A corner of Istria is forever France – Bastille Day on July 14, 2016.
Istria has become home to people from many parts of the world and its winemakers follow suit.
Dmitri Brecevic has been around for a few years, born near the Pyrenees of a French mother and a Croatian father and producing eco wines at Buzet.
A newer French wine maker, based at Grascisce, in Central Istria, is Olivier Ertzbischoff, producer of the excellent Domaine Koquelicot range of fine Malvazijas and Chardonnays and he and Jacquelline were hosts for the traditional French celebration this year. They both left distinguished careers in France to become Istrian winemakers.
It was a very international occasion. Dmitri was there, as was Matej Bazon, and Ranko Andelini, both other well known Grascisce winemakers. Jacquelline’s father, whilst originating in Rijeka, had been a professor in San Diego, California. Former American diplomat Mark Dillen and his wife, who now live in Istria, had brought crusty home made bread. Other guests were French, Coatian, Belgian and Spanish.
Despite the French theme, the most common language seemed to be English and several of the Croatian guests and family members had lived and worked in London.
However, what was very French was the wonderful food that had been prepared by Jacquelline and her family. We were treated to a huge variety of hors d’oeuvres followed by gazpacho, foie gras and truffled cream cheese. The wonderful selection of French cheeses had been imported specially. Later in the evening, Caslav Matijevic, the well known gourmet and chef from Kastav, treated us to his marinated roast pork.
Olivier’s wines, notably the Santa Chiara 2013 Chardonnay/Malvasija cuvee, Belaigra 2013 Chardonnay Grand Cru and Kontempo Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine guaranteed a splendid evening.
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