Late January saw the seventh edition of WineOs International Wine Fair. This wine event is one of the most respected in Croatia and the organisers seem set on taking it to the very top of the list. With around a hundred exhibitors from Croatia and the surrounding countries, WineOs 2022 is definitely a step in the right direction
This year’s edition was very well organised and the proceedings ran smoothly throughout. Still, the run up to the festival wasn’t easy. The ever-changing antiCOVID measures threatened the fair up to the very start on January 28th. Thankfully, with a bit of luck and plenty of hard work, Croatian wine lovers and wine professionals got to enjoy this event and the wines on offer.
Wines and Wineries
Speaking of wines on offer, WineOs truly had something for everyone. From old and established wine legends like Krauthaker Winery, to brand new ventures like the wines of Apolitico Winery, it was all there on spacious and convenient stalls in Gradski Vrt Hall.
As it is the case in recent years, this wine fair once again proved Croatian wineries are steadily raising the bar when it comes to quality, marketing, packaging and market research. For established wine giants, this is hardly news. However, while making my way around the stalls, tasting wine from almost all the exhibitors, it became clear there are very few wines on display that could be discounted as uninteresting, regardless of the price range.
Variety of Styles at WineOs
Seeing how Osijek is the most important urban hub of Slavonia Region it is not surprising there was plenty of wineries from Slavonia and Baranja. Local offer of wines is dominated by Grasevina variety making lively white wines with rich aromatic expression and pleasant acidity. Many Grasevinas on offer in Osijek were up to an envious standard of quality and displayed lovely micro-regional diversity. Sparkling wines seem to be rising in popularity as well with a few examples of Grasevina based sparkling wines catching my attention.
Croatian continental reds have never had the appeal of the strong Plavac Mali wines of the country’s south, but WineOs 2022 reminded us all of the appeal of fruity and fragrant continental red wines. What Eastern Croatia is also known for are wines with residual sugar and there were plenty of those. Opposite of some trends in the wine world, I do love my semi-sweet and sweet wines and the choice of those did not disappoint.
Everyone who knows anything about sweet wines in Croatia knows not to miss Baranja’s Traminer based sweet wines. In this category WineOs lived up to expectation as will with some lovely sweet and semi-sweet wines on display.
All in all, the fair ended up fulfilling high expectations of the Croatian wine public. It was well organised with rich and diverse offer on hand. The location of Gradski Vrt on the outskirts of Osijek was also perfect for the event and to cap it all off, event the weather was nice for the two days of the event. It is safe to say, all of us are looking forward to the next WineOs in 2023.