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The project takes place on the territory of the town of Orahovica and Virovitica-Podravina County and the town of Villány in Hungary, within Interreg V-A programme of the Hungary-Croatia cooperation for the period 2014-2020. The holder of the project is the Town of Orahovica and the project partners are the Hungarian Town of Villány and the Tourist Board of the Virovitica-Podravina County. The project is worth EUR 976,096.50 and its goals are the preservation of cultural and natural heritage, development of wine tourism infrastructure and creation of the conditions for connecting with other facilities and attractions on both sides of the border as well as creation of new amenities in the promotion of tourism and oenology.

The Virovitica-Podravina County is located in the Northeastern part of Croatia encompassing the area of Slavonia and Podravina. On the Southern side, it is bordered by Bilogora, Papuk and Krndija, the slopes of which are gradually blending with the Pannonian valley. In its Northern part, the County is bordered by the Drava river, which in the largest part of its 72.5 km long flow in the area also represents the border with Hungary. The slopes of Bilogora and Papuk represent a winegrowing area with a long tradition of winegrowing and wineries.

Nowadays, many winegrowers have an enviable level of production and large grapevine plantation surfaces have the protected designation of origin. Most represented in the range are Graševina, Pinot gris and blanc, Green silvanac, Chardonnay, Cabernet sauvignon, Frankovka and an entire range of table varieties. The winegrowing area of the Virovitica-Podravina County is classified in the region of the continental Croatia, subregion of Slavonia, as the Virovitica and Orahovica-Slatina winegrowing area.

Besides large companies with industrial production, there is also a series of family producers of wine some of which opted for the production of fruit wines, such as the cherry and blackberry wine.
Orahovica is one of the smaller towns in Croatia. According to the 2015 census, the number of inhabitants is 4,962. Tourism in Orahovica started developing as early as 1914 when the ‘Society for a More Beautiful Town and Environment’ was founded. What makes Orahovica interesting in terms of tourism is its preserved nature, cultural and historic heritage and diligent and hospitable people. The most interesting tourist site is most certainly the ‘Ružica grad’ (Ružica town), a mediaeval fortification 5 km to the Southeast of the town, at an altitude of 378 m. This is a protected monument with sacral, urban and fortification value. Beneath Ružica town, there is the ‘Orah’ (Walnut) excursion site with a lake. In the mountainous ambience of the Krndija Mountain, 8 km to the west of Orahovica, there is the orthodox monastery of St. Nicholas. The monastery was built in the 16th century on the foundations of the monastery of the Catholic hermitage Order of St. Augustine. The cultural importance of the monastery lies in the peculiarity of the architecture and preserved frescos.

Villány is a town near the Croatian border at the Southern part of the Baranya County, 34 km far from Pécs and 13 km far from Siklós. The town is known for winegrowing, tourist attractions, good road and railway infrastructure and connectivity. The wines from Villány are much appreciated also outside of the Hungarian borders, so that in 1987 the town was in Rome awarded the title of the ‘Town of Grapes and Wine’. According to the data from 2015, Villány has 2,593 inhabitants; the population is multi-ethnic. The majority of the population is comprised of Hungarians and, apart from them, there are also Germans, Roma and Serbs living in the town. The main element of the tourist offer of Villány is wine and ever more activities have been directed at the development of wine tourism through the years. In Villány, there are over forty wineries dealing in growing grapes and producing wines. The wineries (with a few exceptions), apart from selling wine, also offer visits to the cellars and winery programmes for tourists; their personnel speak at least one foreign language, mostly German and/or English. The wineries offer various entertainment and cultural programmes: adventure tours, horseback riding, different visits of the area (on foot, by tractors, horses and carriages), Nordic walking, paintball, concerts and other entertainment programmes. Seven of the sites are equipped with conference rooms.

Orahovica and Villány have similar visions when it comes to wine production; they are located in well-known winegrowing areas and their mutual goal is to create a strong position and develop a positive image in wine tourism in the regions that they represent.

