet sauvignon would and it has lot’s of red and black fruit flavours to accompany (it works a bit like cranberry sauce, enhancing that delicious turkey.)

    If turkey isn’t your choice of meat, why not go for a bolder wine choice in your gravy. Our Feravino Miraz Frankovka is perfect with beef or lamb as it will add spice and richness.

    Now what to drink with your meal

    It is hard to narrow it down to just a few choices and why should you. We really recommend ordering a variety of wine for the festive season to be enjoyed as the mood takes you. Having said that, for the big day, our Erdut Chardonnay is perfect with poultry (chicken or turkey) or any fish dish. It’s light, crisp and acidic so ideal with rich creamy sauce. For a red option, our Erdut Merlot Barrique works really well with poultry or some darker meats. It is a lighter red wine so won’t overpower your meat. You may well note, these were also recommended for the gravy, so rest assured if you order a case you will get through it.

    Our Feravino Miraz Frankovka packs a punch and is ideal with any meaty dishes so will work better with game, lamb or beef. It can also hold its’ own for that cheese board later on so one to be drunk into the evening.

    Cheers!

    Finally, don’t forget that all important toast! Our Feravino Virtuo Brut is a delicious sparkling wine. It really is something special as it is made from 50 year old vines and is produced in a small, carefully selected quantity. It is produced in traditional style much like a well-loved champagne. For something a little bit special and different opt for this.

    This is also the perfect way to start 2019! Now we know what we will be drinking, all we have to do now is wait for Santa Claus’ arrival.

    Sretan Božić

  • Christmas delights

    ROSENADE


    30 mil Citron Vodka
    140 mil Feravino Rosé
    2 basil leaves, ripped
    1 lemon wedge
    15 mil simple syrup
    45mil sparkly water or club soda


    Directions
    Muddle basil, lemon, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Next, fill the shaker with ice, and add the vodka and wine. Stir, and pour unstrained into wine glass. Finish it off by topping the cocktail with club soda, and garnish with lemon wedge.

    White Wine-Berry Sangria


    1 bottle dry white wine, our Feravino Graševina is perfect selection
    250 mil lemonade
    125 mil raspberry vodka
    65 mil brandy
    chopped strawberries
    raspberries
    blueberries


    In a pitcher, combine wine, soda, vodka and brandy.
    Put a few raspberries and a small handful of chopped strawberries into the bottom of each glass and muddle. Fill glass with ice, then top with sangria and a few blueberries. Stir.
    It’s tart and sweet and goes down easy. Perfect for any celebration, especially Christmas …

  • Fancy a drink on a cold dark evening?

    Perfect wine to enjoy on a cold dark evening

    2015 Erdut Merlot Barrique

    We don’t know about you but as the evenings draw in we really look forward to a glass of Croatian 2015 Erdut Merlot Barrique of an evening.

    Our Merlot really is the ideal Croatian wine and great value at just £17.99. It’s very easy to drink and enjoy whatever your taste.

    Merlot is a popular wine choice, likelihood is you will have tried and enjoyed a merlot, but none quite like ours.

    Croatia’s Erdut vineyards have the ideal climate to grow this grape. As a result, you will get a velvety, intense and soft wine. This wine has low tannins (that drying sensation on your gums you sometimes get) and you will get flavours of black cherries, prunes and red berries. The hint of plum makes this really enjoyable in the winter months.

    Our Merlot has a Protected destination of origin (PDO). It really is something special to enjoy.

    Want to try before you buy? Get in touch and we will arrange a tasting for you.

    See you next time for more on Croatian Wine.

    The crowd pleaser

    Merlot

    Pronounce it: mer-low

    Merlot is the red that has come racing up the popularity stakes. It’s the variety – especially if it’s made in the New World – that you can enjoy without food, so it has won a place in our hearts as one of the choices for a Friday night in front of the TV.

    It is very easy to lose sight of the fact that Merlot is a serious ‘noble’ varietal that blossoms when it is fermented and aged in oak barrels. To the ripe berry fruits can be added real complexity from the oak, giving notes of tobacco and cedar, or vanilla and rich coconut.

