The most challenging year for Vinistra, in May we will host more than 350 journalists from all over the world

On the eve of the 11th En primeur, the premier tasting of young Malvasia wines, which will be held on February 13th at the Esplanade hotel in Zagreb, we spoke with the new president of Vinistra, the young winemaker Luka Rossi.

When it comes to the style of wine, what kind of malvasias are in trend– fresh or aged? And what about terani in that matter?

Fresh Malvasia has become practically synonymous with Istrian winemaking, and this is confirmed by numerous domestic and foreign audiences. We must not forget the fact that our biggest market is the tourist season in Croatia, so fresh Malvasia is sold much more than aged Malvasia due to the high summer temperatures. So, when we talk about malvasias, probably everyone first thinks of fresh wines, but Istrian winemakers have been developing aged malvasias for years, and their achievements are exceptional, so today we have world-class wines. In short, I want to emphasize that fantastic fresh wines can be made from Istrian Malvasia grapes today, as well as great aged wines. When we talk about teran, this year’s exclusive occasion Vintage by Vinistra of aged teran in Zagreb confirmed that the Istrians passed the exam on this autochthonous variety as well. Although fresh teranas have their audience and their quality has absolutely greatly surpassed the quality of fresh teranas twenty years ago, I think the future of this variety is in aging and we also expect exceptional results from it.

With the aim of promotion of aged autochthonous varieties, in addition to the already mentioned Vintage by Vinistra of aged teranas, which had its premiere in November in Zagreb, Vinistra will organize the same occasion in the spring for aged Malvasias, and in a few days, on February 13, we are expecting the traditional11 En primeur, premiere tasting of young Malvasia at the Esplanade hotel in Zagreb, which we as an association first launched on the Croatian market in 2012.

Numerous world awards and a loyal audience confirm that you are masters in autochthonous varieties, in which there are international varieties Istrian winemakers the best?

On the market we see more and more black blends containing red wine and cabernet sauvignon. All these blends are very good and we have very good feedback from the audience. So I think that lately Istrians like to present themselves with blends, in which of course they often incorporate indigenous teran as well.

How do you see the Istrian wine scene in ten years?

I think that they are extremely ahead of us challenging times. Istrian cellars are more and more modern and we have more and more magnificent buildings, which confirms the status of Istria as an increasingly attractive boutique wine region. In addition to the modernization of wine cellars, there is also a change of generations, and this is perhaps the biggest challenge. Considering that these are educated young people who respect tradition and bring some new trends at the same time and possess modern marketing skills, I am not afraid for the future of Istrian winemaking.

What are three key goals that you set for yourself as president of Vinistra?

In the past two years, we managed to establish a new Vinistra system, so today we function as a modern organization with a clear strategy and plan for the next period. Among our most important goals is continuous investment in raising the quality, strengthening the identity and competitiveness of Istrian wines, no less important is the implementation of the marketing strategy created in 2018

In addition to these two goals, I think it is very important to maintain the synergy of all members as it was until now and to encourage new young generations to use the enormous potential that Istria as a region offers together.

What is your biggest challenge this year and what are you most looking forward to?

This year is one of the most challenging with the most events in our organization since the beginning of the association. From the mentioned events Vintage by Vinistra and En primerura, through Vinistra’s first independent performance at the most important world fair Prowein in Düsseldorf in March, to the Malvasia World in April and Vinistra in May, there is a lot of work for our association.

However, this year’s biggest challenge is definitely the hosting of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in May, with the Decanter of the most prestigious world judging. The fact that more than 350 journalists who follow the world wine scene will gather at this grandiose event in Istria makes me happy the most. There are rare occasions when you can host so many important people, viewpoint makers, and promote your region and country to them in the best possible way.


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