Medovina is said to be older than wine, and the news that it is done in a city that is the oldest city in Europe when we look at the continuous population, is gratifying because it fits into the whole story of history. Vinkovci is a city that is actually the cradle of European civilization. The city where two Roman emperors were born and the city where the oldest European calendar Orion was found. Interestingly, these two Roman emperors did not drink wine but beer, which was not very common at that time for Roman emperors. And so, based on this story, a very popular craft beer Valens was created in Vinkovci, named after the Roman emperor who adored beer.
Now a new interesting story about mead is coming from Vinkovci. The first mead is said to have originated 9000 BC and is probably among the oldest alcoholic beverages that man has made and tasted. It was drunk by everyone, from Shakespeare, Aristotle, Vikings and Roman emperors to ancient gods. It is interesting that mead is older than wine, and many have met mead through the popular series Game of Trones, which was also filmed in Croatia. The connection between Dubrovnik and Game of Trones is very well known all over the world, and now it is possible to talk about it through top Croatian mead. Dubrovnik is probably the best market for the placement of this mead, which is the plan of producers Goran and Antonio Ferbežar, who after 10 years of dealing with bees and production of honey products have now gone a step further. A medaria was opened within the Ferbežar family farm. What is a winery in the world of wine, with the Ferbežar family is a medarium or equipped mead tasting room.
“From the very beginning of dealing with honey and beekeeping, we have been thinking about how to increase the value of our products, and mead has always been the ideal solution. We became interested in mead, looked for people to deal with it and started doing home tours of mead in gallons the old-fashioned way without controlled conditions. We studied and we wanted to offer something that is not on the market, and to be a top product. That's how our mead came to be. We are definitely thinking about placing it in Dubrovnik, where this exclusive product would find its place in top restaurants and hotels, relying on Game of Trones, where mead has been popularized again. ” points out Goran Ferbežar,
Historians believe that it was the discovery of the natural fermentation of honey that was responsible for the later appearance of beer and wine. The popular name "honeymoon" allegedly comes from mead from northern Europe, where the newlyweds drank a glass of mead every day after the wedding for a whole month. In the Middle Ages, the production of mead experienced a great technological leap and honey wine was exclusive and significantly more expensive than wine and beer. This is probably the reason why mead has slowly fallen into oblivion. Wine and beer became the drinks of everyday life, while mead gained royal status, and became a drink for weddings and other important celebrations. Mead has never completely disappeared, but it has become a kind of current anachronism, mostly drunk at ceremonies on medieval themes, Renaissance fairs and other historical reconstructions. Mead tastes more like wine than, say, mead, and has about 13 percent less alcohol. According to Ferbežar, it goes ideally with cheeses and all kinds of meat, but also fruit, and is drunk chilled at 8 to 10 degrees.
THE CAPACITY THAT GUARANTEES THE SURVIVAL IS 6000 BOTTLES
Thanks to EU funds, these beekeepers have built an additional hall adapted to all production standards. So far, they have a capacity of 6000 bottles per year, but they also have the possibility of expanding production. They completed the production and offer with honey, from honey extraction, wine production, to honey and mead tasting. “We are even considering making mead production our primary activity, although we would continue to produce honey since we have 150 hives. Honey is becoming more and more a raw material for us ", and we make mead from three types of fresh honey from linden, sunflower and flower", Goran Ferbežar notes and adds that they make mead from the highest quality Slavonian honey, thus achieving complete authenticity and XNUMX% security in the quality of the mead.
“The production of mead is most similar to wine fermentation. Our base is a solution of honey and purified water, so we get must, into which we add special selected wine yeasts and start fermentation. Secondary fermentation lasts up to two months, after which it is clarified and the mead is then aged for up to three months in stainless steel or wooden oak barrels. We do everything in controlled conditions”Points out Antonio Ferbežar. Of course, for these manufacturers as well, the COVID pandemic had an adverse effect on sales. An annual capacity of 6000 bottles would bring them profitability, and their market is top restaurants and hotels.
If you tell the story of Game of trones in Dubrovnik in your facility or tour, and since April XNUMX, Plitvice Lakes National Park offers its visitors significantly lower ticket prices. It should be added that the Upper Lakes open from the same date, so you will be able to enjoy the magic of the entire lake system of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. This story is therefore certainly interesting and enriches the offer of top local products, and it also tells a great indigenous story.