Vinistra, an international wine exhibition, is the official start of May Wine Madness in Istria. It is followed by Open Wine Cellars Day. Throughout the May, Istria celebrates wine, with series of events dedicated to this drink of the gods. Vinistra 2012 will be held in Porec, in sports hall Zatika, on the second weekend of May (11.05 – 13.05.).
Vinistra is, at least for Frank, the best event of this kind in Croatia. This year is a 19th edition of this wine exhibition and its main goal is to promote the top local wines and winemakers and honors excellence in the wine industry. It also promotes local gastronomy. To give you an idea how much Frank loves the event, it is enough to say that he has cancelled his trip to San Sebastian 'cause it overlapped with Vinistra.
Vinistra offers really diversified program. It can be divided in four main groups: wine and gourmet fair, series of events aimed at cigar aficionados, series of gourmet events and seminars for professionals. Official opening is on Friday, 11th of May, at 13.00. The fair is open for public on Friday from 13.00 until 19.00, and from 10.00 until 19.00 on Saturday and Sunday. Daily admission is 80 kn, and three days pass is 200 kn. There is a glass deposit of 50 kn, that you get back when you return the wine glass. At the fair, beside wine, you can sample other local products like olive oil, cheese, honey, etc. If you wish to participate in one of cigar or gourmet events, you can purchase your ticket through Vinistra website. Number of places is limited, so you better hurry up. Full program of the 19th Vinistra exhibition you can find at their official website (Croatian only for now).
Vinistra is followed by Open Wine Cellars Day. Participating winemakers open the doors of their cellars offering food and their wine. At many cellars there is a live music too. All visitors are welcome. Admission is free, but if you happen to like any of sampled wine, show your appreciation by buying some. This year Open Wine Cellars Day will be. held on Sunday, 27th of May, 2012.