Wine Areas in the Virovitica-Podravina County

Orahovica Wine Road

On the territory of Orahovica, the winegrowing and wine producing tradition is a long one, i.e. the tradition of knowing and growing grapevine. The data from the 18th century indicated that on the territory of Orahovica, the eminent noble families of Nikola Kont and Jakob Leukus, grew larger grapevine surfaces. Small farmers’ plantations had their own vineyards stated and reported while under cultivation. In the Orahovica hills, there were vineyards also during the Turkish times; the saying ‘drinking as the Turks’ stems from those times. By expelling the Turks, in the Orahovica area only vineyards for 35 days of cultivation remained. In the second half of the 19th century, there were ten winegrowing localities, the most famous of which were Radlovac, Starac, Popinjača, Albus, Plavšićevo brdo, Grabovac, Jezerac and Toplice. The famous winegrowers from Orahovica of that and a somewhat later time were the noble Mihalović, Delimanić, Nagy and Gutman. Church properties also had vineyards and famous Orahovica winegrowers with the names of Biser, Firslip, Barac, Mogan, Lampe, Hornung, Ostojčić, Šporn, Bradač and others. It should most certainly be mentioned that the majority of the Orahovica winegrowers had their own vintners who helped them in winegrowing, keepers of the vineyards and supervisors of various vineyard jobs.

The most represented grapevine varieties used to be Kadarka, Portugizac, Kavčina, Blatina, Frankovka, Plavac, Hamburg, Plemenka, Kraljevina and others. To some of the varieties, the vintners gave their domestic names such as bull’s eye, goat’s tit, queen, white, green, red etc.

The more modern vineyard plantations on the territory of Orahovica were planted by the experts of the Orahovica Agricultural Cooperative after WWII. In all, each time marked in its own way both the grapevine growing and vineyards, the production and wine storing, sticking to the tradition and customs of the region, in this case the region of Orahovica. For example, when the wine used to be baptised at the holiday of St Martin’s, it used to be preserved as mature wine in different ways and in different conditions, whereby the cellar played the key role.

Thus, near the very centre of Orahovica, the Orahovica wine cellar was built, a mute witness of the wine tradition under the Slavonian climate. There are not many data recorded on the cellar itself. It was built in 1894 by the Orahovica winegrower and vintner Martin pl. Nagy. The cellar is built above the underground water level; its proper construction at the foothills makes sure the surface waters bypass it. Anyway, the cellar experts say that the cellar is a place for maturation, keeping and cultivating the wine in special and ideal conditions of balanced temperature, moisture, darkness and quiet. All these criteria are more than met by the Orahovica cellar. In the cellar, there are nowadays eight large and old barrels of a volume from 3,500 to 5,000 litres. The barrels were made in the 1960s (1962) in Đurđenovac and Slavonski Brod. Moreover, in the cellar nowadays there are also 20 barrique barrels of 225 litres, of different types; all the barrels in the cellar are made from the Slavonian oak.

The vineyards and the wine in the region of Orahovica have their honest admirers and lovers. What would the socialising and celebrating be like without wine? Therefore, in the course of years numerous interesting customs and festivities emerged marking and celebrating the beauties of the nature, whereby the role of the domestic wine, and even the one from the old cellar, is key. In addition, when it comes to wine, there is a long tradition of celebration at the time of Vinkovo in the Orahovica region, in particular during the St Martin, when the must becomes young wine.

The wine in Orahovica is definitively a sign of recognition, a custom in itself and a trademark, with the old cellar being a monument to the Orahovica wines, a keeper of the past times and a witness of the future. (Author of the text: Vladimir Grgurić, Glas Slavonije)

Information: Tourist Board of the Town of Orahovica, Trg Sv. Florijana bb, 33515 Orahovica; Phone +385 33 673 351
E-mail: tzgorahovica@tzgorahovica.hr

Slatina Winegrowing Area

The German prince Georg Wilhelm Schaumburg-Lippe in 1842 became the owner of the Slatina area; his estate encompassed the land with large surfaces under forest, vineyards, orchards and different agricultural facilities. In 1864, the sparkling wine factory of prince Schaumburg-Lippe in Slatina began its operation. At the beginning, only 2,000 bottles of white and rose sparkling wine from the Kadarka grape variety were produced. A real take-off in the sparkling wine production in Slatina is connected with the name of the manager of the cellar, Otto Rockhror, who came to Slatina in 1866. He organised the cellar and technologically separated the production of wine, beer and sparkling wine.

