On 4 September more than 200 wine aficionados joined together in Ljubljana, Slovenia for the sixth edition of the Salon of Decanter Award Winners, hosted by wine writer, founder of Slovenia’s first wine school, Belvin, and DWWA judge Robert Gorjak.
More than 100 DWWA award-winning wines were available to taste from 42 producers. Wines of France and Italy were represented, but it was the wines of Central and Eastern Europe that took centre stage with award-winning wines highlighted from Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Organiser Robert Gorjak commented on the event,
“The countries of Central and Eastern Europe are a hidden gem for a curious wine lover who wishes to walk the path untrodden. There is plethora of great local varieties such as Blaufränkisch, Furmint, Malvasia Istarska, Plavac Mali, Prokupac, Ribolla Gialla, Vranac and many more. They produce several amazing wines with a clear fingerprint of the origin and the taste which cannot be reproduced anywhere else. At the 6th International Salon of Decanter Award Winners we were very fortunate to collect them all at one place and show them to professionals and to the general public. It was a feast for the senses!”
In the first masterclass, titled “Pearls from the Balkans – Surprise or Reality,” Igor revealed the wealth of both local and international varieties, exemplifying the rise in the quality of wines from the Balkans.
Beth Willard, buyer for Direct Wines, led the second masterclass which included five Platinum and six Gold medal winners. In this class, Beth used her expertise to explain and highlight how certain wines perform in international markets.
Producers in attendance with award-winning wines from the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards were presented their certificates on stage by Decanter’s Michela Nassiz, Beth Willard and Robert Gorjak.
In total more than 70 certificates were awarded, including four Platinum awards for:
Simčič, Leonardo, Goriška Brda, Primorska, Slovenia 2013
Gašper, Cabernet Franc, Goriška Brda, Primorska, Slovenia 2017
Vino Gross, Iglič Furmint, Štajerska Slovenija, Podravje, Slovenia 2016
Colosi, Secca del Capo, Salina, Sicily, Italy 2018
At this year’s Decanter World Wine Awards, four wines from Slovenia received Platinum medals and four received Gold medals – a great feat for the wines of Slovenia. To put in perspective, overall only 2.9% of wines tasted at the 2019 DWWA were awarded a Gold medal, and only 0.9% were awarded a Platinum medal.
The Salon of Decanter Award Winners’ continued success highlights the rise in knowledge, quality and prestige of wines from Central and Eastern Europe and a growing interest and market for the wines of these regions.
The 7th Salon of Decanter Award Winners is scheduled to take place on 23 June 2020.
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All photos taken by Peter Irman