Winter Wine & Walk Baranja – the second edition bathed in the sun

The second Baranja Winter wine & walk was also favored by the weather forecast. Everything was so perfect in Suza and the wine capital of Baranja - Zmajevac on February 17, 2024...

Winter Wine Walk Baranja
Photo: Nenad Milić

Research was the first in Croatia to start with the wine & walk scheme, back in 2015. On that first organized wine walk in Lijepa, our tourism employee from Baranja participated as guests and immediately came to the conclusion - next year we will do the same! So, after the first wine & walk in the extreme northwest of the country, the very next year, the extreme northeast got its own wine walk.

In the past ten years, there has been a real expansion of wine & walks, it is easier to list vineyards where this type of event is not held, but the other way around, and in one thing Baranja has taken a pioneering role in the meantime, namely in Last year, on December 10, the first winter wine walk was organized in Baranji; 3W – Winter wine & walk, which, due to the ubiquitous element of rain and its sometimes torrential downpour from Banski Brdo, is down to the surduks all the way to the inhabited parts Tears and Zmajevac informally got another "w" in its name, so the participants talked about 4W or Wet winter wine & walk.

Winter Wine Walk Baranja
Photo: Nenad Milić

This year, however, as far as the atmosphere and weather conditions are concerned, the situation was diametrically opposite - participants prepared and trained for winter conditions took shelter from the sun in the shade of the shade and/or gators. For those who don't know Baranya it has the same number of sunny hours as (sunny) Hvar, and the Baranja sun can be quite warm even in mid-February.

Photo: Nenad Milić

The old saying goes "Wine is the sunshine trapped in a glass", and Baranja is, now it is already widely known as the Mother of Wine. You just have to come to it and enjoy the fruits of the Mother of Wine, and great fun, interesting anecdotes and hedonistic pleasures that are permanently engraved in the consciousness (and subconscious) are then self-evident. It was equally nice to enjoy the sunshine, as well as in its liquid form, whose great taste combined with wonderful aromas provides an unforgettable experience.

Winter Wine Walk Baranja
Photo: Nenad Milić

Everyone who comes to Baranja once comes back again and again. The best illustration of that claim, which I repeat again and again, is a group of girls from Međimurje that I met at last year's summer wine & walk. Of course, after that first introduction to Baranja, they also came to the winter edition. The radiance of their faces says it all; it's nice for them here, they're good here. Baranja is a real hedonistic oasis; a synonym for rest, relaxation and a pleasant time spent, and the Baranja version of hedonism implies hedonism in its best meaning; by no means as obesity and decadence, but as slow down the hectic lifestyle imposed by urban living, returning to nature and enjoying its views and fruits, and emotionally colored recollections of some long-gone times.

Photo: Nenad Milić

The concept of summer and winter wine & walk is as similar as it is different; you walk from point to point while enjoying wine and accompanying snacks. In the summer edition, the route is a few kilometers longer because it goes up the slopes Banski brdo where most of the winemakers welcome you at pop-up points right next to them creeping vines, and in the winter edition you go from cellar to cellar, i.e. the winemaker must have a "solid roof over his head", because as already stated in the first part of the text, the weather can truly vary; from the beautiful to the one on the brink of natural disaster. Fortunately, the weather "honored" us this year. It is nice to taste wines where they are created - in the vineyard, but it is equally nice to taste them where they are created and matured - in the wine cellars, which in Baranja are called gators.

Winter Wine Walk Baranja
Photo: Nenad Milić

This, as well as the previous winter wine walk, started in Suza (Mag. Csúza), where we had five points out of a total of 13. The start with Graševina made it even more beautiful living history performance, and then turning left from the main street (which is called Ulica Maršala Tita both in Suza and in neighboring Zmajevac - Tito Marsall utca) near the Reformed church headed for the winery Kováts which is located in Šandora Petefija Street.

kovacs
Photo: Nenad Milić

There we tasted their great dry rosé cuvée. Dry rosé in Croatia today, the wine audience, especially those of the female gender who are just entering the world of wine, prefer sweeter pink wines, so winemakers driven by commercial motives, i.e. the demands of the market, adapt to this, while in neighboring Hungary, for example, they almost ignore it - or as Horváth Zoltán from Mohács winery Planina once said "Rosé must be as dry as a bone!". In last year's Vinathlon their rosé won the title of rosé wine champion, and last month at a competition in Hungary they won the award for the best rosé of the Carpathian basin.

Winter Wine Walk Baranja
Photo: Nenad Milić

From the Kováts winery we descend again to the main road, to the restaurant Piros boots where Kalazić wines and roasted sausage cut into pieces await us. The next stop is the winery wheelwright, and then follows Kovač čarda, where fresh carp cracklings are offered for tasting. It is the last point in Suza, a An oasis of peace first point in Zmajevac. Langošice with cream and garlic and a winery counter await us there Horvat from Kamenec.

goal
Photo: Nenad Milić

After those calorie bombs, we are ready to hike to the winery Gerstmeier, and from there we descend first into the reformed surduk, where wineries await us Sveti dvori, M&M and Zlatno Brdo, and finally over OPG Šandor Juhas we also move into the Catholic surduk. After the winery Kusic we come to the gator of the Zajec family winery, which is also the final point and, according to good old custom, the scene of the afterparty. A particularly pleasant surprise is the new wine that has matured in their cellar - Baranja shiller. As the name suggests, it is a type of wine that was once traditionally produced in Baranja, and today only Zaječevi make it. What a pleasant surprise (and refreshment) for the very end of Winter wine & walk.

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