Information: Tourist Board of the Town of Slatina, Ante Kovačića 1, 33520 Slatina;
Phone +385 33 619 229
E-mail: ured@tz-slatina.hr

Virovitica Winegrowing Area – Wine Road ‘Virovitički vidici’ (Virovitica views), Virovitica

Wine Road ‘Virovitički vidici’ (Virovitica views)

The ‘Virovitica views’ wine road as well as the appertaining facilities, is on the slopes of Bilogora where the winegrowing activity is the most intense. These picturesque and pure areas are exceptionally interesting as a tourist destination. The ecological conditions of the Virovitica region enable a varied agricultural production, while the slopes of Bilogora represent also a favourable habitat for the cultivation of wine grapes. All lovers of quality wines can here enjoy Graševina, Chardonnay or Cabernet sauvignon and experience the fullness of the Slavonian and Podravina wines.

Information: Tourist Board of the Town of Virovitica, Trg kralja Zvonimira 1, 33000 Virovitica
Phone +385 33 721 241
E-mail: ured@tz-virovitica.hr

Virovitica Winegrowing Area – Wine Road ‘Vinski puti’ (Wine paths), Pitomača

The Pitomača winegrowing region, according to official classification, belongs to the Virovitica winegrowing area that is an exceptionally favourable area for grapevine growing in the continental Croatia. There are the Pitomača wine paths with twenty quality producers of grapes and wine, several tasting facilities, restaurants and tourist hospitality facilities. Wine paths can be individually visited by car, bike or on foot, while organised groups can visit them by bus. All the access routes and the facilities themselves are marked with tourist signalisation. The Pitomača wine paths start in Otrovanec agricultural tourism facility ‘Golden ear of corn’ and in Sedlarica they are divided in two directions. The western directions takes you from Sedlarica towards Otrovanski breg and its paths are marked as: Path of the Podravina ferries, Path of the Podravina players, Path of St Bartholomew, Path of the friendship heart and Path of the soul in the wine cellar. The eastern direction from Sedlarica takes to Aršanj, Kladarski breg and Podaršanj and its paths are marked as: Götze path, Podravina blood path, Path of the stars above Aršanj, Path of the Aršanj elves and Path of the Drava anglers.

Information: Tourist Board of the Municipality of Pitomača, Ljudevita Gaja 26/1, 33405 Pitomača
Phone +385 33 782 860
E-mail: turisticka@pitomaca.hr

Some of the project activities

Croatian-Hungarian Wine Stories: ‘Old Stokehold’ in Orahovica Has Become a Visitors’ Centre

In Orahovica, beside a series of events related to wine, a special attraction of the project is the presentation of the Old stokehold. The history about the ‘stokehold’ of Gutmann’s railway and its function at the time when the railway was operating, tells us that this is a building in which steam locomotives used to be serviced and prepared for the tracting of trains, which in the railway slang used to be called ‘stokeholds’. When it comes to the Slavonian-Podravina railway, Gutmann’s railway, such buildings were standardised, most often divided into two operation areas. The locomotive was pulled through a large door for service, while in the other part there was the workshop with the necessary tools and machines. There were such buildings in Osijek, Belišće, Slatina, Đurđenovac and this one in Orahovica, the last one that was not torn down. Today, thanks to the valuable cross border project, the old stokehold is beautifully organised and has several functions. The former old ‘stokehold’, in the cross border project of three partners, the Town of Orahovica, Town of Villány and the Tourist Board of the Virovitica-Podravina County, experienced, through restoration, a complete renovation and became a Visitors’ centre. The area is the property of the Town of Orahovica with the facilities that so far were not at the disposal so that, after the completion of the project, the Centre will open its doors to citizens, and will have three basic purposes: ‘It will be the wine tasting facility with a catering area, a mini kitchen and a multipurpose exhibition area on the ground floor, that can be separated if necessary or connected with the tasting facility’, Irela Strabić emphasizes on behalf of the project team of the Town of Orahovica. In the former attic, a modern room for workshops and lectures was organised and equipped in one part, while above the tasting facility, there is an open area with a gallery. – The performance of the works and the entire equipping of the area was co-financed by EU with 85%, and the value of the reconstruction of the Centre upon the implementation of the works and equipping is HRK 3.05 million. Through the project implementation of 18 months, the Town has procured also additional valuable equipment in the function of preserved but also future events with the topic of wine, which the Centre is, among other things, intended for. The total useful surface of the building is 291.80 m2, it has a modern heating system installed with a high degree of energy efficiency using OIE – heating of water through sun collectors on the roof and alternative heating: gas combi device with a pellet boiler. Apart from the aesthetic impression, the building has obtained a new shell in the reconstruction and a new roof, its structure was rehabilitated against moisture, so that along with the heating/cooling system it does not surprise that the Centre, after renovation, has the A+ energy efficiency class.

