We have already seen well-known grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec being put in the spotlight on a particular day in order to promote the grape and wines made from it. In some instances, this celebration has been put on a national level, e.g. Argentina celebrates its Malbec Day every year in embassies and cultural centres throughout the world.
Therefore, Serbian wine media www.vinopedia.rs and www.vinoifino.rs have decided to support Serbia's burgeoning wine industry and, in particular, Prokupac, the country’s flagship black grape variety. Incidentally, recent DNA studies have shown that Prokupac is the grandfather of Kadarka, thus proving the theory that Kadarka originates from the Balkans.
So, on 14 October 2016, Serbia will celebrate International Prokupac Day for the first time. There are events planned all over Serbia (Subotica, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac): social media activities, organised tastings and workshops, food & Prokupac wine-pairing events in restaurants, and discounted sale of Prokupac wines in wine shops and wine bars. Prokupac Day will also be celebrated in countries where Prokupac wines are exported, e.g. Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Given that Serbian winemakers are still lagging behind in setting up a well-organised national generic body for wine promotion, this seems to have triggered a nationwide chain reaction: a great response from winemakers, restaurants and wine merchants.
This event is also noteworthy as the first attempt in the Central and Eastern European region to put forward a local variety, give it nationwide and international importance, and position it as peer to International Chardonnay Day or International Cabernet Sauvignon Day. This could be a good method to draw attention to the wines of Serbia. Maybe it would also be a good idea for other countries in the region to promote their local varieties in a similar way.
In the future, we could see International Furmint, Kadarka, Hárslevelű, Plavac Mali, Grüner Veltliner, Mavrud, Melnik, Crljenak Kaštelanski (aka Primitivo or Zindafel), Grasă de Cotnari Days…. The list is endless. Indeed, Hungary already celebrates Furmint February across the country. Perhaps it should follow Prokupac’s example and also go international?