    In Chile, Merlot was long confused with the Carmenère grape and today there are still mixed plantings. Chile specialises in ripe young ready-to-drink merlots.

    California has long made ultra-ripe and glossy Merlots – now South Africa and New Zealand are producing serious versions too.

     

    Main characteristics

    Colour:  red; medium garnet to deeper ruby

    Body: medium to full bodied

    Tastes: red-fruits, plums and blueberries, often with relatively soft tannins. When aged in oak it acquires cedar (French oak) or vanilla and coconut (American oak) characters

    Often blended with: Cabernet Sauvignon, providing ripe fruit and softness, as well as the other Bordeaux varieties Cabernet France and Petit Verdot

    Spotter’s guide: France, in Bordeaux on ‘the Right Bank’ it is the predominant grape variety in St Emilion and Pomerol, also Langedoc Roussillon; Spain, Navarra, Penedès; California, Washington, USA; Australia; New Zealand; Chile; South Africa

    Keep or drink? Many Merlot are ready to drink; but it has the structure and backbone to cellar for 10 years or more.

    By: bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/merlot
  • It’s Bonfire Night!

    That time of year has come back around and we love a good Bonfire celebration. It is a fantastic opportunity to get together as a family or with friends and enjoy the fireworks and of course sparklers!

    Best of all, there is something for everyone and it is another great opportunity to relish a glass of finest Croatian wine.

    We recommend Feravino’s Miraz Frankovka as this beautiful red grape perfectly matches an autumn evening. This gem of a red wine gives off a lively, fruity flavour with a peppery tone. Mostly, you will taste delicious pops of berry flavours, making this wine intense and balanced.

    Let us know if you can get the vanilla and dark chocolate – these are found in our Feravino’s Miraz Frankovka wine due to the oak ageing process giving it an extra dimension on your palate.

    The climate for this grape (Slvonijan’s cold winters and sunny summers) means that the Feravino Miraz Frankovka wine has just the right amount of acidity and goes really well with a range of foods and below we have recommended some traditional Croatian things for you.

    To get the most out of our wine, you need to enjoy it chilled – we know what you are thinking, who in their right mind chills red wine!?

    Actually, there are quite a few red wines which are best served chilled and this is one of them, don’t just take our word for it, give it a try at home.

    To accompany your Miraz Frankovka

    This wine is simply perfection when partnered with game, meats and strong cheeses. Creating a simple meze at home will be the ideal pairing. Remember to include a range of meats and cheeses.

    If you would rather a meal to accompany your wine, why not try this traditional Croatian meal, Cobanac Slavonian Meat Stew. This is absolutely delicious and provides a warming winter supper. The acidity of this wine cuts through those meaty flavours perfectly.

    A great version of this recipe (almost as good as our Brothers home-made version) can be found here. We would share the family recipe but Josip keeps it close, so we don’t even know it in full!

    Want to know more about Frankovka grape, here is a great article from Total Croatia. 

    Don’t forget to check out our vineyard tours if you want to see the vineyards for yourself and maybe sample this wine with traditional food pairings.

  • Croatian wine – what the heck is that all about?

    Have you ever looked at the wine list at the restaurant or read a wine review in the paper and thought ‘What the heck is that all about?’ how can wine be so complicated and varied in price. It’s a simple choice; red or white wine, right?

    The world of wine is a complex place full of different grape varieties, grown in different climates with different vineyards and growing conditions. To confuse you further, there are the expertise of the different wine makers adding their magic to create different flavours. This can all be quite overwhelming.

    Over the coming weeks we will be demystifying the world of Croatian wine for you. You will gain a fantastic understanding of what our wines have to offer and why it should be your next choice.

    To start us off let’s look at the queen of Croatian wine – Graševina

    Croatians affectionately refer to Graševina as the queen of Croatian wine and it’s easy to see why. Graševina grapes are very well suited to the climate and soil conditions, particularly those found in the Slavonian region where you find our vineyards. These cooler soils and Continental climate result in the finest harvest and wines with an amazing minerality, truly special.

