To those in the know, Bjelovar-Bilogora County in central Croatia is responsible for some of the best white wines made in the country. Celebrating this local bounty and the traditions involved in its production, wine exhibition and fair Vinodar returns this month for its 21st edition.
The week-long event will feature professional lectures, field workshops, professional wine grading, round tables dedicated to wine production and vine and grape preservation. A wealth of wine will be available to try plus traditional products including cheeses and preserved meats which compliment the vino.
As always, the event will also hold a rich musical programme and its final three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, incorporate the Bjelovar-Bilogora County Fair of Traditional Products, at which local producers will showcase wares including honey, kobasice, kulen, pršut, cheese, brandies and liquors, traditional crafts, souvenirs and handicrafts.
Cycling tour of Bjelovar-Bilogora County winemaking region, pictured at the 2018 Vinodar
This year, there will be multiple events attached to the festival, including a wine tasting and gastro-walking trip centred at Castle Janković and a 40km bicycle tour (pictured above) of the region's winemaking areas. The broader Slavonia region, of which Daruvar is a part, is extremely famous internationally for its production of the Graševina white wine variety, which will feature at the event. However, perhaps less well known and less traditional to the region is the Sauvignon grape, which produces a sharper and often more punchy white wine variety. This region produces the best Sauvignon in Croatia, with excellent examples coming from towns like Kutina, Orahovica, Daruvar and Đakovo. The Vinodar event serves as the official evaluation of the region's Sauvignon production.
Castle Janković in Daruvar
As with previous years, a special train, the Vinodar Express, will transport anyone wishing to visit the event from Zagreb to Daruvar and back for only 30 kuna on Saturday 8 June. Visitors will be serenaded by song and wooed with homemade cakes on the journey, before being met at Daruvar train station by Count Janković and tour guides who will take them on a free tour of the city.
Vinodar takes place in Daruvar between Friday 31 May and Sunday 9 June.
This article is sponsored by Bjelovar-Bilogora County and The Croatian National Tourism Board: Croatia Full of Life.