From the southern slopes of Dilj Mountain there is a wide view of the town Slavonski Brod, the river Sava and Bosanska Posavina. We are looking into the distance from Bukovlje, a proud municipality that has been developing successfully lately. Due to population inflows, the population has doubled since 1991. They enjoy the rural idyll, where many of the townsfolk have their vineyards and cottages.
The winemaking of this region is the reason why the Vinovita Wine Show has been held in Bukovlje for 17 years, in honour of St. Vincent, a saint worshiped by winemakers in January. This was also the sixth inter-county wine tasting and evaluation, all organized by the Igrač Association. More than a hundred winemakers presented their wines, which certainly gave a lot of work to the jury, but also to us, passing tasters!
Wines from two Croatian wine regions were present: Slavonia and Croatian Danube Region. Slavonia is a large wine region with a long tradition of growing grapevines on the slopes of all its hills, from Bilogora to Papuk. Such a large region is unified by a climate that is almost the same in all its parts. Its most important feature is that the autumn is warmer than spring, which favourably affects the natural process of accumulating grape sugar, the main cause of high-quality wine.
Graševina is certainly the most valuable Slavonian wine-icon, ideally suited to the Slavonian climate and rich soil. Its late nature matched perfectly with cool spring and warm fall. The aroma of Slavonian grape is very rich, usually with fruity shades, primarily apples and occasionally other ripe fruits. Almost as a rule, we also find gentle shades of almonds, then herbal notes that are very often reminiscent of chamomile, green tea and hay. The aromas of sweet flowers and honey grow in the wine in accordance with the rest of the unfermented sugar and are conditioned by later harvest dates, so the late and optional vintage specimens will be full of aromas of meadow flowers, acacia honey and quince sweet. The taste of Graševina is always alive enough thanks to the naturally high acids, which, in relations with the rich extract, low amount of unrefined sugar and solid alcohol, create a feeling of fullness and sweetness in the mouth. The finish is usually characterized by a slight bitterness on the aftertaste that gives the Graševina a definitive unique expression.
Rhine Riesling is another Slavonian mono-icon, but it is tied to a much narrower surface than Graševina. The best wines come almost exclusively from Kutjevo vineyards. The Rhine Riesling is very rich in aromas, mostly of a floral character, with a touch of citrus fruits and traces of "serious" and decent notes of kerosene. Full flavour and an ideal aromatic assembly are achieved only after one year of lying down, so it takes a little while to wait for the best quality. All Burgundy varieties are very good here. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir pop out with quality, and occasionally Pinot Grigio. Bordeaux varieties are also present, white and red. Cabernet Sauvignon thrives in the best years, while Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc regularly produce great results. In the highest positions of the Slavonian hills, grapes are grown for high predicates. Ice harvesting is a regular success and, along with the harvest of dried berries, it has won the highest medals at the world's most famous competitions.
Harsh winters, cool spring, hot summers and moderately warm autumn are the main climatic characteristics of the Danube region, which make this region ideal for growing many varieties of vines. It is extremely important to plant them on the slopes mentioned, because the plains depressions that are plentiful in this region are susceptible to winter freezing, and when this happens, it requires the removal of complete vineyards and the autumn rot due to poor air flow. The altitudes possessed by the Principovac of Ilok or the Kneževi Vinogradi Vineyards and the breeze that always breaks there, make these positions healthy and ideal for the largest wine ranges. Two varieties performed well under these conditions: Graševina and Traminac. Graševina is a much more popular and represented variety today, but it has not always been so. Hundreds of years ago, the first place was occupied by today a somewhat neglected Traminer. Traminac often comes here as dry or semi-dry wine, unlike the rest of Europe and the world where it is usually very sweet. This makes it special, and if its quality continues to develop as well as in recent years, it could also leave a significant mark on the international scene. Graševina, on the other hand, is the variety that best affects the taste of the average Croat, and it has really great potential here. With controlled yields and timely harvesting, it will have a wonderful aroma of floral fruity aromas and the aroma in your mouth will be concrete, slightly spicy, juicy and refreshing.
The Vinovita 2020 champion for white dry wines is Kaptol Winery, which was awarded for its Graševina wine growing from the Kutjevo vineyards. The following are the wines of Đakovo from Drenje and the Krešić Cellars from Šarengrad, which also brought gold for their Graševina, and there were 15 gold winners. The best Chardonnay comes from the Ilok Cellars, Sauvignon from Perak Kutjevo Winery, Traminac from Đakovo Wines, and the Moscato Yellow from the Erdut Vineyard and OPG Dušica Siber.
The champion of red dry wine is the Polytechnic of Požega, which delighted Syrah. The golden award was given to Cabernet Sauvignon Apostol Trnava from the Đakovo vineyard and the Polytechnic of Požega. The champion of rose wines is Ilok Podrumi, and for wines with the rest of sugar the Polytechnic of Požega.