July 2, 2021 – One New Yorker founded the National Croatian Wine Day to mark Croatia’s proclamation of independence.
When the Parisian-born and raised Anna M. Vidučić moved to the US some twenty years ago, little did she know she would profoundly impact the recognition of Croatian wines in the US. Anna’s family hails from Zadar, and while growing up and schooling in Paris, she would spend her summers in Croatia, enjoying her family, the food, the beach, and of course, wine. Anna started her career in hospitality in Paris, working for the renowned luxury hotel, Hotel Lutetia, where she learned the intricacies of French hospitality, which opened opportunities in the US. As a sommelier and wine educator, Anna worked as a wine buyer for established restaurants and tried hard to bring Croatian wines to the menu. Today, Anna is tapping into her 20-plus years of experience and knowledge of the hospitality and wine industries to guide wineries through the intricacies of the U.S. trade, media, and consumer markets.
Fast forward to today, and this now New Yorker founded the National Croatian Wine Day to mark Croatia’s proclamation of independence.
“As a wine buyer for New York restaurants, I thrived on introducing premium Croatian wines to my patrons,” says Anna, who holds the WSET Level 4 accreditation.
“As I moved my focus into wine brand strategies and education, I could make a significant impact by creating an ongoing recognition among the American wine lovers to recognize Croatia and its indigenous wines.”
During the uncertain pandemic times in 2020, Anna seriously rolled up her sleeves and successfully established the day that is now on all national calendars – National Croatian Wine Day. This year, for its first-ever celebration, and with the uncertainties of what this year could bring, Anna decided to make this celebration all about educating the Americans about Croatian wines, conducting two Masterclasses highlighting the Croatian wine regions and indigenous varieties: the morning session aimed at the media, and the evening session for wine lovers, which also included tastings.
Croatian wines are becoming more recognized in some parts of the country, but overall Croatia has a lot to do to educate the media and consumers about its wine regions and the indigenous wine varieties. In order to achieve her newest project, Anna joined forces with Croatian Premium Wine Imports, an online retailer with more than 60 Croatian wines available to ship through continental US states, to send the wines to participants for the virtual masterclasses and wine tastings.
- While we’ve seen an increase of articles about Croatian wines, they tend to be written in conjunction with Croatia as a tourist destination, which is certainly a great start – said Win Burke, CEO of Croatian Premium Wine Imports. – But, the next step has to be the education of the wine and food trade media, and we are honoured to partner with a prominent expert like Anna while inviting the trade media which will have an impact on the buying patterns in the hospitality business.
In her workshops, Anna extensively spoke about the Croatian map, the wine regions, and wine pairings. Invited to the conversation were two winemakers to talk about their winemaking in Istria and Dalmatia. Joining was Ana Ritoša, winemaker at Vina Ritoša, a boutique winery from Poreč, Istria, who discussed many micro terroirs in Istria, and Gorana Dominiković, assistant winemaker at Terra Madre Winery, one of the seven wineries in one of the youngest appellations, Komarna in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Gorana spoke about the organic production in the area, and wine varieties including Pošip and Plavac Mali, as well as rosé made from Plavac Mali.
Vidučić with winemakers and the trade media, by Croatian Premium Wine Imports
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