Croatian winemakers celebrate record-breaking performance at the Decanter World Wine Awards

Winemakers tasting wines

Politicians, wine writers, sommeliers and trade professionals from across Europe gathered to celebrate Croatia’s record medal haul at the 2024 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).

Tugomir Majdak, State Secretary for Agriculture, was among the dignitaries that gathered at the 5-star Kempinski Hotel Adriatic in Istria for the special event.

Guests tasted the best wines from 40 different producers, who won 366 medals in total at this year’s DWWA. Caroline Gilby MW, the regional DWWA chair for Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Croatia and Slovenia, handed out the awards.

Winemakers celebrating their medal wins

Medal-winning Croatian winemakers celebrated at the 5-star Kempinski Hotel Adriatic. Credit: Vinistra

She said: ‘It’s wonderful to see the enormous progress that Istrian winemakers have made in the last 10 years, as evidenced by the medals from the evaluations, with Decanter’s judging criteria being very strict.

‘The focus is solely on quality, and the entire viticultural year is evaluated in a glass. Today, in a glass of Malvasia and Teran, you can see all the beauties of the Istrian peninsula, as well as the character of Istrian winemakers,’ she added.

Sylvia Wu, Decanter’s regional editor for Asia, Northern Europe and Eastern Europe, also attended the Decanter 2024 Winners’ Showcase on the Adriatic coast. ‘We have discovered excellent wines not only in Istria but throughout Croatia, and since last year, Croatia has been featured on Decanter’s wine map,’ she said.

Decanter's Sylvia Wu

Sylvia Wu, Decanter’s regional editor for Asia, Northern Europe and Eastern Europe. Credit: Vinistra

The number of award-winning wines from Croatia has been steadily increasing in recent years. Croatian winemakers won 314 medals at the DWWA in 2022, a tally that rose to 358 in 2023 and a record 366 this year.

Twelve Croatian producers won gold medals at the 2024 awards: Casa Boschi, Fakin, Gali?, Marija Kolarek, Meneghetti, St. Jerome, Tasovac, Viña Deak, Vina Furjan, Vizzulin, Zigante and Zure. Coastal producers performed well, especially those in Istria, but continental producers also enjoyed success.

Vinistra, the association of Istrian winegrowers and winemakers, teamed up with Decanter to organise the exclusive event. President Luka Rossi said he was ‘extremely proud’ of the region’s medal haul and congratulated all the awarded Croatian winemakers. Ezio Pinzan, head of the Department for Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting, Fisheries and Hunting Economy of the Istrian County, also added his congratulations.

‘Having Decanter in Istria is a great recognition for all winemakers and the Vinistra association, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year,’ said Pinzan.

The association has been working hard to put the region on the global wine map, and recently ran a helicopter tour of 15 top Istrian vineyards for international wine experts.

A helicopter in Istria

Vinistra’s helicopter tour took in Croatian vineyards. Credit: Vinistra

Kristjan Stani?i?, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, believes that the awards can help to cement the country’s status as a popular tourism destination. Croatia received 20.6 million visitors in 2023, up from 15.3 million the previous year.

‘The arrival of Decanter in Croatia and the world’s most influential wine evaluation is a significant step in the growth of Croatian oenology and domestic tourism as a whole,’ said Stani?i?.

‘This event can be considered a confirmation that our country is continuously working on the quality development of wine production, thereby elevating oeno-gastronomy as one of the sought-after tourist products that often represent an important motive for guests to choose a destination.’

Search all DWWA 2024 award-winning wines

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Source : https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/croatian-winemakers-celebrate-record-breaking-performance-at-the-decanter-world-wine-awards-534536/