Istrian wine is increasingly becoming one of the best known products of Croatia’s biggest peninsula, contributing to positioning Istria as one of the most interesting destinations of the old continent. The most recent proof of this claim is the success of the “Istrian” branded Teran from the Veralda Winery in Brtonigla which has won the “Best in Show” for Best single Varietal Wines priced over £15 at this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards (WWA). The development of the Istrian peninsula as a winemaking region wasn’t left to chance and success didn’t come over night.
Over twenty years ago, an association of winemakers of the region has been founded. The Vinistra named association invested in spreading winemaking knowledge, technology, training, organised excursions to other European winemaking regions and invested into promotion of autochthonous regional grape varieties, all of which supported the development of small up-to-date, well equipped wineries and skilled winemakers.
Members of the association Vinistra are registered producers of grapes and wines from the County of Istria. Today, the association includes about one hundred members, including some award-winning wine producers, but also winemakers who had just begun the production of wine. The association helps its members with their performances at national and international festivals and wine fairs, organizes trainings and helps in promoting the products of its members.
The Vinistra association landed its biggest success with the eponymous annual wine fair held in Poreč. The Vinistra wine fair takes place every year in May and lasts three days. It represents the best opportunity to get an overview of the local wine scene and taste the best wines from the previous vintage. The 23rd instalment of the fair took place from May 13-15, 2016 and you can find an overview of the most important wines and accompanying event in Peter Ellis’ post “A Look Back at Vinistra 2016”.