Festival of graševina is a yearly event, held in the graševina capitol of Croatia, Kutjevo. It’s been going on for 9 years now, so in early June of 2017 it will be held for the 10th time. The small town in the centre of Slavonia is very well known for its graševina production, so it’s only appropriate that the festival of the (almost) indigenous wine variety would be held there. It’s organized by the very active Kutjevački vinari (Kutjevo winemakers) Association, and is aimed at promoting graševina as a very important product for Kutjevo and the region of central Slavonia and Požega Slavonija County.
The festival, of course, has a grading competition, in which there are several categories: young graševina (made in the year before the festival), the older vintages, the predicate wines and other variety wines. Each year more and more samples participate, and in 2016 almost 150 wines were graded and wines made by the well-known and famous winemakers (such as Kutjevo d.d., the largest winemaker in the region) as well as wines made by new-comers Campus etc. In addition to the competition, there is a large outdoors tasting for the general public, held on the Graševina Square in the centre of Kutjevo. And, yes, you read that right, and no, it’s not a joke, it’s not called that only during the festival, the town of Kutjevo has a town square called after its most famous wine variety!
On the stands, as is the custom in Slavonia, a lot of various locally made food is also offered, and both the wine and the meals are at very affordable prices. There is also the selection of the best bottle label, the most festive stand on the square, tractor race (not kidding there); a lot of live music is involved as well. On the two weekends during which the festival takes place there are also Open Cellar Days in the cellars of the winemakers in the Kutjevo region and it makes sense to enjoy some of the wonderful scenery if you’re already in the region for the festival. Last year the organizers made sure that some workshops for the winemakers were also held, as well as the symposium on graševina. In 2015, the symposium covered topics such as working the soil for graševina, the position of rural regions in the winemaking business, geographic origin indication of wine, and a discussion on how to better brand graševina in Croatia. Having a square named after it seems like a good step in the right direction, some would say.