Not many words need to be said about legendary Vlado Krauthaker, as every wine aficionado in Croatia knows his work and visage, primarily the characteristic moustache and fine wines of the highest quality. However, not many know that for years he hasn’t been the main person behind the wines of this family winery, but rather his daughter Martina Krauthaker Grgić, Jutarnji List wrote on January 12, 2018.
After Vlado Krauthaker ventured in 1992 into private business waters, he was joined by his daughter Martina, then a high school pupil, helping him with smaller chores. But blood is not water, as the saying goes, and Martina began to develop a stronger love for vineyards and wines. A love for the world she grew up in. Today an oenologist, Martina is an equal to her father in the winery, nurturing tradition, but also creating new wines, which almost always win prestigious awards at domestic and global fairs.
What was it like to grow up with Vlado Krauthaker, a legendary winemaker who made a big mark on Croatian winemaking?
He is not easy to follow, every work day is a new challenge with him.
Becoming an oenologist was a logical decision, but how did you, as a woman, make your way in the winemaking world?
Today there are increasingly more women in the wine world, and just like in any job I needed to prove myself and invest a lot of effort and time. I feel women have made a great contribution to Croatian winemaking. We cannot generalize, but I dare conclude than women bring a special emotion to the business.
How do you harmonize family and business duties?
Krauthaker Cellars are a family business and we are all involved, this is our lifestyle. With team work and good organisation we manage to complement each other well.
Do you always agree with your father on decisions in terms of vineyards and wines?
We mostly agree, but do have opposing opinions at times. We find a compromise, and sometimes as a daughter I give in.
Where do you like to spend your time: in the vineyard, cellar or laboratory?
We have divided the work so that I am more in charge of the cellar and laboratory, and father is in the vineyard. I like to spend time in the vineyard, that’s where I recharge my batteries. Unfortunately, due to many duties and responsibilities I am often in the cellar and don’t spend as much time in the vineyard as I want to.
Privately, do you care more for red or white wines?
White wines are my choice.
What is your favourite wine variety?
My favourites are Graševina, Zelenac and then Chardonnay.
Which global wine regions do you find inspirational?
I don’t have a specific wine region for inspiration. I believe very region has its characteristics and peculiarities. However, visiting various global wine regions and exchanging experiences gives us breadth and I feel travel is very much needed for any winemaker. It is hard to make comparisons and travel experiences cannot always be applied at home, but are precious for the development of a winemaker.
Are you bestowing your love for winemaking onto your children, do you see in them heirs in wine production?
I try to introduce them to my work, they are still young, but also curious. We will see which road they will choose. I find it important for them to build up their own personality.
How many wines have you created so far and which ones are you most proud of?
We work together on everything, including each wine.
Translated from Jutarnji List.