Gathering of people across the US, counting only wine glasses while patiently waiting for the election results
Washington, DC, Boston, Mass., and Dubrovnik, Croatia — November 5, 2020 — The Embassy of the Republic of Croatia and Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., hosted a virtual wine tasting to celebrate St. Martin Day, Martinje. Saint Martin is a protector of wine and Martinje is celebrated in many towns in Croatia – this marks the cheerful celebration when the must traditionally becomes the wine.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia, His Excellency Pjer Šimunović opened the celebration welcoming the speakers as well as guests including the US Croatian diaspora who joined from across the country – from New York, Maryland, Virginia all to way to the West Coast via Texas, California, and Washington state. Guest also included American wine lovers who fell in love with indigenous wines while visiting Croatia, and several wine writers and influencers.
Ambassador Šimunović underscored that “Croatian winemaking stretches back in history and, the US presents a market where quality Croatian wines will find its place, particularly since some of the Croatian winemakers impacted winemaking in the US, such as Mike Grgić.”
“With more than 80 people registered for this celebration, it is clear that there is interest in boutique Croatian wines across the US, which is why we created an online store that ships to most US States,” explained Mirena Bagur, co-founder of Croatian Premium Wines, “In the US, we started a pre-holiday marketing campaign for a push for gift orders, and in Croatian we are in conversation to expand the inventory with wines from Slavonia and Danube region.”
Currently, the wines in stock, almost 50 labels, from Croatian Uplands, Istria and Dalmatia, include Malvazija, Pušipel, Graševina, Pošip as well as Teran, Babić, Zinfandel and Plavac Mali.
Special Guests: A Sommelier and an Inventor
Siniša Lasan, a three-times Croatian National Champion Sommelier, and a sommelier at the Rixos Libertas Hotel in Dubrovnik led the tastings, and the conversations with the winemakers from Međimurje, Istria and Dalmatia. Also joining the tasting was Greg Lambrecht, the inventor and founder of the Coravin System, a wine preservation system allowing to access one glass of wine at a time. Greg, as a serial entrepreneur in medical devices, has worked with the Croatian hospitals in Zagreb when he was first introduced to Croatian wines.
Croatian Wine and Women: WOW!
Several women who are leading efforts in the Croatian wine scene talked about their experiences. Sanja Muzaferija, journalist and founder of WOW Women-on-Wine Organization in Croatia welcomed all women participants in this tasting. Tea Dvanajščak, of Dvanajščak-Kozol winery, and Tatjana Hažić of Izletište Vinska Kuća Hažić, both winemakers in their wineries, introduced Wines of Međimurje, an association of winemakers from Štrigova – a team of neighboring wineries who work together in marketing their wines. The participants in the tastings tasted Pušipel and Graševina, while the winemakers talked about the importance of Martinje and the way it is celebrated in their area.
Ana Ritoša, the winemaker for the Ritoša Winery, from Poreč, Istria, spoke about the Istrian wine region and wines in general, while participants tasted Teran.
In the end, participants asked many questions – the most repeated one was when the future wine tastings will take place.
Lara Romano, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Croatia to the United States of America, answered that by expressing the hope to conduct more events in the future, and hopefully in person at the Embassy, and then closed the evening celebration.
Martinje Celebration Video, and the Wine Selection for the Future
For people who could not join the virtual event, they can watch it here
About Croatian Premium Wine Imports (CPWI)
Based in Boston, Mass., CPWI imports, distributes and promotes boutique Croatian wines in the US. The company’s online store ships wines to most US states including its expanded wine portfolio from the Komarna region, Dubrovnik county, to the larger Dalmatia, Istria and Uplands.