On Saturday, December 2nd, the 15th traditional exhibition/tasting of wine and olive oil was held in the small village of Nadin in Ravni kotari. This time in the newly built Community Centre, but it was still next to the traditional tent where a ceremony was held years ago on the school playground. The association of winemakers headed by the president Tomislav Glavić and his family managed to successfully do this demanding job. Before I introduce you to the awards and winners, read a small historical overview about the beginnings of winemaker in Nadin from the modern era.
One of the most beautiful Croatian wine stories began and still continues in Ravni kotari in Nadin. That small place in the municipality of Benkovac was occupied in the nineties, and after the Operation Storm and the return of the population already in 1996, the division of land and the cultivation of vineyards began. Namely, by the decision of the city council of Benkovac, the mayor was Branko Kutija then and for several more terms, the fields owned BY state and PK Zadar, known as Nadinsko blato, were given as a concession to the people of Nadin and former employees of PKZ.
Anyone who was interested could use 2.5 hectares of vineyards for a period of 3 years. These were vineyards that were not cultivated during the years of the war, and at the end of the day it could be said that they were in bad condition, a total of 350 hectares. At that time, the predominant varieties were: grenache red, sinsaut (senso), alicante boushet, carignan and syrah, and white ugni (inji) blanc and grenache white. Outside the fields, there was also an experimental vineyard in Blatka where fifteen varieties were planted, mostly white, such as vugava, pošip, maraština or r katiceli.
Nadin people diligently continued their work even when the original deadline expired in 1999, because their contract was extended year after year. In 2006, the conditions were met to sign new contracts until 2030, which the people of Nadin accepted wholeheartedly, and from the following year, 2007, until now, around 70 to 80% of the vineyards have been renewed with new varieties. It started with merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and autochthonous varieties maraština, pošip, plavina, crljenak, and Šime Škaulj and Tomislav Glavić even planted Grk. By the way, in rainy years, the Nadin mud of the Kličevica and Mirašnica streams turn blue, so they can ride in a boat in the fields!
Two more years were significant in the restoration of the Nadin vineyards. The city of Benkovac offered the possibility of buying the land from the state. The case "spent the night" in the Ministry of Agriculture for only three years, and in April 2014, 112 families from Nadine received contracts with which they could finally buy the state agricultural land, and became full owners.
During the past decade, I was the first to write and do radio programs about the people of Nadin, excluding the local Zadar media. I met Šima Škaulja in the fall of 2012 at Green Gold after he won a silver medal for the Cabernet Sauvignon from 2010 at the London Wine Fair (Decanter) 2012. And since then I have been a guest dozens of times in a place where you can't find bad wine. With Glavić and Vrsaljko, but about that in the second part of the text. What I have to highlight is their ecological production. Ever since the days when the vineyards were abandoned due to the 1991-95 war, no pesticides were sprayed or used there, so the soil via facti was purified by itself. The people of Nadin readily accepted the advice of the experts on eco production, and today more than half of the area of the mud and all the winemakers on the market have an eco product label. Plant-based preparations are used, apart from copper, such as algae, fennel, nettle. Six kg of copper can be used per hectare, and most use half of the permitted amount. Of course, there are also very strict controls on who does not comply and the penalties are draconian. The bottles carry the ecolabel, the round bottles are Croatian and the square ones are European.
Such a "wine movement" made it possible to have several wine festivals in Zadar County during the year, from the one in the east in Stankovci to the summer Vinfest in Benkovac at the beginning of July to the real annual festival of Nadin - Festival of Young Wines and Oils in December in the yard of the elementary school. Last year it was held for the fourteenth time with dear guest winemakers, traditionally from Ludbreg, Kastav and Medulin, where the association of oil growers Ulika comes from. Most of the grapes go on sale, so far there are only four serious producers on the market, and that should definitely change because that region deserves at least a dozen good winemakers with decent quantities to represent their region. facilities in Škaulj and Šime Vrsaljko, there were at least 5-6 more stations with cellars and tasting rooms.
The long-term awarding program, awarding nearly two hundred diplomas and medals, was successfully led by Mihovil Mijo Brkić from Radio Benkovac and the president of the Association, Tomislav Glavić. As usual, the offer at the tables was rich, including award-winning wines, kroštula and udojak. In the most important category of red wines, because they predominate in Nadine, PZ Mas Vin from Polača won with merlot/gold and 88 points. The award was euphorically received by the alpha and omega of this winery, Radoslav Bobanović. In the category of white wines, hobby winemaker Darko Bujanec from Ludbreg won the gold medal with 88 points. By meaning, the third prize in the category of the best young Maraština (an indigenous wine of Dalmatia and this region) was won by the Degarra winery from Zadar with 86 points. The best blue was produced by Krešimir Puče from Zaton Šibenik with 81 points. The best rose was produced by OPG Branko Kutija from Lisičić with 81 points. The grand gold for dessert wine for vugava-pošip with 90 points was won by PP Zadar and veterinary school Stanko Ožanić from Zadar. In the end, this traditional competition makes sense because it gives immediate results in the cellars and a glimpse of the future. One or two words - it has meaning and significance.