The biggest Croatian wine event happens late November every year. Of course, I am referring to VINOcom. This wine festival gathers over 200 exhibitors from all over Croatia and the surrounding countries in four days of the festival. So, there is always plenty to choose from.
Ever since last year VINOcom follows a new scheme. 222 exhibitors are divided into 4 days of the festival. One half of the exhibitors are showcasing their offerings in the first two days, while the other half exhibits in days three and four. Considering the sheer number of wines and other related items and services to go through, this is a welcomed change from the original two days festival. Still, even with more days on disposal, it is still difficult to go through the entire lineup, especially when considering the concentration of quality is very high.
Organization is Key for VINOCom
One of the things that makes this festival an unmissable event in the calendar of Croatian wine lovers is also a very good organization that makes everything run smoothly. This is partially due to very lean organizational team with plenty of experience. Also, the fact that VINOcom is organized in the wonderful Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb is crucial. The event spaces in the hotel are well laid out and ventilated and the staff is attentive and quick. Location of the hotel is great for an event of this magnitude and the building itself is one of the most prominent hotel buildings in the city. With all this in mind, this year’s VINOcom 2023 was one to remember.
What about the Wines?
With regards to wines on display, I will be covering some of my favorites in the upcoming weeks in more details. Suffice to say, I had a great time trying to go over all the individual exhibitors and try as many wines as possible. It is difficult to summarize exactly what was the highlight for me. There were some amazing new wineries on display. Not all were great, but many showed great promise, not just when it comes to the quality of wine, but also the seriousness of marketing and brand building. This is something that was sorely lacking with many of the older generation winemakers.
When it comes to those well established names, with some we saw more of the same and with others some new and sometimes surprising products, like wines in a can for example. One thing that many of the famous Croatian are doing are new premium wines. Most of these are very good or outstanding. Often, these are more mature, oaked or macerated white wines, or limited series aged reds. I am certain most of them will find their market and buyers. However, I do hope we don’t lose the market for good affordable wines, because that is key to keeping a wine country going. Having its local market available for all local people to enjoy.
I will be bringing you more on the wines from VINOcom 2023. Until then, check out my quick report on Dalmatian Wine Icons 2023.