Wine and ‘Kulen’ Fair in Orahovica and Wine Marathon

The wine and ‘kulen’ fair with all its participants offers special benefits, which means that the exhibition stands are free and that there is no participation fee. The goal of the fair is to present domestic producers and their produce; more than 50 samples of wine have been registered, mostly Frankovka and Graševina and 20 samples of ‘kulen’, from the wider Orahovica area and other Slavonian towns and municipalities. On the occasion of the Wine and ‘kulen’ fair, the wine marathon was also organised. All the competitors in the Wine marathon, that was first of all fun, were awarded with the special prizes of the organisers, partners and associated partners in the project. The best runners were awarded with participation in the Regional Wine Marathon in the Hungarian town of Villány, on the occasion of the Rose Festival. The transportation by bus was ensured by the Town of Orahovica, while the Town of Villány organised the accommodation and food.

Orahovica Winegrowers Thrilled with the Education Programme in Villány

The Town of Villány organised a three-day education for winegrowers from Orahovica. – ‘These were three unforgettable and most of all useful days, that we spent with our hosts on the Hungarian side of Baranja, in the town of Villány and on the slopes of the Villány mountain, a region known in Hungary for its production of red wines’, the secretary of the Orahovica vintners and winegrowers, Romi Suk-Barić, said. The Orahovica vintners returned full of impressions of the way in which the vintners there are organised and how they operate, their unanimity to work together and on behalf of them all. In not so large an area of approximately 5 km, there are 15 large and 25 small vintners, who are constantly investing in increasing the quality of their offer. Through thematic workshops, they got to know varieties of grapes and wines cultivated and produced on the territory of Villány; the most represented are Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc and Frankovka. Just like in Croatia, in Hungary too, the vintners are increasingly producing rose wines as opposed to the red varieties; the Orahovica vintners had the opportunity to taste the best evaluated rose harvest of 2017 in Hungary. They visited cellars, wineries, modern production lines, tasting facilities, catering and accommodation facilities, through which they learned how their hobby or profession in producing wines can be directed into a superb tourist product and creation of a wonderful wine story. The hosts informed them how they intensively used the EU funds, with which they renovated their economies, constructed and organised their wineries and cellars, and how they implemented the winegrowing and wineries in catering and accommodation facilities. The vintners in the town of Villány invest heavily in the promotion of the gastronomic and wine offer; especially important are the festivals that are being held during the entire year, of which they also informed the vintners from Orahovica. The association of vineyards, winegrowers and fruit growers of Orahovica as the associated partner in the project, by participating in this activity, provided full support to the project, the secretary, Ms. Suk-Barić, says adding that: ‘The stay in Hungary was primarily educational, the impressions are more than positive, because the education and the socialising with the members of the ‘Villány Wine road’ showed us the direction in which to develop; we also learned a lot, confirming that the results achieved by the friends in Villány can be achieved only through close cooperation of the local self-government and wine producers and winegrowers and by using the EU funds’, the association secretary, Ms. Romi Suk-Barić, concluded.

