Climate change, rising raw material prices, but also the desire to expand the assortment are the main reasons why, probably in the spring of next year, the vineyards of the famous Baranja wine family Gerštmajer will be enriched with some new grape varieties. However, the Graševina will continue to dominate in their vineyards, and the current eight grape varieties will be expanded with two or three new ones. – At the moment we have 13 hectares of vineyards, but some of them are 80 years old. We have already cleared about three hectares, we will do the same with a certain area, so we will get ten hectares of young vineyards, which will contain some new grape varieties – says Ivan Gerštmajer Zelember.

Gerstmaijer Croatia(Photo: IVICA GETTO)

He is the third generation of the Gerštmajer family, follows in his grandfather's footsteps, deals with viticulture and winemaking and is the President of the Baranja Winemakers' Association. He goes on to say that climate change, which brings with it more frequent infestations by various insects, fungal diseases and the like, and thus a greater number of treatments with expensive preparations, is one of the main reasons for choosing new varieties.

One of the new ones they chose was Solaris, which young Gerštmajer met during his studies when he was at a German institute and was the subject of his dissertation. – She has been known around the world, more precisely in Germany, for more than 30 years. It contains genes from resistant strains that are more resistant to diseases. As far as I know, there are already a few winegrowers in Baranja, but there are only about twenty vines. The plan is to grow Celardis blanca and Cabernet cortis, varieties that are allowed to be grown in Croatia.

Solaris is the most similar to Graševina, it comes a little earlier, but it still has enough sugar. It is certain that we will keep the existing varieties – he says. In addition to expanding the offer, the Geštmajer family is also thinking about intensifying tourism. Until now they only had a characteristic oenological and gastronomic offer. – We plan to open some accommodations and clean up the basement, probably later this year. Baranja is already recognized as a tourist destination throughout Croatia and beyond. We just have to continue in this direction and there shouldn't be any major problems – says Gerštmajer. He is happy with last year's wine sales, which traditionally fell in January and February, but already in March they expect more arrivals and higher demand.

written by Ivica Ghetto

Original Croatian

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