Ice Wine Adventure in Zagorje
You know the rules: the temperature must be under -7 °C for a few days in a row, so the grape berries are frozen when you're picking and pressing them. The picking is done during the nights, since the temperatures drop and then stay low during the nighttime. It's a risky business, but the prize is well worth the wait!
We had the honor of being invited to such an adventurous event at Bodren Winery in Zagorje. Mr. Drenški is the pioneer of producing ice wines in this area. Even though everybody laughed at the idea that such wines could be produced in Zagorje rgion, the proof he was right came no less but from the Decanter Annual Wine Awards:
Well, here are some tips on how to survive ice wine grape picking if you ever happen to find yourself during such an extraordinary occasion:
1. Dress warmly. In layers. Take a cap, scarf, mittens, long underwear, fleece, another fleece. It won't save you, but it might help you not to get frostbites.
2. Choose fine company. Cause you won't be coming home any time soon. Ice wine harvest is a complex process that usually lasts a whole night. Why? Well, because you can't just come and immerse yourself into frozen berries and snow-covered vineyard. You need to prepare thoroughly. You need food, drinks and music!
3. Back to the cold. There is no chance you won't be cold so try to be as efficient as possible. Huge gloves protecting your fingers usually don't cooperate, but we wouldn't advise taking them off. You can also pray that the vineyard isn't that big.
4. Don't believe the locals when they tell you THIS is the way you should be picking:
To be honest, be very careful with everything they offer, or the next day might be a painful experience! Although, the stuff DOES help with the cold.
6. If someone sticks a camera in front of your face, try to watch what you're saying, because it might actually end up in a primetime TV show.
7. Do not try to warm yourself up by putting pieces of your clothes (or shoes!) in the fireplace. Hmm, sorry, near the fireplace.
8. Have a big meal after the job is finished, and sleep like a baby in the car on the way back. Good luck with going to work the day after! :)
You can experience Zagorje wine roads with us (albeit, not in such extreme conditions!). Check it out at www.zagrebites.com