Celebrated Vinkovo in Ilok Cellars
The feast of st. Vinko or „VINKOVO” is a long tradition of Ilok and Srijem. It’s authentic and very important feast of vineyard when vintners symbolically cut the vine, hang sausages and overflow with a little bit of wine. The priest is leading the prayer for a successful vegetation and harvest vintage. From this and other wine grapes it’s usual to cut off a few stems from the vine that, after being in a bowl with water and in a warm and light place, are used to forecast the yield crop of the next year. But, that’s also an occasion in which, except this ritual, people associate with their friends, partners and guests alongside meals, excellent wines and songs, regardless of the weather conditions.
The central celebration of Vinkovo in Ilok Cellars was held on 20.1.2018. on the vineyard position of Vukovo. The President of the Management Board, Robert Miljković, has welcomed and thanked all gathered for coming and invited them to relax and enjoy the wines of Ilok cellars in this day which is the most important for all vintners and winemakers. The celebration was attended by Vukovar-Srijem County Božo Galić, deputy director of the Croatian Center for Agriculture, food and village Boris Puškar and Mayor of Ilok Mrs. Marina Budimir. In their speeches, they all expressed respect for the owner of Ilok Cellars, Mr. Juraj Mihaljević, who has been investing for almost 15 years in Ilok Cellars, vineyard in Srijem and in Ilok, creating new values, not only in valorization of Ilok Cellars brand and quality of wine from the best unique vineyard appellations Principovac and Vukovo, which confirm their uniqueness and elegance on the most important and respected domestic, regional and international wine competitions, as well as investing in the reconstruction and upgrading of historic buildings that were restored and placed in function of the tourist offer of the Ilok Cellars and the City of Ilok for the first time since World War II.
Juraj Mihaljević, well known as „Jura”, who with his vision and energy in combination with his knowledge and experience in creating top experts in the fields of wine, wine tourism, marketing, sales and exports, raised his story of Ilok Cellars, Ilok vineyard, vineyard of Srijem and the Croatian Danube to an enviable level at the very top of the Croatian wine mosaic, which deserves the utmost respect for its employees, profession and the entire production branch.
After that, the traditional blessing of vineyards was held the on the appellation Vukovo, which was led by Fr. Ivan Utjesinović, pastor of Ilok, and the honor of performing of, so-called, „The first cut of the first vine“ in the 2018 season in the vineyard of the Ilok Cellars was given to Mr. Boris Puškar and Mrs. Marini Budimir.
After the ceremony, a gathering on the Vukovo economy was started, which began with a horse riders procession horse of over 50 riders who gathered and welcomed over 550 gathered guests. The association continued with grilled dishes, traditional “Tamnuroca” tambourine music and of course the oldest and most awarded wine cellar of Croatia, wines of Ilok Cellars. The gathering took place until late afternoon, and the evening continued in the restaurant placed in the former wine cellar from the 18th century called of course “The Old Wine Cellar Restaurant” that is again placed vis-a-vis the unique historic wine cellar built in the 15th century, more exactly in 1450 as the country’s first originally built wine cellar, constructed and erected for the purpose of wine production and wine aging. Both wine cellars placed at the entrance to the medieval center of the Town Ilok, marking the start of a new tourist season from which we are expecting a lot this year too.