On Saturday, May 14, the third edition of the cheese & wine festival took place in Valpovo's Normann - Prandau castle. The event started at 18 pm and the interior of the old Valpovo castle was pleasantly filled quite quickly, and after two hours when it was already getting dark, the castle was full of holes.
The festival itself was attended by more than two thousand visitors, as evidenced by the number of issued festival glasses that guests could rent on bail of 30 kuna, and although the festival lasted until one hour after midnight, some exhibition stands were empty well before midnight - for reasons that the exhibitors sold all the wine they brought. Good lesson for the next visit to Valpovo.
Despite the fact that the same day was held and Osijek craft beer fest which was originally supposed to take place a week earlier, but due to the weather forecast was moved to mid-May, the Valpovo Cheese & Wine Festival was attended by many Osijek residents and people from the rest of Slavonia & Baranja. The heat and steam of the unusually warm May day was perfectly absorbed by the exterior of the castle, and for real refreshment there were forty different wine labels from 11 selected wineries that could be paired with twenty different cheeses from six selected cheese factories.
When it comes to the gastronomic aspect of the festival, its highlight was cooking show Tomica Đukić and tasting risotto with asparagus and black Slavonian pork meat in his interpretation. In addition to this unusual gastronomic pleasure, those present were able to enter the caloric base for wine tasting in the form of hamburgers and of course the ubiquitous langoustines without which no event in this part of Pannonia passes.
Of the 11 wineries that performed at the festival, five come from Baranja, and as many as four from Zmajevac - Baranja's wine capital. Winery Gerstmeier The winery has the longest unbroken family tradition of viticulture and winemaking, and their wine creations were presented at the Valpovo Cheese & Wine Festival by the youngest offspring of that wine dynasty. Ivan Gerštmajer Zelember. Excellent Pinot Gris and fantastic Chardonnay, are wines that move and inspire, but first make you stop and admire the way the grapes interact with the specific microclimatic conditions of the domicile climate - terroir sublimates into superior nectar that uncompromisingly and unconditionally ennobles even the most sophisticated palates.
From the fairytale Zmajevac, more precisely from the northwestern edge of its cadastral municipality, comes the winery Kalazic, and as I was delighted by Gerštmajer's Pinot Gris, I was again fascinated by the Pinot Noir of the Kalazić winery, whose wines were personally presented by the winery's chief oenologist. Samir Nadj.
The winery also came from Zmajevac Rabbit which is located in the Catholic Surduk and whose gator is a regular venue for the craziest Baranja wine parties. Women are crazy about their dew, and at this festival they presented their excellent blend of Graševina and Traminer called Graminac.
The fourth dragon winery at the festival was the winery Kusic, and in addition to the winery from Zmajevac, there was also a winery Horvat from Baranja's Kamenac, which is located on the Budžak wine road, and which is organizing for the second time this coming weekend Sip & paint day - a workshop on painting with the vinorel technique, completed of course with a tasting of the wines themselves.
The same weekend, a similar workshop called "Taste, paint, enjoy!" Is organized in another Danube vineyard, the Erdut vineyard. Master whose owner Hrvoje Pavić Perkov I came to Valpovo with a great blend of nutmeg and Graševina, an excellent wine that I had the opportunity to taste for the first time. Wineries also came from Erdut Cyber which attracted the attention, especially of female audiences, with its rosè.
Wineries also came to the Valpovo cheese & wine festival from the Erdut vineyards Brzica, Iuris, and Royal hill which has in its offer for Croatian circumstances unique black white - white wine made by short maceration of red grapes pinot noir. From the Ilok vineyards, the Lončar winery came to the festival and presented, among other things, its excellent green silvana. In order not to leave everything to the Danube winemakers, the winery took care of it Podolski from the Kalnik vineyards.
The novelty of this edition of the cheese & wine festival was Detox zona by TEA - Tea Exploration Academy. The idea of the organizers was to provide a corner where visitors could refresh themselves with tea and coffee. Non-alcoholic beverages could be tasted Orange & apple tea blend, Jelly candies iced tea, and iced coffee - Iced coffe. Since this is a cheese & wine festival, infusions of teas and wines were designed and presented, so visitors could taste sage and traminer, as well as chamomile and rosé, as well as cheese tea. After this premiere presentation of tea infusions into wine, the same concept will be presented in mid-June at the Baranja Wine Days.
Drinking all these wines was complemented by a great musical background. The domicile musical forces GemJams (Valentina and Vjekoslav Pavlović) and DJ G-Force (Siniša Galovac) were the first to perform, followed by Nipplepeople and Electric corn. The visual effects were provided by a team from Hungary, which is holding a light festival in Pécs. The Valpovo Cheese and Wine Festival was a great start to the season of open-air wine festivals, and on May 27, the last Friday of the month, the Osijek Evening of Wine and Art awaits us.
Photos: Mario Jukić