The 30th Concours Mondial de Bruxelles to be held in Croatia
Istria, and more specifically the town of Poreč, will host the main tasting session of the competition dedicated to red and white wines. The tastings will take place in the region on 12, 13 and 14 May 2023.
Istria, Croatia’s largest peninsula, is a cultural melting pot and a land of contrast due to its location at the point where Slovenia, Italy and Croatia meet. The people of Istria have historical ties with grapes and wine production. Here, wine is a story of passion and necessity, and an integral part of the culture of life. The region is renowned for the excellence of its wine production, including its iconic wines made from Malvasia and Teran.
A region of constant change
The wine region extends across the most westerly part of Croatia and uses both local and international grape varieties to produce wines spanning a broad range of styles. The peninsula, in the North of the Adriatic, has belonged to many different countries throughout its eventful history. These different periods have restricted the development of the region’s wine industry, despite its propensity to produce high quality wines. There are currently 4,000 hectares under vine, compared with 44,000 before the arrival of phylloxera. The fall of Yugoslavia led to the decline of State co-operatives that produced wines for the mass market. Quality-focused producers then began to emerge, modernising wine farms and reducing yields to produce more concentrated and more complex wines.
A remarkable variety of wine traditions
The variety of soils – from red along the coast to white inland – adds another dimension to vine growing. The most famous and most widely grown grape variety is Malvasia Istriana, which displays refined aromas and fresh flavours and makes the perfect partner for the seafood dishes. The red wines made from Teran and Refosco are ancient staples in the region. Their ruby hue and pronounced fruity aromas make them perfect for meat dishes. Many Istrian wine aficionados choose Muscat for its golden colour, perfumes of wild cloves and exquisite aromas. It can be dry or sweet and makes the ideal pudding wine. The Istrian wine route, dotted with numerous wine cellars, offers some memorable experiences.
Poreč and its early Christian basilica
The old fortified town of Poreč is home to many Roman, Gothic and Venetian vestiges and monuments. These include the major 6th-century Euphrasian basilica which dominates the town like a jewel in its crown. The early Christian church is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site and features, among other treasures, magnificent Byzantine mosaics. Istria is one of Croatia’s major tourist areas and the town of Poreč offers a wide range of tourist infrastructures to welcome the competition’s judges.
Hosting the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles provides further proof of the region’s potential. Boasting time-honoured winemaking experience, a well-established wine culture and recent investments, Croatia’s Istria ranks as a credible, quality wine region.
About the competition
The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is an international competition where over 10,000 wines are entered by producers to be tasted and judged by a panel of experts. Our experienced wine tasters judge the competing wines with a single-minded purpose, and that is to select wines of irreproachable quality with no biases stemming from the label or an appellation’s prestige. The competition is one of the leading events of its kind in the world.