Ms Davorka Žanić Dražić, MSc, Counsellor (Economic Affairs) wrote about a recent networking event on the website of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
London, January 30th, 2018.
Presentation of Croatian wines at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in London
Marking the Day of the Protector of Wine and Vinegar St Vincent of Saragossa, (22nd January) at the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in London, a presentation of Croatian wines originating from Korcula, Slavonia and Zagorje, was organized by the British-Croatian Business Club (BCBC). During his speech, Ambassador Igor Pokaz, pointed out the need to further assist the promotion of Croatian wines in the British market, and representatives of the BCBC highlighted the long tradition of viticulture in Croatia.
Most interesting and useful was the presentation of Croatian wines by Christopher Burr, a well-known British Master of Wine from the Institute of Masters of Wine in London, who talked about the exhibited wine varieties such as pošip, plavac, plavac morkan, merlot, Korčulanka and rose from wineries Blato 1902 in Korčula, Galić d.o.o from Eastern Slavonia and the family winery Jarec Kure from Zagorje. In particular, he praised the “plavac” wine, as the most delicious wine he’d ever tasted. Talking about the possibility of placing quality Croatian wines in an extremely competitive British market, he pointed to several important elements.
Firstly, he drew attention to the fact that 86% of the UK wine market refers to wines whose price-per-bottle is less than six pounds. This includes 35% of the commission taken by the UK’s major retail chains and a high alcohol tax of £2.16 per bottle, which means that the UK wine producer ultimately gets one euro per bottle, or less. Given that Croatia does not have such large wine-producing capacities that could be marketed at such low prices on the British market, Burr proposed the establishment of business contacts with the ‘high-end’ market as a second, far more favorable variant for Croatian winemakers, i.e. restaurants, hotels and smaller specialized stores in the United Kingdom.
Mr Burr believes that Croatian winemakers should continue investing in grapevine production and quality wine cellar equipment, which has experienced significant advances in recent years. He emphasized that they must start investing heavily in sales marketing, or finding adequate distributors, who in the UK take 15-20% commission and focus on targeted markets to build long-term, global brand recognition. Along with the wine, guests were also presented with products of prosciutto Pršut Voštane d.o.o. and Dim-Mes d.o.o. virgin olive oils from Korcula and Šolta, Pag cheese Paška sirane d.o.o., as well as various other Croatian delicacies.
Among the guests were also representatives from The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The London Southside Chamber of Commerce, The British – Serbian Chamber of Commerce London, The British Expertize, The International Business and Diplomatic Exchange, The Rotary Ampthill & District, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Croatian Parliament’s Tourism Board, the HTZ Office in London, The Croatian World Congress for the UK and Ireland, the Croatian Catholic Mission in London.