Dubrovnik is the centre of the region where archeological findings strongly indicate a very rich and intriguing history of cultivating grapes and winemaking, older than 2500 years. Cultivation of grapes and production of wine shared a destiny of those who produced the wine, and enjoyed it. Throughout centuries, grapes and wine were exposed to droughts and inundations, diseases and pests, wars and violence, wrong and mean political and commercial decisions and regulations. Tribes and nations inhabited and disappeared, gangs and armies passed through, empires and kingdoms changed, as well as lord and gentlemen – but from the time when first vines were planted, first vineyards grown and the first wine fermented, wine producers have not missed a single year trying to make a better wine.
In wine growing regions of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, from Konavle to Neretva and from Pelješac to Lastovo, in the atmosphere of the most recent social changes, winemakers are faced with new challenges. In turbulent changes of ownership and economic relations, intensive introduction and following modern technological methods, encouraged individualization of wine production, wine makers are almost alone, faced with huge global wine market which represents a lifetime opportunity and death threat and the same time. Croatian winemakers, including those of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, have never had the opportunity to offer their wines on a larger market without additional special conditions in regards to national market. At the same time, as never before, Croatian market, including that of Dubrovnik is open to the world and especially European wines, which represent enormous qualitative and price competition that will be fatal for some producers. In such circumstances wine, our wine from local vineyards becomes just a commodity, a product whose placement and sales will be more and more demanding.
And wine, especially our wine, should not be merely a commercial product of agricultural and technological origin. Wine represents a very important component of our people’s identity, which witnesses a millennial interweave of mutual life in this region despite numerous historical dangers. Wine, over the centuries and millennia, weaves through all aspects of life in this area, becoming an essential cultural identity marker. So now when we finally put the pieces of our undisturbed life together, it is time to help our winemakers put their pieces together in order to continue their work and keep the inexhaustible tradition of producing and enjoying wine.
Tourism in Dubrovnik-Neretva Count, without any question represents basic and main existential support. Natural beauties and attractions, rich cultural and ethnic heritage, inevitable “sun and sea”, nautical and cruising tourism, as well as active adventure tourism represent basic components of complex tourism product of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Numerous examples of successful tourist destinations with “hard” competitive advantages largely base their success on authentic gastro and eno offer. In creating our tourist offer, we are trying to include local food and wine. Content of menus with imported foods, sodas and beers unfortunately witness that we are still far from satisfactory participation of authentic food and wine in our tourist offer, which our visitors rightly expect.
Increasing the portion of local groceries in our gastro offer will not be simple and fast, since its productions is in serious crisis and it will take time until production starts. Unlike culinary ingredients, we already have quality and competitive wines in our cellars. They need to find the way from the cellar to satisfied guest. We need to offer local wine as compulsory authentic tourist product, and omitting to try it would simply be an incomplete experience of this region. Tourist orientation of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik-Neretva County represents a tremendous privilege and challenge to local winemakers. It brings thousands of curious visitors to their cellar each year, and many of them are knowledgeable about wine. The ultimate goal of the project of interactive development of winemaking and tourism is including the wine in the total tourism product and place more local wine that imported drinks on the market. It needs to allow larger number of visitors quality introduction to local wines, and use the satisfactory enjoyment in these wines as a long term marketing source in the promotion of wines and fulfilling the incomplete tourist offer. Domestic high quality wines of authentic varieties represent powerful, underutilized competitive advantage of this area.
The 4th wine festival Dubrovnik Festiwine is scheduled to take place 17/04 – 23/04, 2017 in Dubrovnik. It is founded and organized by the Dubrovnik Neretva County and the County Development Agency DUNEA with support of the Dubrovnik PartneR agency. As a part of this year's Dubrovnik FestiWine Festival, visitors will have an opportunity to taste fine wines and be a part of numerous wine workshops together with wine experts and sommeliers. The main event of the Festival is the wine exhibition that many wine enthusiasts look forward to. It will take place at the newly renovated historical site Lazareti. Prior to the Festival's wine exhibition, a number of interesting events will take place, such as 'Dubrovnik wine trophy' wine evaluation, 'Festiwine gala' with renowned chefs and wine producers, many workshops and other stylish events.
Join us in Dubrovnik from 17th April to 23rd April, 2017.