Only steps can be heard between rolling hills cultivated in terraces and surrounded by vines, whose young leaves are announcing, as vine growers hope, a fertile year, with a mild breeze and the hum of hardworking bees in a frenzy between choosing to land on blooming fruit trees or in the gardens of diligent housewives who seem to be competing whose garden will be lovelier and neater. The steps head left, then right, then up and down across wine roads, from one to another winemaker who open their cellar doors and heartily welcome every guest.
No, you are not in another land, but in the northernmost part of Croatia, a county also called the “Croatian flowerbed” or “little Switzerland.” You are in Međimurje which will, believe me, knock you off your feet, and besides wonderful landscape offer the option to use the 36 kilometers of wine roads to taste great wines and food made from only local ingredients. TO be more specific, it is not a dream, but a reality, so why not make Međimurje your next destination, the place awarded as the European Destination of Excellence for 2016 in tourism and local gastronomy. It is only an hour away from the capital Zagreb, and you can also visit thermal springs (in four star Sveti Martin Spa), taste local food, great wines and absorb an incredible amount of positive energy. If all this is not enough for you, here is another reason to visit Međimurje. From May 18 to June 1 in Upper Međimurje you can visit Urbanovo – wine days in the county of the Zrinski family.
The central event is certainly the Pušipel Festival in the tame Štrigova, held on the first weekend from 18 to 20 May, with the best Međimurje winemakers from the Vine Growers and Winemakers Association Hortus Croatiae. In one place you can taste wines from 24 wineries - Agromeđimurje, Alojz Novak, Belović, Cmrečnjak, DGA Pjenušci, Dvanajščak-Kozol, Hažić, Horvat, Jakopić, Kerman, KnehtlMedenjak, Kocijan, Kojter, Kossi, Kunčić, Lovrec, Munđarov breg, Nemec, Novak, Preiner, Solum, Štampar, Tomšić and Turk. This international wine festival is a place to taste the best of Međimurje, quality confirmed by 3 medals from Decanter in London, one of them platinum, said Hortus Croatiae President David Štampar.
The festival is marked by Pušipel – an indigenous Međimurje wine variety and protected brand, taken care of through clone selection with the aim of cultivating Međimurje Pušipel and further protecting its originality. Međimurje residents, hardworking as they are, will not stop there, as they have created a unique bottle to fill Pušipel in, the first such example in all of Croatia. The weekend manifestation will also see a tasting of Međimurje specialties, a cooking show by the Mundoaka and Le Batat restaurants. The second weekend of the manifestation will see Međimurje winemakers open their cellar doors, and we recommend visiting the Mađerkin Breg wine road with a view of five countries – Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, even Slovakia. We could keep listing items, but the simple message is – come to Štrigova, you will fall in love with Međimurje right away!
Translated from Jutarnji List, for the original click here.