    The soil and climate of continental Croatia results in richer wines with more flavour, who wouldn’t want that?

    If you are a fan of Riesling or Chenin Blanc varieties, Graševina is the grape for you. It offers fruity, flowery sweet characters with fresh, citrus and crisp green apple. Often harvested late, you will find a glimmer of Botrytis (Noble rot) adding hints of honey.

    What the experts say

    We have tasted many Graševina wines and have selected some of the best for you. Here is what the experts from jancisrobinson.com had to say about some of our Croatian wines.

    Feravino, Graševina 2016, scored 16/20

    Lime and sunflower seeds on a fragrantly pure nose that reminds me very much of a young Trocken German Riesling. So delicate! It seems to float in the mouth. Not long, not complex, but delivers a great deal of simple, perfectly formed flavour and palate-cleansing freshness. Just a little kernel of lemony pith on the finish which gives it the right amount of bite.

    DIKA Grasevina
    Radosh Grasevina

    Papak, Ilok Radosh Graševina 2016, scored at 16.5/20

    Nuttiness and something chalky and a little green – as if someone has just blitzed up a pesto with cobnuts and tarragon and lovage with a dash of chalk dust! A little bit of sweetness on the palate (bit of residual?), tinged with herbaceous/grassy flavours. Tiny bit of chew. Feather light but with a wonderful tactile sensation – chalk dust, again. Something floral lingers on the end. A bit more length than the Feravino Graševina.

    Erdut, 1730 Graševina 2014, scored at 17/20

    Cool, lemon-scented, early-morning, crushed-bay-leaf fragrance. Crystalline palate, spiked with sage and verbena, more tension than the Feravino and Papak Graševina. Soft edges, but at the same time there is a sharp spine, a stoniness, that carries through to the end. Stony texture as well. Then powdery finish. Lovely twist of gently bitter pith, citrus and stones right to the finish. After a couple of days some soft blossom develops on the palate and nose. This tastes very youthful still!

    Erdut Grasevina

    Graševina is a well-balanced wine as it offers crispy fruit and is dry on the palate whilst still offering sweet tones. Perfect to enjoy with most foods.

    So, what to eat it with?

    Graševina goes well with almost everything. Last week Croatian celebrated the bread weak, so our pick of the week is local pastry.

    This classic Croatian Bread is very simple to make and will accompany your Croatian wine perfectly.

    Why not give making it a go – here is a recipe we have tried and tested.

    Ingredients:

    1 kg flour
    40g fresh yeast, you can get fresh yeast from a supermarket bakery counter; alternatively you can use 2 sachets of dry yeast
    200 mil milk
    300 mil plain yoghurt
    100 mil sunflower or vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon sugar
    1 egg
    250 g baking margarine or butter

    Method:

    1. Put the yeast and sugar into warm milk, let the yeast rise
    2. Combine flour, salt and baking powder.
    3. Add oil, yoghurt and yeast.
    4. Now bring together to make a soft dough using your hands. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins.  **TIP – It is worth putting in the time to do this as it will pay off later with lovely airy bread. Don’t keep adding flour, a wet dough is better than a dry one, which will bake to a tough texture, so if you don’t like the dough sticking to your hands, lightly oil them. If you are adding flavourings, knead them in gently now.
    5. Once the dough is ready, separate it into 16 balls. Roll each one into a circle disk.
    6. Layer the circular disks on top of each other, spreading margarine or butter on top of each layer except the very top one.
    7. Roll out into a large round circle, like a large pizza and cut into 20-24 triangles. Roll into a croissants shape. **You could add some ham and cheese to your croissants to make them even more enjoyable, but this is optional.
    8. Place on a baking tray and let it rest for an hour.
    9. Just before baking, brush the croissants with bitten egg,
    10. Bake at 200c for 20 min

    Alternatively, this Croatian wine works really well with delicious chicken dishes and any fish. If you don’t feel brave enough to try our bread, you can always cook up a simple sea bass dish which will be ideal with our Graševina and can be found here

    Don’t forget to check out our vineyard tours if you want to see the vineyards for yourself and maybe sample this wine with traditional food pairings.

