Updated: Feb 19, 2019
After Christmas and New Year, the first important oeno-gastronomic enjoyment comes with the day of St. Vincent on January 22. St. Vincent is the saint protector of vineyards, wine and wine makers. It is celebrated especially in Slavonia and the Central Croatia, so every day out for St. Vincent Day is excellent way to learn more about the viticulture and traditions.
Wine makers from Northern or Continental Croatia share a common custom of going to the vineyards for St Vincent, where they use holy water and wine to bless the vine. After the blessing, they cut three or more pieces of vine to take home, where they put it into water in a warm place for vine to blossom. According to the blossom, people use to predict what will the harvest be like. In every region, wine makers ask the same question. In Slavonia it was believed that wet weather for St Vincent would bring a good harvest. In Sibinj, near Slavonski Brod, there is a saying, if a sparrow is taking a bath on the road, the vineyard will bear fruits. In Opatovina people were telling, If there is no water for St Vincent, our wine is gone. And in Pleterenica they said, If on St. Vincent water drops from the roof, there will be plenty of wine.
St Vincent is especially popular in Slavonia. Elsewhere, people also celebrate St Martin and St Urban. Slavonia is rich with traditions for Vinkovo. Women were forbidden to spread flour, prepare the corn, feathering, spinning on that day, as it constantly involves cutting and waste, which can also trigger the decline of mature grapes. And then there are no wine for wine lovers! There may not work with flour and corn, but Slavonian women had to prepare a busy dinner that day. They were cooking the Kaiser-ham or smoked neck, beans salad, sauerkraut with meat sausage, soup chicken with homemade small noodles, and they made also cakes, mostly donuts with plum jam.
Traditionally, women should not follow their husbands in the vineyard, because it was considered a bad omen. But they packed their food bags. One could find in it Kulin, sausage, bacon, wine, brandy, bread, onions, salt, and bottles of sacred water brought from the church on the Three Wise Men Day, and there was also an axe to cut the wood. In a vineyard, a kulin or a sausage is hanged on the vine, and it is blessed by the holy water is blessed, circling around the vineyard and through it. Holy Father is being said and then people pray: Lord, bless this vineyard so that there is no ice and illness and that it bears fruit this year at least as much as in the last or even better. Then they the wine in sign of the cross on three vines and cut them correctly. After that, sausages are hanged on the vines and it is said: For St Vincent to give the grapes as long as the sausages and big and heavy as Kulin!
It is particularly joyful and joyful in Ilok, one of the Croatian wine centres. At that time, in the old fort, they prepare local gastronomic delicacies, wines, handicrafts, selection of the best Traminac by visitor ratings and others, and rituals and celebrations in the vineyards and wine cellars of Ilok vineyards are also being prepared. A special treat is the Carnival horse riding. Through the streets of Ilok, from the host to the host, in front of the capes and the Srijem courtyards, along with the beauty of the horse, the chariot, the rider, the costume, the overcrowding, the good wine and the brandy and the local snacks will be showed by members of several horse associations from Vukovarsko-srijemska and surrounding Slavonian counties.