Denis Ivošević is the Director of the Istria Tourism Board. He’ll be speaking a the International Wine Tourism Conference about Istria’s growth in tourism and what it took to build a great tourism reputation.. We wanted to know his favorite type of Istrian wine and the soils from which the grapes come. Denis has great sugestions about where to visit in Istria and what noble grapes not to miss.
Over the last five years, you’ve built a reputation for Istria as a top tourism region. What are you most proud of accomplishing?
Istria had long been seen as a region of the sun and the sea, which provided it with a strong seasonal character of 3 to 4 months. Joint cooperation of private and public sectors has resulted in drafting the strategic Master Plan of Istrian Touristic Development which has launched a new era of Istrian touristic development. We have created a new development model for Istrian tourism including a completely new positioning and identity. This new model of development is accompanied by additional documents including the competitiveness programme, investment needs and possibilities, new communication strategy and marketing plan as well as time-scheduled implementation plan.
What do you believe has had the greatest contribution to the success in growing the “gourmet” perception of the region?
Primarily an extensive education process and acquisition of new knowledge and skills in the field of enogastronomy. Although we were aware of our excellent gourmet sea and agricultural products, the key was to study the values for increasing the rating of each individual product. We have benchmarked our products with the best ones in the world and soon became aware of possessing priceless wealth which required quality presentation and a built-in marketing story; emotions and experiences…
According to your website, the Istria Peninsula is called a “miniature heart-shaped world.” What do you love best about the emerging wine region in Istra?
We have awaken our indigenous and prevailing wine sort of Malvazija and turned it into an authentic Istrian story which has become a recognizable symbol of Istria resulting in the launch of numerous selective types of tourism including the wine tourism.
There are four types of unique soils present in Istria. In what way are they helping to develop a new generation of wine?
Istra has four different types of soil, of which the red and the brown one are the most prevailing, giving wines its own mark. Today one says that red soil gives more robust and mineral wines with an expressed citrus note, while brown soil produces more elegant, gentler wines with an expressed floral note. These facts are often talked about, however they should be supported and/or rejected empirically by a research.
The Istria Peninsula is a scenic 3 hour drive from Zagreb, what do you recommend conference goers take advantage of first?
To visit the area around Momjan; to see one modern and one traditional winery; to taste truffles, to experience the adventure of looking for truffles at night.
To visit the town of Novigrad: to try raw fish delicacies and the magic of extra virgin olive oils in two different restaurants
Denis’s talk kicks off the talk portion of the IWINETC at 11AM on Friday March 15th. Find him in the Emerald Ballroom. View the Conference programme of talks here>>
Register as a conference delegate here>>