The Winegrowers of the Hungarian Town of Villány Visited Orahovica and Orahovica Winegrowers

The Tourist Board of the Virovitica-Podravina County has organised a study trip for the winegrowers of Villány to Orahovica, with the topic of oenology and wine production. The mayor of the town of Villány, Gyula Takacs, stayed in Orahovica as the president of the Wine Order in the town of Villány, and emphasized that this is already a third joint project of the towns of Villány and Orahovica. ‘From the stay in Orahovica, I expect expert conversations and getting to know your wine production, because we have the same wine growing climate. Even though, as was said by your winegrowers during their visit in Villány, we are a step ahead in the entire wine production story and fitting the winegrowing into the tourism story, it is always good to hear also about other experiences and talk to people with knowledge. We know Orahovica and its tourism well; now we will get to know the Orahovica wine’, Mayor Takacs said. The winegrowers from the Hungarian town of Villány, together with their hosts, according to the schedule of the study trip, visited the Matković Winery, the Fructus Winery and the Winery of the Orahovica agricultural company, where they tasted wines and got to know the production and the types of wines produced by the Orahovica winegrowers.

The First Regional Wine Queen Pageant Held – the Title was Won by Lilla Kovacs from Villány

The first regional Wine Queen pageant was held in Orahovica. Eight young women registered for the pageant, four from Croatia and four from Hungary. The professional committee presided by the oenologist Ivana Nemet, was comprised of seven members from both countries. In their first coming out, the candidates presented to the committee the folk costumes specific for the area they come from and responded to questions about wine, vineyards and vintners of their region. In the second coming out, the candidates had the task to properly open a bottle of wine, to select the right glass for the given wine and to correctly pour and serve it in front of the committee. After adding up the points, the expert committee elected the best and most successful and proclaimed the first regional Wine Queen: Lilla Kovacs from Villány; the first runner-up was also a young woman from Villány, Biborka Luca Nemeth, while the second runner-up was Valentina Medved from Zdenac. ‘Within this project, there are several events and content, the main part being the construction of our Visitors’ Centre that at the end is at the site of the old stokehold and workshop. One of the events is also this Wine Queen contest. The role of the Wine Queen is primarily the promotion of her region, promotion of the winegrowers and vintners, i.e. of the Hungarian ones, and we thereby want to jointly promote the domestic products and beauties of our regions’ the mayor of Orahovica, Ana-Marija Petin, emphasized. The president of the expert committee, oenologist Ivana Nemet, said that the young women in this contest learned the oenological basics: ‘What they did today are truly the basics that must be known in the world of wines, i.e. recognising wine varieties, their winegrowing region, opening of the bottle and pouring in glasses. Apart from the oenological part, we had the opportunity to see the folk costumes and the way they were presented because it is very important that there are still young people who are dealing with the cultural heritage so that the tradition does not die out with the young.’ The winner, Lilla Kovacs, was not expecting the victory and was most happy: ‘I truly did not expect the victory. I passed the qualifications in Villány and came here to Orahovica to have fun first of all and to show the folk costume of my region. The feeling is great, I am proud of the title and I think that my way of opening the wine bottle was crucial, which I did very well.’

Wine producers

The Fructus Winery from Orahovica Participates in the Hungarian-Croatian Wine Stories II

The company Fructus from Orahovica has for many years now been one of the most famous small producers of fruit liqueurs and wines in Croatia. Today it can boast also of the title of the most represented small producer of alcoholic beverages in Croatia, producing fruit wines and liqueurs. The excellent business success of the owner of the company, Krešimir Kostelac, is even greater and more significant when taking into account the fact that he started his business from scratch. As a former first division basketball player, he entered the production without great capital but with heart and plenty of enthusiasm. With continuous investment in know-how and through hard and committed work, this master of agriculture has reached the top. Within the Fruc¬tus production, he launched two brands that are accompanying the buyers’ demand and the demands of the market. – ‘Every year we try to ‘launch’ something new, exclusively according to the demand of our buyers and consumers. Thus, last year we started the production of liqueur from dry figs and oranges, this being the most appreciated fig from the Dubrovnik region. Moreover, we started producing liqueur from aronia, popular on any market. The latest plan, for the next year, is to launch the production of liqueur from lavender and sage,’ Krešimir Kostelac, the proud owner of the successful Fructus company, that has become famous on the market also with its other liqueurs, says. ‘The motto of the company is local, original and top quality’, Krešimir Kostelac emphasizes saying that each product is entirely natural, that there is no room for artificial dyes, aromas, sweeteners or flavour enhancers in the production. Blackberry, honey, strawberry, aronia and apple – a natural ingredient ends as a natural wine or liqueur on the shelf. ‘Production today can be divided into two famous brands, these are Incanto (fruit wines from cherries, blackberry, apple and fruit liqueurs) and Royal Luxury. These are products of the same quality, however the difference is in the design of the label and the appearance of the bottle, because they are launched on different markets. The In-canto brand is distributed through our partner into all large and leading shopping centres in entire Croatia and in the hospitality business.