  • Discover Croatian wine in the UK with the Croatian Wine Club

    We’re sure you’ve enjoyed a glass or two of outstanding Croatian wine while on holiday in the country. Thanks to our wine club, it’s now possible to enjoy Croatian wine in the UK too!

    Croatia – A long history of wine

    Although there are many fine wines that are produced in almost every region of the country, what many perhaps don’t know is that Croatia has a long history with wine. The plains of Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, for example, are a listed UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the oldest continuously cultivated vinicultural site in the world dating back to the 4th century BC.

    And how’s this for a fascinating bit of Croatian wine trivia? For the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen in 1953, Buckingham Palace ordered 11,000 bottles of Traminac wine from Ilok Old Cellars. This 1947 vintage white wine, specially chosen for its intense perfume, full body and intense flavours of rose, orange blossom and tropical fruits can still be purchased today.

    Croatian wine in the UK brought to you by The Croatian Wine Club

    We are proud to bring some of Croatia’s outstanding, award winning wines to the UK market. The company works closely with selected wineries and small local producers to offer a premium selection of the best Croatian wines at competitive prices. Their small producers produce award winning wines in limited quantities. The specials that they have are exciting and fresh, sometimes unusual and only available to our club members while stocks last.

    Our club will also run wine tasting tours to Croatia, visiting a selection of carefully chosen vineyards. Guests will be shown around the vineyard’s cellar and the estate by the winemaker and English speaking guides and enjoy a tasting session of the best local food and wine.

    Mikki Hall, the MD of The Croatian Wine Club, said:

    “I am excited to be bringing Croatia’s excellent wines to the UK giving consumers the opportunity to discover the great variety and quality available. Our collection showcases producers from Eastern Croatia, Feravino, Vina Papak and Wineries Erdut.”

    Vina Papak
    The Vina Papak Traminac Radosh (left) and the Vina Papak Graševina Radosh (right)

    Vina Papak is a family owned winery run by husband and wife team, Mladen and Snjezana Papak. Malden was director of the famous Old Ilok Cellars and in 2014 took a brave step to pursue his passion and started their own vineyard and wine production, creating the most eco-friendly vineyard in Ilok and perhaps all of Croatia.

    The Croatian wine club are very pleased to announce that in a recent wine tasting by esteemed wine critic Jancis Robinson OBE, their Feravino Dika Grasevina scored 16 out of possible 20 points.

    Mikki’s passion for Croatian wine is as a result of hailing from Croatia herself. Although she moved to the UK when she was 19, she and her husband David (co-owner of the Croatian wine club) have explored the vineyards and wine cellars of Croatia for years. Their aim is to improve the availability of ease of purchase of fine Croatian wine in the UK.

  • Croatia’s undiscovered wines

    Wine is at the heart of everyday life in Croatia, grown in almost every region of the country for centuries. Yet, for most UK consumers, Croatian wine remains undiscovered despite its impressive pedigree. The plains of Stari Grad on the island of Hvar, for example, are a listed UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the oldest continuously cultivated vinicultural site in the world dating back to the 4th century BC.

    For the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen in 1953, Buckingham Palace ordered 11,000 bottles of Traminac wine from Ilok Old Cellars. This 1947 vintage white wine, specially chosen for its intense perfume, full body and intense flavours of rose, orange blossom and tropical fruits can still be purchased today.Croatia produces some outstanding, award winning wines, but they are difficult to find in the UK.  We aim to change this. The club  offers a premium selection of the best Croatian wines at competitive prices. Award winning wines, some in limited quantities. The specials are exciting and fresh, sometimes unusual and only available to members while stocks last.

     

    Why not join one of our wine tasting tours to Croatia. We visit a selection of carefully chosen vineyards. Guests will be shown around the cellars and estate by the winemaker. English speaking guides and tasting sessions of the best local food and wines.

