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Best in the World: Portugieser wines made in Plešivica!

Three Croatian wineries from Plešivica were declared the best in the world thanks to wines produced by the Portugieser grape variety. It was decided on the competition Portugieser Du Monde which was held in Pécs, Hungary last month.

Portugieser Du Monde is a festival that gathers dozens of prestigious international wine judges, about 100 wines from almost every wine producing country in Central Europe and it's the only international competition for Portugieser. This fruitful, early-ripening grape yields mild, light, easy to enjoy wines and anyone who wants to glorify this variety comes to Pécs in April every year to witnesses the announcement of the best ones.

This year was the 6th edition of Portugieser Du Monde and there were more then 90 wines from producers in Hungary, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia participating in this year’s competition.

The winemakers had entered with young Portugiesers from the previous years, older vintages of Portugiesers and blends including at least 50% Portugieser. Also, from 2016 there is a new category that includes specialities made from Portugieser, so wineries with white wines, rosée wines and sparkling wines were eligible to enter the competition too.

This year, along with the Hungarian hosts, the judges were Italians, Austrians, Bulgarians, Slovenians, Serbians, Swedes, Swiss, Spaniards, and one member of Croatian jury Ivo Kozarčanin who is a well-known wine expert and journalist.

Plešivica Portugiesers

Even though the name makes you think it is a grape from Portugal, it is most probably a grape variety with Central European origin. This variety was mostly cultivated within the Austro-Hungarian Empire and still today it is common in Austria, Hungary and countries like Germany, Serbia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Romania and Croatia. And as of now we officially have the region that cultivates the best Portugiesers in the world – Plešivica.

Plešivica is a continental wine region located an hour-long drive from Croatia’s capital Zagreb. It is a south part of Žumberak mountains with an east-west orientation. Although it is the smallest wine region, it is best known as home of Croatian sparkling wines and Portugieser is among the most important red varieties out there.

The Plešivica winemakers won two champion titles, along with one gold and four silver medals. PZ Plešivica Portuguiser 2017 has won Portugieser Du Monde 2018 Champion in the category Young Portugiesers and Ivančić Griffin Rose Sparkling has won Portugieser Du Monde 2018 Champion in the category Portugieser Specialities.

Gold was won by Kolarić Portugieser 2017, and silver was awarded to: Ivančić Griffin Sparkling wine Portugiser Dark side, Ivančić Portugiser Barique, Gregorić Željko Portugieser 2017 and Golubić Portugieser 2017.

Portugieser wines, in Croatia, called Portugizac express fresh red fruits aromas of raspberry, cherry, and strawberry and elegant, gentle feel on the palate. Not meant only to drink when young in aged and matured wines, the Portugizac becomes layered in darker fruits of blackberries and blackcurrant remaining mild with softer and smaller tannins on the palate. Like to have a taste for yourself? We have a selection for you!

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