The luxurious Royal Luxury brand was created last year in order to place the product into specialised retail stores, mostly related to the tourist offer on the coast, which means wine and souvenir shops on the Adriatic’, Krešimir Ko¬stelac explains. ‘Since this is retail sale that includes top domestic products, Fructus fought for its place also thanks to the attractive, visually noticeable and recognisable packaging, of which we are proud. We are currently present in over 200 retail stores in the entire Croatia. Moreover, we can say that our fruit wines and liqueurs are recognised in the eminent restaurants and cafes throughout the country’, Krešimir Kostelac says. The third part of the production range of Fructus, after the fruit wines and liqueurs are party liqueurs for which a special label and bottle were designed, a design for parties, cafes and promotion as the name itself says. ‘In the near future, an even greater emphasis will be put on packaging. We have, therefore, invested into a machine for laser cutting and engraving, whereby we will provide our products with added value, related to the souvenir packaging offer. We have applied for the investment for the machine also to the business project of the Town of Orahovica and are still waiting to see whether we will get support for it’ Krešimir Kostelac says. The company proudly boasts of the cooperation within the “Hungarian-Croatian Wine Stories II“ project – ‘We have participated in this large project, in the meeting with the winegrowers from Hungary, but exclusively by means of an invitation of the Tourist Board of the Virovitica-Podravina County’, Krešimir Kostelac says. He emphasizes that despite the fact that according to the number of retails stores in which their products, liqueurs and fruit wines, are offered, in which they are leading in Croatia, their value for the economy was not recognised ‘at home’, in Orahovica, where they operate and where they fight for the market and for the buyers and hope that this will change in the future.

The Stari podrum (Old Cellar) Winery from Slatina – a Story on the Croatian Sparkling Wine

In this wine story, through visits and exchange of experience, the Slatina ‘Old Cellar’ is also included. It was in Slatina that in 1864 the first Croatian sparkling wine was produced. As of 2016, Stari podrum started again the production of the sparkling wine from the red grapes from the Slatina area, with the aim of promoting the Slatina vineyards as the cradle of the Croatian sparkling wine production. A limited number of bottles of the ‘Slatina pearl’, except in the Croatian, can also be found on the foreign market. Along with the already known ‘Slatina pearl’ sparkling wine, recognised at exhibitions around Croatia as a product of extraordinary quality, the offer of Stari podrum winery also has red and white wine produced from the grapes of the vineyards of the wider Slatina area. The winery’s offer includes Graševina, Frankovka and Pinot noir in bulk. ‘Three years ago, the idea with the sparkling wine was launched again and, in 2016, we filled the first thousand of bottles and the following year, before Christmas, they were introduced to the market. Just like in the first year, last year too we filled 1,864 bottles of Chardonnay that will be put on the market soon. This number of bottles, 1,864, was selected in order to symbolically mark the year when the production of the first Croatian sparkling wine in the Prince Schaumberg-Lippe Winery was made’, Ivan Halas, owner of Stari podrum Winery, said. This year, in the Slatina winery, they filled up 5,000 bottles of sparkling wine; out of it, 1,000 bottles are Pinot noir, 1000 Frankovka, while the remaining 3,000 bottles are Chardonnay. – ‘We have also made samples of Graševina so that we will have sparkling wine varieties for Christmas’ – Ivan Halas emphasized with satisfaction, whose property spreads on 54 hectares of vineyards on which he has grapevines of Graševina, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Pinot and Frankovka. The Stari podrum winery can boast of an unusual and interesting start of the production year. Namely, each production year, the filling to be more exact, is started in this cellar with numerous invitees from the social and political life who have the opportunity to make their personalised bottle. The winery in this way comes closer to its buyers promoting its top quality work of many years.

