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The Portuguese are delighted with Istrian wines and olive oils

At a two-day masterclass in Ourém, Portugal, Istria confirmed its status as a wine and olive growing destination

A two-day masterclass in Ourém, Portugal took place on October 27th as part of the ART&TUR festival, and ended with a tasting of extra virgin olive oils from Istria and Portugal. Using sports vocabulary, it was a return match after the masterclass was held at the beginning of the month at the Zagreb TourFilm Festival, organised by Vinistra with the support of the Istria Tourist Board, where award-winning Malvasias, Terans and extra virgin olive oils were presented.

Famous sommelier Emil Perdec presented three wines to the Portuguese audience on the first day of the masterclass. The Istrian sequence began with a sparkling wine, Festigia Blanc de Moi Brut (Vina Laguna), with an elegant dry taste, and a smooth and fine pearlage. This was followed by aged Malvazija Santa Lucia from 2017 (Kozlović vina), with a refined, multi-layered, finely rounded body and creamy texture, beautiful maturity, with a long and rich finish. Finally was the powerful 2018 Teran Il Primo (Fakin vina), with a full and strong body with the aroma and taste of forest fruits, beautiful, finely rounded, ideal for aging.

As an olive growing region, Istria was represented by Ipša's spicy Istarska bjelica 2022, Meneghetti's intense Izbor Buža 2021 and Salvela's excellent Aurum blend from 2021.

"It was a delightful experience to taste and compare Portuguese and Istrian wines in parallel. The wines went well together and complemented each other because the Portuguese wines were less intense and more delicate in structure than the Istrian ones. And the olive oils were also a good combination. Both the Istrians and the Portuguese chose two single varieties, while the third was a blend of different varieties. Ipša’s was the most lively and playful considering that it is from 2022, and the Portuguese Fátima Blend from 2021 was the most specific and unusual, it comes from Ourému's neighbouring Fatima, a famous Marian sanctuary," said Emil Perdec.

His Portuguese colleague, sommelier Bebiana Monteiro, agreed with the Istrian sommelier: "It's a truly special experience to bring two countries together and get to know Istrian wines." Although they share some common characteristics in production, the wines are different and it is very important for wine enthusiasts to discover and understand these differences."

The Portuguese promoted the Bairrada wine region with a sparkling wine, the Aliança Baga Reserva Blanc de Noir Bruto 2019, a white wine, the São Domingos Maria Gomes & Bical 2021 and the red Messias Tradição Baga 2018, while the olive oils Cabeço das Nogueiras Premium Cornicabra 2021, Cabeço das Nogueiras Cobrançosa 2021 and Fátima Blend 2021 represented central Portugal.

Workshops like the masterclasses are a perfect opportunity to promote Istrian wines, and the hosts in Portugal once again confirmed the exceptional potential of our autochthonous Malvasia and Teran varieties on foreign markets.


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