The 7th edition of the international fair of wine, delicacies, and pleasant living was held in Osijek last weekend. Ninety exhibition spaces with over a hundred exhibitors from Croatia and neighboring countries were set up on more than 1,900 square meters of the City Garden hall. Several guests and exhibitors once again had the opportunity to meet new people, old friends, learn something new, make business contacts, and enjoy wine and various delicacies.
During the fair’s official opening on Friday, January 28, the speakers expressed satisfaction that this event is being held despite challenging times.
“We had a very short deadline to prepare for the fair, and I am very pleased that we are all here today and that we managed to prepare everything on time,” said Boris Ocić, president of the Decanter association, which organized the event. He also thanked the partners and sponsors, especially all the Organizing Committee colleagues who managed to make a miracle in just a few weeks.
Speakers pointed out that the Croatian wine scene is living life to the fullest, even in difficult times. Thus, the president of the Graševina Croatica association, Josip Pavić, reiterated that WineOS is currently the largest event of its kind in our wine region and that he has a great desire soon to become the largest in the whole of Croatia. He was followed by the Deputy President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Dragan Kovačević, who emphasized the quality of our wines, illustrating this with the fact that the average price of Croatian wines in exports is three times higher than the average price of imported wines. He especially emphasized the exceptional quality of Graševina as the essential variety of our wine region.
The President of the City Council of Osijek, Vladimir Ham, commented on the importance of WineOS as a top tourist event. He pointed out that this fair is an essential piece in the mosaic of promoting Osijek as a destination in which one lives comfortably according to the name of the event. The fair was officially opened by Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Ivan Anušić, who praised the organizers’ efforts from the stage. He also sent a message to all those involved in promoting eno-gastro tourism that the county will support them as a true partner.
“Osijek-Baranja County is here and will always be there with the event organizers who promote everything we have set as development goals, primarily the economy, agriculture, excellent food and wine, and the overall tourist offer,” said Anušić.
With the promotion of wine producers and delicacies from eastern Croatia, other Croatian wine regions, and neighboring countries, the two fair days also featured professional wine workshops and a cooking show in which local chefs prepared excellent snacks. Those present could see and try how Tomica Đukić, Igor Vlatković, Saša Vojnović, Mateo Meković and Nebojša Rajković cook. In addition, it should be noted that the evening before the start of WineOS, a gala dinner was held at the Waldinger restaurant where guests could enjoy top-quality bites prepared by our famous chef Goran Kočiš. His gastronomic creations were accompanied by the wines of the wineries: Krauthaker, Belje, Iločki podrumi, Apolitico, Kalazić, and Erdutski vinogradi.
Wine workshops have always been in demand and well attended, and this time too, there was no lack of interest from the audience. There was not enough space for everyone who wanted to hear great stories and try top and rare wines every year. A total of eight wine workshops were held where visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the wines of the wineries: Sauska, Gross, Josić, Krajančić, Krauthaker, Grabovac, Aleksandrović, and Brkić. It should also be reminded that the entire WineOS program started two weeks earlier when the famous master sommelier Eric Zwiebel held a masterclass at the Waldinger Hotel on Graševina Slavonia and the Danube and Riesling in the famous French region of Alsace.
After all, the organizers sent special thanks to all those who helped make this event a success: Osijek-Baranja County, the City of Osijek, Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Graševina Croatica, tourist boards of the city and county, Catering and Tourism School, Viniti Winery, Waldinger Hotels, and Lug, the city companies Sports facilities and the Osijek Fair, and the company All4Wine.
See you in January 2023 at the 8th edition!
All photos by Decanter Association