The Vineda Cellar Winery from Vukosavljevica Offers Six Wine Sorts and is Proud of its Tradition of ‘Selling at the Doorstep’

Podrum Vineda (Vineda Cellar) got included in the ‘Hungarian-Croatian Wine Stories II’ project as a small but high quality and interesting producer, participating at the Wine and Kulen Fair in Orahovica. ‘We presented ourselves at the fair with high quality and supreme wines and collected numerous kudos, praises and golden awards’, Andreja Kaša Kovač, the pleased owner, said. Moreover, the representatives of the Podrum Vineda winery visited also Villány where they got to know the work of their neighbours and exchanged experiences. – ‘In cooperation with the Tourist Board of the Virovitica-Podravina County, we were visited by oenologists, experts and vintners from Villány who tasted our wines. They were very pleased and had very good and positive comments and advised us to continue like this in the future’, Andreja Kaša Kovač said. She is intensively working on the promotion and marketing of this company with the aim of creating the best possible tourist offer. The Podrum Vineda winery has existed for only 13 years; it was created by two families, Kaša and Kovač, that dealt in winegrowing as a hobby and for own need, thus continuing the tradition. – ‘In the beginning, this was a side job, however, after we realised that we have potential and knowledge, but also love towards the business that developed with time, we expanded the business to a higher level and nowadays, besides me, we have three employees’, Andreja Kaša Kovač tells. At present, they own approximately ten hectares of vineyards, produce 40,000 litres per year and offer six wine varieties. – ‘We offer Graševina, Chardonnay, Rhine Riesling, which is the king of the white wines as they say, then Frankovka, Cabernet sauvignon that is not as well-known and represented in this area and Cabernet sauvignon Rose which makes us special and recognisable’ – the owner says adding that the most interesting and the most important part of their business is the co-called ‘selling at the doorstep’. This is a project within which, in 2016, they built a tasting facility with the aim of inviting potential buyers to them to taste the wines and revive the rural areas through a wine story and create a part of the tourist offer.

Moreover, they also plan to include accommodation units in their tourist offer. – ‘In the vineyards, we have two cellars that we wish to include in the tourism story and with the selling of the wines and tasting them, we will also offer accommodation units and thus develop a quality tourist offer,’ Andreja, the owner, emphasized adding that it considers the agricultural tourism very interesting. The region of Virovitica has a lot of potential, it only needs to be developed, she says. The serious work of the Podrum Vineda can also be seen in the drawing of the EU funds by means of which, beside their own means, they made the tasting facility and equipped the cellars; now they are about to implement a large project of reviving and planting three hectares of new vineyards worth approximately HRK 900,000. This has to do with the planting of 18,000 grafts; they will most certainly soon need more workforce. Podrum Vineda sells its largest quantities of quality and supreme wine in the area of the Virovitica-Podravina County, i.e. selling them ‘at the doorstep’. However, several years ago, large quantities started to be sold across Croatia. ‘Our Graševina was recognised also in Istria, where they consider it an interesting variety and a neutral wine. Large quantities indeed go there, while some also go to Dalmatia’, Andreja Kaša Kovač says emphasizing Zagreb as an interesting market. Nevertheless, it is most important for them to expand to the European market that is already sending its first inquiries, mostly for Cabernet sauvignon and Graševina. What’s more, Vineda has been present for years at the fair in Traunreut in Germany and who ever tastes it there, they say, requests a bottle more the year after that. An inquiry has also come from Munich and they are looking forward to the cooperation as a result of excellent work and promotion. In order to present themselves to the widest possible market, they participate also at numerous fairs in Croatia.

Other tourist offers on the territory of the Virovitica-Podravina County

‘This content is co-financed with EU funds.
The content of the published material is the exclusive responsibility
of the Tourist Board of the Virovitica-Podravina County and does not
reflect the viewpoint of the European Union and the Management body.’

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„A cross-border region where rivers connect, not divide”

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