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Korta Katarina wine dinner returns Sunday

A glass of Reuben’s Private Reserve 2007 Plavac Mali sits by bottles of four different wines from the Korta Katarina vineyard in Croatia. News Tribune file photo.

With the means to go anywhere in the world over the holidays, Lee and Penny Anderson spend much of December in Duluth.

They wouldn't want to miss their own party, after all.

The couple are bringing their Croatian wines to Bellisio's Italian Restaurant for another Korta Katarina wine dinner on Sunday from 6-9 p.m.

"It's become a holiday tradition," said Brian Daugherty, president of Grandma's Restaurant Co., which owns the restaurant. "Because this is a hometown boy, so to speak, there's a lot of connection and interest."

Anderson, owner of the multibillion-dollar APi Group based in the Twin Cities, built his father's plumbing business into a consortium of construction and energy businesses that employ more than 10,000 people. He and the late Rob Link also left a mark on Duluth via A&L Properties, which developed the Technology Village and other landmarks.

But that's business. On Sunday, it's all about the wine and food.

"Croatia only exports about 2 percent of their wine, so he said, 'The world should know more about these wines,' " said Anderson's daughter, Katherine Groethe, who imports and distributes Korta Katarina wines here. "Then Bellisio's goes above and beyond."

The Andersons founded Korta Katarina following a 2001 humanitarian aid mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina and released the first vintage from the southern Croatian winery in 2006.

Daugherty said the Andersons and the chef will talk through the wines and courses at the "intimate" dinner.

"It's a multisensory experience, and is absolutely unique in the sense that you're meeting the creator of the products," he said.

The $120 tickets are limited though still available by visiting Bellisio's at 405 S. Lake Ave. or calling (218) 727-4921.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

(218) 723-5329