Spring is the season of world-wide wine appraisals, and this spring was a great start for the Domaine Koquelicot winery, which returnees from France Jacqueline Marovac and Olivier Ertzbischoff are in Grace. Their chardonnay Belaigra from the vintage in 2016 received a gold medal at the great international wine appraisal of wines, beers and spirits of the Frankfurt International Trophy.

For this medal, 2.250 wines, beers and beers from 40 countries competed for this medal, and according to the results just published, chardonnay Belaigra was the only recipient of wine in Frankfurt not only from Istria but from all over Croatia. Perhaps this Frankfurtian power distribution is not interesting enough for other Istrian (and Croatian) winemakers who are likely to have sent their wines to two of the world’s biggest awards in London, the Decanter International Wine Award and the International Wine Challenge, whose results are announced in mid or late May.

Winery Domaine Koquelicot is one of the youngest in Istria, founded in 2011, and has no own vineyard but grapes are harvested from cooperative vineyards with selected locations from various parts of Istria. The initial idea of ​​Olivier Ertzbischoff and Jacqueline Marovac, who made their wine-making in French Burgundy, was that in Chardonnay grapes in Istria they get what is not possible in France for climatic conditions, such as macerated wine. One of their chardonnays is Belaigra, whose name originated by the combination of the terms Belaj and Gračišće. This wine is a combination of chardonnaya grapes that grew on the red and white earth, ie in eastern and western Istria, and was set for ten months in oak barrique barrels. Previously harvested chardonnaya Belaigra won silver and gold medals at the Poreč Vinstri, as well as at fairs and reviews in Slovenia and Dubrovnik, and Belaigra from the vintage in 2015 won the silver medal at Decanter’s London Appreciation.

The winery of Domaine Koquelicot today counts seven wines: apart from barrique chardonnaya Belaigra they are still macerated and barricaded chardonnay Epicuria; Malvasia and Chardonnaya Santa Chiara, Barrique Malvasia Fugaz, New Red Sweater Nomad of Terano, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sparkling Connoisseur and Luna. The desire to produce Istrian wines in the French way from the beginning gives them excellent results, which has just been confirmed by this gold medal from Frankfurt. (D. ŠISAŠIĆ)

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