Where: Slavonia in Croatia (Osijek, Đakovo and around)
When: 14th of October 2017
Who: 50 Croatian Rotaractors, a few Rotarians and two Swedish Rotaractors
Note: this event did not have any pre- or post- events connected to it, but one idea how to extend the trip is described here.
What have we been doing: Wine Roads are a yearly event for wine lovers organized by Rotaract Osijek. Since the city seems to be divided in two regions by the Drava river, they organize their trip in a different place in one of the regions. Sometimes even adding the neighbouring Syrmia region. The price of the trip this year, with all this endless wine tasting was affordable 33€.
The event started with a pre-gathering on Friday in an old railway warehouse turned into a pizzeria called Sporthouse. Besides meeting our new friends, I focused on a rich Slavonian pizza with smoked spicy sausages.
Saturday was the main day of the event. Our beautiful sunny day started by the old town of Osijek called Tvrđa, usually described as a unique example of an eighteenth-century baroque military, administrative, and commercial urban center. After all of some 50 participants gathered, our bus took us to the state stud farm in Đakovo. Our hosts prepared delicious buns with cheese and ham, and although we were on the wine roads, a local cherry liqueur and even a plum brandy for the brave ones.
After we got to know all about beautiful Lipizzan horses and everyone tried to pet them and pose with them, we went to the center of Đakovo. We got a tour in, around and under the magnificient cathedral and then the time had come for the first wine stop – Communion Wines Ltd! We got to taste three kinds of communion wines (usually presented as “the blood of Jesus” in churches) in the diocese’s cellars. Besides graševina (Welschriesling), chardonnay and traminac (Gewürztraminer), there was also an unusual vinovica, a rakija (brandy) made of destiled wine. The next stop was a light lunch at the second location of the state stud farm, Ivandvor, where horses were out of their stables. The horses were enjoying the green meadows, and we were enjoying the view . The second wine stop was “Đakovačka vina” wine company in Mandićevac, where they taught us all about the winemaking process. Except already mentioned white wines, we could taste cabernet sauvignon, and there was even a fresh must for those tired of alcohol.
The last stop was on a boat back in Osijek, at restaurant Galija (Galley). While our ears were pleased with a local tamburitza band, our eyes could enjoy the view on Drava river, and our taste buds indulged in four kinds of meat.
Sunday: The Wine Roads finished with a coffee at hotel Osijek by Drava river. The two of us “international guests” didn’t miss an opportunity to have a little tour of the old town Tvrđa and the “newer old town” Gornji Grad with its baroque, neogothic and amazing art nouveau buildings. RAC Osijek, we wish you continued success with this amazing event!
P.S. For all the international guests, it is recommendable to stay a few days more to explore the Danube region. As written in the beginning, our trip this year is described here.