In the Zagreb County, the grape harvesting period started earlier this year. On Plešivica, those who produce sparkling wines began with harvesting already on August 23 or 24. Drago Kurtalj started with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and then went to Graševina and other varieties. Kurtalj has 3.5 hectares of vineyards and along the calm wines, he produces Rose and Black Pinot sparkling wines and those made from the domestic varieties such as Šipelj, Lipovina, Vertlinec and others. These autochthonous varieties are also represented in the second sparkling wine DRI named after Kurtalj's children Dona, Roko and Ivan. On the occasion of harvesting, Kurtalj gathered many friends in his klet in Nova Ves in Zagreb to celebrate the harvesting finish with kotlovina – a traditional sausage and meat dish for large audience.
Also in the vineyard of the Zdenko Šember’s family in Pavločani, on Plešivica, the harvest started on August 23rd with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and the Plavec Žuti, which is considered to be an important ingredient in the production of sparkling wines. Otherwise, the Šember family recently has built a new basement in which 2.3 million kuna was invested, of which 35 percent was approved by the government’s wine envelope. The basement is 320 square meters with a capacity of 60,000 bottles and now it has 25,000. The Šember family plans to plant another 3 hectares of vineyards in the next two years. The Šembers are known for sparkling wines, and the new sparkling wine Pavel, which is about four years old, is made up of 90% of Chardonnay and 10% of the Žuti Plavec named after St.Paul's church above the cellar itself.
Tomac family set off on August 25th, like the others who have sparkling wine with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Žuti Plavec. Tomac grapes, harvested on eight hectares are used 70% for sparkling wine and 30% for still wines. Harvest is make it by hand so the grapes go immediately to the press. Otherwise, the Tomac family is known for amphorae wines. On a formal lunch when Croatia joined the European Union, the sparkling wine of the Tomac family was on the table. Sparkling Tomac has been among the best wines in Croatia for years, and the first in the world to produce wine in amphoras. In London at Decanter's Great Sparkling Exploration, where 60 sparkling wines from various countries received the gold awards on Decanter's rating, Tomislav Tomac performed with Diplomat and Amfora 2010.
Željko Kos from Donja Zelina on the Zelina Wine Road, began on August 25 with harvesting of the Pinot Noir and on August 28 with Chardonnay variety used for sparkling wine. Then came Kerner, Kraljevina and other sorts. Kos winery has a tasting room that can accommodate up to 50 guests. It has 3.5 hectares of vineyards and 1 hectare of vineyards he leases to care for Kraljevina, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Graševina, Kerner, Pinot Noir and Sparkling Anita and Anita Rusol brut. Opposite the family houses, wineries and kitchens is a place where will soon begin construction of a new basement. The investment is worth six million kuna, of which the portion should cover the Wine Envelope. In the Samobor region, Marijan Žganjer started harvesting on August 28 with Chardonnay, followed by Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Graševina and Rhine Riesling.
And the "cheerful Zagorje guys" went to the vineyards. At "medal collector" Stjepan Đurinski and Boris Drenški Bodren grapes is left on vines because they produce predicate wines. Đurinski also has still wines for which the grape is already harvested. Stjepan and Maria Đurinski have long been delivering wines that receive prizes for carefully chosen ice harvesting of Traminac. His Traminac received silver at the most important rating in the world at Decanter in London. The wines were also awarded in the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Vienna and Wine Ljubljana, Sabatini, Urbanovo, Dubrovnik Festival, Zagreb County, and he was also the champion of the continental Croatia wine exhibition. In Gornja Radgona he was the champion in 2016 and this year he was awarded with the Great Gold Medal. Đurinski has vineyards in Kupljenski Hruščevec, a small place between a village and a town, as well as one hectare of vineyards in Kutjevo in the Kaptol wine region. Grapes from the Golden Valley of Đurinec are used for blends and grapes from Zaprešić for predicate harvesting. These are series of 200 to 600 litres of wine, but with a price of 350 kunas per bottle. In total Đurinski has an annual 20,000 litres of wine, which is marketed through a catering offer.
Boris Drenški Bodren, who will do the grape harvest in the first half of October, is an absolute recorder with regard to prizes for predicate wines. Decanter is the most prestigious wine rating in the world and Drenški has so far received 24 Decanters including six gold. All winemakers say that the grapes are great and that this will be another good winemaking year.
Photos by: Marko Čolić and Wineries