The Baranja Vine Hunter

Every year in June I take a trip to the Baranja region, to find my favorite cellars, to buy some wine and to eat some freshwater fish, a speciality of this area. This year I also found vineyards.

again in Baranja looking for wine and vineyards

It’s been a long time since the last post, but I had a slightly tumultuous start to the year. Not to menention the sowing period of my small vegetable garden: we had a kind of permanent temporal, wich seems to have lasted for months. The ground has flooded several times, thwarting all efforts. And then, on a particularly violent stormy night, the biggest tree of sour cherries has collapsed to the ground, in the mud, with its load of cherries still not completely ripe.


All the fruit trees I have, always had years when they did not bear fruit, or because of frost, or parasites, or anything else. This sour cherry tree, I don’t know how it is possible, has never lost a year, with its wonderful cloud of white flowers, which always resisted everything. It was majestic and beautiful.


When things then seemed to start over for the better, yesterday there was another violent storm and a new flood. I begin to think that I should grow veggies elsewhere.


In any case, I could not give up the trip to Baranja, looking for wine, which this year seems to be even better than the previous year.


It’s nice to travel the same roads, in the same seasons, and find a complitely different landscape. Last year Baranja region was a stretch of yellow rapeseed flowers, and this year it’s literally gold, of golden wheat.

the hidden vineyards

Did I ever tell you about the hidden vineyards? Even here in Baranja, with its generous production of wine, you can travel far and wide the roads and never meet a vineyard. I think it's because main roads run in the plain, or in the first corrugations of the land, while vineyards are in the hills. And they are plots of land laboriously torn from the wooded vegetation of these hills. And can only be reached through slender paths, often unpaved.


This year I went hunting for vines, and I ventured on a narrow road that was recommended to me. For most of the journey I was surrounded by golden fields of wheat, so much so that I was about to turn the car and give up. But I went ahead anyway, and at the end, after a long uphill stretch, reached the top, the landscape of vines opened up. The sky that day was also a show of changing clouds. 

Baranja wine and food

Then stop in Suza, in the Kováts cellar. Delicious the Sauvignon Blanc, and also my favorite; excellent the Chardonnay. The Italian Rizling was not as good as last year.


A little over Suza, in the small village of Zmajevac, a pleasant surprise. At Josic's, for a glass of wine under the fresh arbor. Josic's cellar was built by recovering some traditional houses, which are literally falling apart in other places, such as across the street.


Slowly the lunchtime approached, and here at Josic we discovered a very interesting menu, based on local specialities: freshwater fish and game. All dishes are cooked on the grill or under the embers. I chose the mixed dish of freshwater fish, cooked on the grill: pike, carp, zander and wels catfish. Really delicious.

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