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Suza

THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD STORY OF WINE, FOOD AND CERAMICS IN BARANJA

As a child, I passed through Suza on my way from Osijek to the Baranja village of Batina near the Danube, where we had a cottage many times. And as is already the case on journeys from point A to point B, one pass through all the points in between without stopping. At least until one of these points becomes point B 🙂

There are truly strange paths and journeys that lead us or open up in front of us throughout life so we never know when some side places or people will become an important part of our lives.

Thus, in my life, in a strange, but also transparent way, at one point, as far as Baranja is concerned, point B became point S.

S as Suza.

WHERE IS SUZA?
Suza is located in the northeast of Croatia, in Baranja. It is located on the southern slopes of Baranja (or Banovo, Bansko) hill, Baranja’s light plateau surrounded by vineyards, fields and the Danube river. Suza is connected with the neighbouring village of Zmajevac, and consists of 6 streets and almost six hundred inhabitants.

HOW DID SUZA GET ITS NAME?
I bothered a bit about this because no matter how much the Internet, or search engines like Google, look like a magic ball some information is really hard and even impossible to find.

Suza is multiethnic as the rest of Baranja, and today it is inhabited by a majority Hungarian population. With both names, in Croatian Suza and in Hungarian Csúza, it can be associated with different interpretations, meanings and stories.

The Hungarian name Csúza was created because of the former Turkish prison (pronounced chuza) located at the foot of today’s Reformed Church built in the 19th century. I assume that the name in the Croatian language was created by omitting the letter ‘C’ from the Hungarian word, so we got the word suza in Croatian meaning ‘tear’. If someone would ask me, that tear would actually be one of the drops of morning dew on the rich clusters of Suza’s vineyards.

“Fertile fields in Suza”

vineyard croatia baranja vinograd

“Kolar Vineyard in Suza”

10 INTERESTING THINGS YOU MAY LIKE TO KNOW BEFORE YOU COME TO OMIŠ

1. LIFE GOES ON IN SUZA SINCE PREHISTORY

Although Suza was first mentioned in writing in the 13th century, prehistoric and ancient finds have been found in this area. Traces of settlements of the Vučedol culture and the Dalj group were found at two archaeological sites in Suza, Derjan and Berengye, and ceramic fragments of the Starčevo or Sopot culture were found near the Kerekhegy site. For non-experts, it is a HISTORY OF ABOUT 8 THOUSAND YEARS. Baranja has been poorly explored archaeologically so far, so I believe that a lot of interesting stories will just come to the surface.

2. FAMILY WINERY AND TASTING OF BARANJA WINE

Family wineries are those wineries where wine is stored with the soul of the people who live their land, vineyards, harvest and the whole process of making wine, which they will eventually proudly pour into your glass. Winemakers from Suza are known for their quality wines and have been continuously collecting awards for them for years. You can taste them on the spot in beautifully decorated wineries or order a bottle through their website. Family wineries in Suza are Kolar, Pinkert, Matijevic and Kovats.
For years, the Kolar family has been working on an additional offer, pairing wine and tourism, and in addition to the classic tasting, they also offer day trips where you can taste wine in their vineyards or in one of the somewhat mysterious locations known only to Baranja people 🙂

3. BARANJA TRADITIONAL CELLARS GATORI

Baranja cellars are also special. They do not dig vertically but horizontally into the steep earthen wall of the hill. They are ideal for storing wine because their temperature is the same throughout the year, usually between 12 – 15 ° C.

4. BARANJA CLAY CERAMICS, BARANJA MUD JEWELLERY AND THE DRAVA STONE RING

Today, in the ambience of a hundred-year-old steam mill, truly beautiful Baranja pottery is made, not only pleasing to the eye but also for practical use. This climate has been associated with fertile soil since time immemorial, not only in terms of farming but also in making pottery. The artist and potter Daniel Asztalos hand-shapes the native Baranja soil and turns it into wonderful cups, glasses, jugs, bowls and pots. In this small fairy-tale world of ceramics, you can choose one of his masterpieces, but also try to make one of your own 🙂 ​​My choice from Daniel’s offer was jewellary, a necklace made of mud taken from a pond behind the mill and a silver ring with polished stone from the Drava river. Phenomenal!! Is it?

5. BICYCLE INTERNATIONAL ROUTES AND “BICYCLE CAMP”

Several international cycling routes pass through Suza, the most famous of which is EuroVelo (EV6) – Danube route. It enters Croatia, more precisely Baranja, from Hungary at the Duboševica border crossing and continues through the Baranja settlements of Draž, Batina, Zmajevac and Suza.
There is a small campsite in Suza with a mini service for cyclists. The camp offers the possibility of purchasing vegetables from the host’s garden, as well as the possibility of tasting wine or delicious Baranja specialities in their nearby wine cellar.

6. “TURKISH ROAD”

Turkish road is actually a Roman road. Namely, the Romans built a road between Beli Manastir and Batina in the middle of Baranja (also called Banovo) Hill. The road started in Batina, continued towards the highest peak of Baranja Hill Kamenjak (244 m) and the village of Popovac to finish in Beli Manastir. Centuries later, due to the flooded Baranja areas, the Ottomans rebuilt this road. The road is still called the Turkish road and passes through 22 kilometres of beautiful Baranja landscapes with views of vineyards, fields and nature, including those in Suza.

7. REFORMING CHURCH

On a hill in the centre of Suza is the Reformed Church from the 19th century, while the parish was founded at the time of the Reformation, most likely in the 16th century.

8. TRADITIONAL BARANJA CUISINE

Baranja is best known for its wines, traditional dishes and spices, red ground pepper. The most famous Baranja dishes are Baranja kulen, perkelt, carp in the wooden fork and of course fish and chicken stew. However, there are other dishes made from river fish, meat and game, and I suggest that in addition to the classic ones, you try these specialists in the local restaurants Kovač Charda and Piroš Čizma. In Suza there is also OPG Matijević known for its top-quality kulen that you can taste in their tasting room.

Baranja kulen has the protected geographical indication of the European Union.

If you did not know the word charda comes from the Hungarian word csarda, which means an inn located in a secluded place or by the roadside and in the past it served as an inn.

9. THE SEAL OF THE VILLAGE

That Suza is one soul with its fertile fields and vineyards is confirmed by the first seal of the place made in 1772. On the seal is a picture of a plough and a bird with a bunch of grapes in its beak.

10. THINGS TO DO IN SUZA

  • wine tasting
  • tasting Baranja Kulen, a local meat product protected at a national and European level
  • pottery workshop

GREETINGS FROM SUZA

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