On Wednesday, the Norman Prandau Castle in Valpovo hosted a festival which gathered the most prominent producers of wines, cheese and cured meat delicacies in the Slavonia-Baranja-Srijem region.
Baranja was represented by wineries Josić, Gerštmajer and the Zajec family cellar from Zmajevac, as well as the Szabo and the Svijetli Dvori wineries from Karanac. Srijem was represented by the TRS, Buhač and Papak wineries from Ilok, and OZZ Veselinović-Benišek and “45 Paralela” wineries from Sremski Karlovci. Slavonia, or more precisely “the Karašica Republic,” was represented by the Maltar Kupinovo Vino and the Pavičić family farms and their brandies.
The festival included a similar number of small cheese producers. The cheeses were presented by the Lehki goat farm from Gat, the Perić dairy from Viškovci, the BIZ dairy from Pleternica, the Geto family farm from Lug, the Gašić mini dairy from Beketinci, the Glavaš family farm from Bizovac, the Đurković family farm from Marjančanci and the Valpovo mini-dairy. Cured meat products presented came from the Kraljik family farm from Belišće and the Novosel family farm from Gat.
The festival organizers were the Town of Valpovo, the Valpovo Town Tourist Board, the Slavonia-Baranja Regional Development Agency, the “Slap” Association for Creative Development and the “Karašica Republic” Association.
The highly successful event was organized as part of the project called CAMARG – clusters of innovative markets based on the "zero kilometre" concept as a generator of growth, which is financed under the Interreg Mediterranean 2014-2020 transnational programme. In addition to Croatia, the project also includes partners from Italy, France and Spain. The main partner in the project is Consorzio IB Innovation from Italy, while Croatian partners are the Slavonia-Baranja Regional Development Agency and the “Slap” Association for Creative Development.
The project examines the “zero kilometre” approach and, more specifically, the already developed e-commerce software solution which will deliver products made by local farmers directly to the doorsteps of consumers based on their orders. The online e-commerce platform is being tested in four regions in Italy, France, Spain and Croatia, and the project will develop a comprehensive business model that will be adapted to the demands and needs of individual markets.
The food blogger Dumba from Osijek held a workshop on pairing wines and cheeses. He matched a Rose wine of the “45 Paralela” winery from Sremski Karlovci with smoked goat milk cheese from the Lehki goat farm, the 2017 Fantazija Rose of the Szabo winery from Karanac with a semi-hard cheese produced by the Perić mini-dairy. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the “45 Paralela” winery was matched with hard cheese made by the BIZ dairy from Pleternica, while Bermet produced by the Benišek-Veselinović family cooperative from Sremski Karlovci was paired with a hard cow milk cheese of the Perić mini-dairy.
In the second round of pairing, the Graševina wine from the Zajec family cellar was matched with the semi-hard goat milk cheese with ramsons made by the Geto family farm from Lug. The 2017 Graševina of the Svijetli Dvori winery was combined with the goat milk cheese with chili peppers produced by the Lehki family farm. The Buhač winery Riesling was paired with young cheese made by the Gašić mini-dairy, with the Riesling from the Veselinović-Benišek cellar was paired with young cheese with dill made by the same cheese-maker.
The Valpovo old castle proved to be an ideal venue for this kind of event, and the wine-and-cheese celebration continued long into the night.