A unique autumn grape harvest and presentation of the first limited edition bottle of Zinfandel 2019 with the label of the Esplanade Hotel and the signature of Vlado Krauthaker, one of the most famous Croatian winemakers, was held on the Oleander terrace of the Zagreb Hotel Esplanade with high precautions and a small circle of guests. The main pickers were prof. Edi Maletić from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb, general manager of the hotel Ivica Max Krizmanić and Vlado Krauthaker.
After the harvest, we tasted the Zinfandel Oleander 2019 vintage, for which Vlado Krauthaker said: "The 2019 vintage is characterized by dark red colour and flavours of berries, especially raspberries, accompanied by spices such as ginger, rosemary and garlic with aromatic smoky tobacco-like finish." Limited edition Z In 2019, with the label of the Esplanade Hotel and the signature of the Krauthaker winery, it will be included in the wine list of Zinfandel's restaurant.
Grapevines are a trademark of the Esplanade restaurant named after the zinfandel grape variety, which was transferred from Dalmatia to the USA in the early 19th century. Therefore, this wine is a symbol of the intertwining of cultures encountered in Zinfandel’s restaurant kitchen. "Zinfandel is a world-famous wine that has been attracting the attention of consumers, especially Americans, for decades. The mystery of its origin contributed significantly to its popularity. Namely, as all the varieties grown in America are originally from Europe, everything except zinfandel was known exactly where they came from. For decades, scientists have been trying to solve this enigma. A team of scientists from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb was lucky to find this variety in 2000 in Kaštela under the name crljenak kaštelanski. With the help of DNA analysis and with the cooperation of colleagues with UC Davis from California, we have unequivocally proved that it is the same variety. Later we found documents showing that this variety was grown in Dalmatia in the Middle Ages under the name tribidrag, and in the 16th century it was our wine that was exported to Venice. It should be emphasized that at the time of the discovery there were only twenty vines in Dalmatian vineyards, and since then we have been intensively propagating them. Some winemakers immediately started planting this variety in order to save it from oblivion by joint efforts, so today we have numerous producers of that grape and wine. Some, like Krauthaker, successfully grow it in Slavonia as well”, pointed out prof Edi Maletić from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb.
"I am very happy that our last year's harvest and long-term cooperation with the great Croatian winemaker Krauthaker bore fruit. The hotel staff carefully nurtured the vines in our small garden and we were especially proud and excited when we saw the first berries. It was then that the idea began to be born that we could have wine with our own label. As soon as we heard that the first bottles were arriving, we decided to gather the friends of the Esplanade Hotel, toast together with this successful venture and have fun in the autumn harvest in the heart of Zagreb. The wine produced by Krauthaker winery for the hotel is of excellent quality. There aren’t many bottles, but we’re happy that the hotel got its first wine behind which stands a beautiful story of friendship, love of gastronomy and oenology, as well as a link to the restaurant. I believe that the guests of the restaurant this fall will enjoy the combination of zinfandel and autumn delicacies from the new menu", said the general manager of the hotel Ivica Max Krizmanić.
The gathering on the Oleander terrace was also an ideal occasion to announce the new autumn menu of the Zinfandel's restaurant, the concept of which is signed by chef Ana Grgić, and which guests will be able to enjoy from September 29th. For this occasion, Ana Grgić prepared a series of creative snacks that complemented Krauthaker's wines, such as pickled chicory in smoked chicory soup with salted shrimp and caper oil, gnud with beetroot fluid gel, hazelnut pesto and stilton cheese cream, as well as fillet of rhombus with velouté of black garlic and pine nuts and tasted cabbage rolls stuffed with homemade duck confit served with black lentil cream and juniper berries and cardamom sauce, which went especially well with zinfandel. “The menu is inspired by aromatic autumn foods like chestnuts, corn, black truffles, oranges and porcini mushrooms. I am especially proud of our gourmet winter collection, which we pickled and pickled ourselves. The new menu emphasizes fresh home-grown food that we procure from selected family farms. For example, duck, every part of which we use in food, comes from the family farm Orehovec from Varaždin, while goat cheese is from the award-winning family farm Moravec, "said the chef of Esplanade's cuisine Ana Grgić.
The new autumn menu also brings Kagoshima Wagyu steak with caramelized shallots and shiitake mushrooms and goose liver in symbiosis with marinated pears in port and red pepper, served with warm brioche and butter with orange. The dessert menu brings citrus flavours of orange and mandarin, rhubarb, chocolate and sweet corn ice cream with apple terrine, as well as crunchy biscuits