Croatian Wine Festival - 2023
 Long table lunch

Sunday 8th October, Mandoon Estate

The Western Australian Croatian Chamber of Commerce was proud to hold its 2023 Croatian Wine Festival at Mandoon Estate, Western Australia. This event was a celebration of Croatian heritage wine makers within Western Australia contributing to the wine industry.


On another "Perthect" afternoon at Mandoon Estate in Western Australia, the day transformed into a haven for wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike as the WA Croatian Chamber of Commerce unfolded the vibrant tapestry of the Croatian Wine Festival 2023.

The sprawling vineyards of Mandoon Estate provided a picturesque backdrop for this celebration of Croatian viticulture. Rows of grapevines stood in formation, their verdant leaves gently rustling in the warm breeze. Attendees gathered in anticipation of an event that promised to be a fusion of tradition, food, dance and, of course, exquisite wines.

The highlight of the day was the prestigious award ceremony, where the Master of Wine accolade was bestowed upon Peter Garbin of Garbin Estate Wines. Mr Garbin stood proudly as he received the recognition for his exceptional contribution to the art of winemaking. Alongside him, Mate Katich was crowned the Master Vigneron of 2023 for his dedication to cultivating and nurturing the vineyards. Both awards were designed and created by our world renowned sculptor Ron Gomboc from Gomboc Gallery. for 2023 and 2022. Whom also created the Australian Academy Cinema Televsion Arts award - AACTA awards.

The presence of Her Excellency Betty Pavelich – the Croatian Ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, the NATO Co-Contact for Australia, and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Australia – embodied the cultural bridge between Croatia and its diaspora in Western Australia. Also present was Zoran Sangut, the consul of Croatia in Perth; the Consul-General of Croatia in Sydney, Ivica Glasnovic; the Consul-General of Croatia in Melbourne, Joseph Petric; and Ivor Condic from the Croatian Consulate Office in Western Australia.

The event also had the distinguished presence of Dr Tony Buti, Minister for Education, Aboriginal Affairs, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, and a fervent supporter of cultural integration. Dr Buti acknowledged the vital role of the Croatian community in enriching the multicultural tapestry of Australia. His presence underscored the significance of contributing to multicultural interests, making the Croatian Wine Festival not just a celebration of wine but a testament to the strength of cultural bonds.

Also the presence of the Honourable Justice Larissa Strk – Supreme Court of Western Australia: an accomplished and respected service to the State of Western Australia,
 Lord Mayor Logan Howlett City of Cockburn and Sister City of Split, Croatia (We have the City of Split - sister city to City of Cockburn delegation attending end of October - reminder), Ron Gomboc – from Gomboc Gallery our world class sculptor, Auric Barrels – Slavonian Oak product barrels with Francika Jelavic Roberts, Be Botanics – beautiful floral presentations – Jasmin Biagioni - I believe WA’s leading floral arranger, Dennis Yagmich – Life member of the Western Australian Croatian Chamber of Commerce and Sally Yagmich.

Leaders of Western Australia: Laura and Jure Denona – Gwelup Croatia Soccer Club and Hrvatski Dom – Croatia House, Dean Zlendic - Western Knights Soccer Club, the WA Croatian Community Centre - Anthony Sumich, President Zrinka Vlasic – Hrvatska Folklorna Groupa – Zagreb and Anthony Radich and Darlene Gianoli from The Lado Croatian Folkloric Ensemble of Western Australia. As well as the Vice-President of the WA Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and board member of the AUS-NZ Croatian Women in Leadership – Francika Roberts Jelavic, Vice-President Martin Cop and photographer and  Treasurer Robert Slavicek.

The ceremony was a moment of pride for the Croatian community, a testament to the resilience and creativity that had been injected into the Australian wine industry by individuals like Garbin and Katich. Applause echoed through the magnificent Mandoon venue, mingling with the clinking of wine glasses as the crowd supported the honorees.

The guests were treated to a gastronomic delight as lunch was served. The aroma of magnificent antipastos and spit-roasted lamb wafted through the air, teasing the taste buds and adding to the festive atmosphere. Roast vegetables, vibrant salads, and a medley of desserts adorned the tables, creating a feast fit for a celebration of this magnitude.

As guests indulged in the culinary offerings, the air became alive with the melodies of Croatian music. Vjeran Duplancic, accompanied by his daughter Helen, took stage, serenading the audience with an enchanting repertoire of traditional Croatian songs. The music resonated with the Split rich cultural heritage of the community, transporting attendees to the sun-drenched hills of Split, Croatian coast and the lively streets of Zagreb. The duo seamlessly blended their performance with original compositions from their latest CD release Contact the Chamber for Vjeran and Helen CD requests.

Vlado Piscetek - an inaugural member of the Chamber receiving his belated presentation.

Each note was a testament to the evolving nature of Croatian culture, a fusion of the old and the new. The crowd swayed to the rhythm, their hearts captivated by the music that encapsulated the spirit of Croatia. Vjeran Duplancic, with his soulful voice and  daughter Helen, with her skilful accompaniment, created an ambience that transcended the surrounds of Mandoon Estate. Their performance was not merely entertainment; it was a celebration of identity, a bridge connecting the Croatian roots with the Australian soil on which the festival stood and across the Western Australia.

As the sun descended, casting a golden glow over the vineyards, the festival reached its crescendo. Hrvatska Folklorna Grupa Zagreb - sang and danced - performing traditional songs and dances to the amazement of the audience, bringing communities together to the colourful, skilful  and precision dance performances. Glasses were raised, laughter echoed, and the tones of Croatian melodies lingered in the air.

Order CD

Folklore group

Hrvatska Folklorna Grupa Zagreb - Perth, Western Australia

The Croatian Wine Festival of 2023 at Mandoon Estate was not just an event; it was a celebration of the harmonious blend of tradition, innovation, and Croatian communities.

Attendees left carrying with them the lingering taste of amazing wines, the echo of music, and the memories of a sunlit day spent in the embrace of Croatian culture. Mandoon Estate stood as a testament to the enduring spirit of a community that has found its home in the heart of Western Australia for over 145 years.

WA Croatian Chamber of Commerce Wine Festival 2023 - @Perthect!

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