When did it all start?
It started as hanging out with friends over wine.
When I discovered something about wine that attracted my attention, I shared that with others, and we started exchanging opinions about wine. The group of people passionate about wine enlarged and I figured out that wine had a superpower – connecting people. That’s how the idea was born and soon I organized the first “Wine Jam” on May 25th 2013 in the ex-club “Krug” in the Savamala neighborhood. Until then, wine fairs were formal with a rigid atmosphere, so it was the right moment to bring wine closer to people in a totally different way.
How did festivals affect the awareness and attitude of people toward wine?
People from Slovenia and Croatia also heard about the first Wine Jam, and the invitations started coming. For example, three events took place in Zagreb, and then in Ljubljana. The idea was to show the whole scene of winemaking through a combination of enjoying music and wine, regardless of the size of the wineries. It turned out to be a good idea. In a short period of time, people discovered a new wine world and started exploring it.
A word about Wine Jam themes …
Wine Jam themes are the result of a young and unexplored wine market.
For example, I organized the “Tamjanika Festival”- a festival of autochthon wine grape variety Tamjanika that gives aromatic and drinkable wine.
The second Wine Jam was about Rose wine and it was held at the Kalemegdan fortress. Also, there were festivals and fairs dedicated to bubbles and other types of wine.
My next project was “Regionala”, a fair where people can explore the same grape variety from different regions. The idea was to represent autochthon wine grape varieties. The fair showed that people enjoyed the opportunity to explore the region and compare wines based on their organoleptic experiences. And that’s how “Terroirs” was created – a fair where terroir is the basis. Ultimately, “Terroirs” became the most anticipated format.
About wine today, tomorrow…
Through my travels, I realized that people in other countries were most interested in local varieties, and this was connected with the return of rare and autochthon varieties here. In the beginning, a small number of winemakers dealt with them, because it was difficult for them to bring those varieties closer to the market, and since those were mostly natural wines, the conventional world of wine wondered if they were actually making unnatural wines, which was inappropriate. Over time that led to the conclusion that there better not be standardization in the world of wine. Today, for the first time, many wineries have macerated wines made through the ancient approach of vinification.
About the people from the wine society...
Briefly – I would like to give regards to Zeljko Tintor who supported natural winemakers from the start and in a commercial way helped them to persevere.
In the end!
Wines, especially natural ones, require time for making and also for enjoying it. I think the entire wine society is moving towards an ecologically conscious approach to plants and sustainability in search of healthier and better wines.
Written by: Ivan Kruljac