We need to brand Istria as a wine region - emphasize the advantages of different Istrian terroirs, emphasize indigenous varieties as the main Istrian trump cards in branding the region - it was written back in 1994 when the Association of Winemakers and Winegrowers of Istria - Vinistra.
Today, Istria is recognized as a wine region, not only in Croatia, but also on the global stage. An ingredient that complements well through tourism, in fact, a key ingredient in how to extend the tourist season, raise quality, increase consumption and complete the tourist story, outside the basic concept of sun and sea.
It didn't happen by accident. Of course, the path from point A to point B is never easy, and is full of curves, holes and various obstacles. What is the formula for success? There is none, at least not unique. How is Sasha Tenodi from Crude Passions in the show Entrepreneurial mindset, said: "The formula for success is differentiation and consistency. Differentiation is actually everything, while consistency would mean that when you go into something you just continue with that pattern for the rest of your life. It is important that this consistency exists. But again, differentiation without consistency means nothing. ” Tenody points out.
Just consistency is one of the formulas for the success of Istria. Here is another proof of that thesis.
In Istria 30. May 2021. held the event Days of Open Wine Cellars of Istria or WINE DAY.
More than twenty years the last Sunday in May in Istria was traditionally reserved for "Wine day". I repeat the last twenty years…
21st edition of Wine day - The Open Wine Cellars Day will be held on May 30, 2021 from 10 am to 19 pm in the whole of Istria, and will open its doors to visitors 57 wineries from six Istrian clusters: Northern Istria (with the largest share of wineries), Poreč, Central Istria, Eastern Istria, Rovinj and Southern Istria.
During the announced hedonistic experience, mostly the most famous wine varieties will be offered, from Istrian Malvasia, Teran, Muscat, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon to excellent blends and many other varieties, as well as winning wines from the last 27th Vinistra exhibition - undoubtedly something for everyone.
At the same time, it is an opportunity to peek into attractive and authentic wineries, unique tasting rooms and family estates where guests will be welcomed by friendly hosts, with pleasant wine stories and tastings, but also the opportunity to buy top bottles.
The Wine Day project was first presented in Italy in 1993 under the auspices of the association "Movimento per il turismo del vino" from Montalcino in Tuscany. The initiative was launched because none of those responsible in wine tourism recognized the huge potential that was offered. With few exceptions, the majority of wine cellars in Italy were not available to guests. Since 1998, the project has also included Sonoma Valley in California, Suntory with properties in Japan, Yamanashi Province (east of Tokyo), Stellenbosch (South Africa), Conarwarra (Australia), Mendoza (Argentina) and regions in Chile and Uruguay. , thus taking on the characteristics of a true global movement.
In 1999, Goriška brda and Istria joined the Wine Day project for the first time, and after a very successful first edition (37 wine cellars and about 800 visitors), the event has become an unavoidable event and a recognizable trademark of Istria over the past twenty years.
The organizers of the event, the Association of Winemakers and Winegrowers of Istria "Vinistra", the Tourist Board of the Istrian County and the Istrian County. A leaflet with a list of wineries and their offer and the conditions of the event can be downloaded from the website www.istra.hr.
Wine Day is just one example, and we can certainly highlight Teran Days, Truffle Days, Malvasia Days, Muscat Days, Istrian Asparagus Days, Istrian Agrotourism Open Days, Istria Wine & Walk, Fužijada gastro show, Istrian Olive Oil Festival... as well as miscellaneous various other festivals, manifestations, sporting events and so on and so forth. Everyone has the same denominator - consistency.
And the story on excellent foundations only expands and complements from year to year and makes an authentic differentiation from other destinations. Istria has long been not the sun and the sea, and again, this is no accident.
This is called the process of branding and market positioning. I emphasize, a process that requires a lot of effort, time and energy. As they write Al Ries & Jack Trout in the book: Positioning To be successful in today's market, positioning and communication are key.
Positioning starts with the product, but positioning is not about what to do with the product, but about what a particular product or service creates in the mind of a potential customer. Or the simplest positioning is the way you will differentiate yourself in the mind of the consumer.
Also, today it is almost impossible to be so creative as to create something that does not already exist in the mind of the consumer. The basic principle of positioning is not to create something different, but to manage something that exists in the mind of the consumer, that is, to make new connections in the mind of the consumer towards our product. Today, there is too much noise in communication, too many brands, advertising, and it is segmentation into niches, the simplicity of the message, I would add authenticity, the formula for success - and this is where positioning is key.
As it is clear to everyone today, Istria has clearly positioned itself as a wine region, and consistency is, as I stated above, a key element of that story.
But the most important thing is to start, to have a bold vision of future development, to slowly put together and connect the story, to raise quality from year to year, to invest in ambience / infrastructure or decoration (a very important factor that many see as cost), communication, design, promotion and positioning .
And don’t forget one thing is desire, and something completely different is goal. Set goals, strategy and vision for development and move on. It all starts with the first bold step forward.
Photo: WineDay / Julien Duval