Croatia's most charismatic winemaker, Andro Tomic from Jelsa, was in the European Parliament in Brussels on April 3, 2014, in the latest chapter of the Prošek versus Prosecco saga, which was covered last year by Digital Journal.
The EU decreed last summer that the name prošek is too similar to the Italian prosecco, and must therefore be replaced. The fact that the two products have different names and are totally different products - one a sweet dessert wine, the other a sparkling wine - is of no consequence, and nor is the fact that the Croatian brand has a centuries-old tradition, whereas prosecco is a product of the latter half of the 20th Century.
The decision, announced weeks before Croatia's accession to the EU on July 1, 2013, sparked outrage and was a wake-up call for some on the realities of joining the wider European family.
Tomic, as the leader producer of prošek (pronounced 'pro-shek') with his Hektorovich brand, became the most sought-after interviewee in Croatia, as a horde of international journalists including AP and BBC television made its way to his impressive Romanesque cellars in Jelsa on Hvar to seek out his opinion not only on the prosecco debate, but also his feelings on European integration.
Speaking in flawless French in Brussels yesterday (as reported on 24 Sata TV), Tomic once more pointed out the absurdities of the possibility of confusion between prošek and prosecco.
Click here to watch Andro in action.