    We excited to be bringing Croatia’s excellent wines to the UK giving consumers the opportunity to discover the great variety and quality available. To find out more and to purchase Croatian wine visit our website Croatian wine club/store

  • Sweet pleasures

    Croatian ice wine

    The Ice Harvest is special as it produces superb, sweet desert wines. It is one of the most demanding and risky undertakings for winegrowers; with few able to afford it and conditions not being right every year. For a successful harvest, the weather conditions need to be perfect, reaching -7c. Picking the harvest is labour intensive, done by hand by pickers who have just a few hours to do it before the vine spoils.

    The grapes are left to hang on the vine through the autumn and into winter to dehydrate and freeze. When the ripe frozen fruit are pressed, only a concentrated syrup oozes out to be fermented as much of the water is retained as ice. This increases the sugar content of the wine giving it an extraordinary intensity, a rich sweet texture with tastes of citrus peel, mango, pineapple and baked apple.

    In December 2016, Christmas Eve was the perfect day for the Ice Harvest at the Erdut Vineyard located on the eastern slopes of the Dalj mountains along the Danube. At dawn, when the temperature reached the magic -7c, all employees took to the vineyard’s southern slopes to harvest a half-hectare of frozen Graševina* grape. This was the first Ice Harvest since 2012 when the Traminac ice grape was harvested.

    It is extremely difficult to make good quality ice wine in any significant quantity. If a freeze does not come quickly enough, the grapes may rot and the crop is lost. If the freeze is too severe, no juice can be extracted. Even if the conditions are perfect, the Ice Harvest yield tends to be 10 times smaller than a regular vine. This makes it expensive with good quality ice wine, being £50 or more.

    While we wait for the 2016 ice wine to reach us, take a look at out our selection of quality wines from the Erdut Vineyard.

    Erdut Cellars wine selection

    Graševina, premium white wine 0,75 l            

                                                                                                         
    A semi-sweet wine made from Graševina grape varieties. Greenish-yellow in colour, it has a fresh, light, pleasant aroma with a sweet taste of apple and honey. It goes deliciously with fish and white meats.

    Chardonnay, premium white wine 0,75 l   

                                                                                            
    A delicious white wine with intense sweetness and delicious aromas of apricot and honey. Erdut Chardonnay reaches its unique characteristics through aging in old oak barrels, giving it a straw-yellow color with a hint of green sheen.

     

    *Graševinais the most popular vine variety in Croatia and produces excellent wine. The vine ripens late to produce high-acid, gently aromatic wines.

  • Winemakers thanksgiving

    The Feast of Saint Vincent

    As the hush descends over the Christmas and New Year celebrations, in the midst of the winter when days are cold and nights long the new Croatian wine year is now beginning.

    St. Vincent’s Day falls on 22 January, the mid-point between the onset of dormancy and bud-break in our vine’s growing cycle; when wine makers determine just how good the previous vintage is. The perfect time to reflect, celebrate another successful harvest and contemplate the promise of the new growing year. It is time to brave the harsh, cold winds and prune the vines, getting them ready for new growth in the spring.

    St. Vincent of Saragossa is the patron saint of winemakers and each year a festival dedicated to his name is held in all wine-growing regions of Croatia. Legend says Saint Vincent died so we can have good wine… More honestly, the 3rd century Spanish martyr died for his faith, after some serious torture involving iron hooks and being roasted on a red-hot gridiron. Since his death, he’s become the patron saint of wine and wine-makers. In Croatia, the Feast of Saint Vincent of Saragossa is celebrated in all regions. It’s called “Vinkovo”, “Vincekovo”, “Vincelovo” or “Vinceška”, depending where you are in the country.

    In Ilok, one of Croatia’s best-known wine hills, this year’s celebration and festivities are over three days, 20-22 January 2017. Local winemakers will be showing off their wines in a large marquee, there will be blessing of the vineyards, live folk music performances, dancing, regional culinary specialties cooked over open fires, and of course plenty of local wine!

    Wishing you all a happy Feast of Saint Vincent of Saragossa. Raise a glass of your favourite Croatian wine.

    Živjeli!” (Our Croatian toast meaning to live, exist, be alive)