In these uncertain times and great economic uncertainty, inspiring entrepreneurial stories are worth more attention than ever. The Crvik winery from Konavle, which is proud of its centuries-old tradition of wine production, is one of the few Croatian wineries whose wines have recently been successfully sold in the United States.
And the wine, an internationally awarded wine Tezoro (silver at Decanter, silver at the International Wine Challenge, gold at Vinistra and Sabatina), obtained from the indigenous variety Dubrovnik Malvasia, the first grape variety mentioned in the Dubrovnik archives in the 14th century.
Great credit for this goes to Mirena Bagur, born in Metkovic with an American address and business experience, a kind of Croatian wine ambassador to the United States, who together with her husband Win A. Burke, an entrepreneur in the IT industry, runs the Croatian Premium Wine Imports company for wine import and distribution in the United States. They started with the wineries of the K7 association from Komarna, and recently agreed to cooperate with the Testament wineries near Šibenik, Marlais from Pelješac and the Crvik winery, as the first Konavle winery to be offered for sale in the US.
Mirena Bagur and Win A. Burke
Thus, in stores in Massachusetts and an online shop, which sends wines to most American countries, you can buy famous varieties from the south of Croatia, such as Plavac Mali, Dingač, Tribidrag, Pošip, Babić, and Dubrovnik Malvasia.
In the USA, quality Croatian wines are very well accepted, says Mirena. “Connoisseurs and wine lovers in America give priority to quality, and all the reviews of quality experts that come to us are excellent! Younger generations want to hear new wine stories from around the world, so there is a whole new category - the so-called “Adventure wines,” and here our wines fit perfectly. We are in constant contact with wine lovers and we listen to comments, so this year we are expanding our wine inventory from other Croatian wine regions as well.”
Petar Crvik, a winemaker, says this is a great time to step forward, “Every year, tourists from all over the world come to our winery. It is often the Americans who ask us if they can get our wines in the United States. I am glad that our efforts and authenticity have been recognized, and I sincerely hope that more Croatian winemakers will start exporting, because this is a huge opportunity for our winemaking industry.”
Although Croatia still imports much more wine than it exports, the trends are still hopeful, a few years ago, imports decreased and production and exports increased. Initiatives like this can definitely help the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, but also the whole of Croatia, find its place on the wine map of the world.