Planning a vacation in Croatia?
Croatia is a country with so much diversity. Diversity of grape, terroir and geography and delicious Croatian wine types.
The world class Pinot Noir is being produced not more than 25 miles west of the capital, Zagreb, at the Korak winery, which lies in the Croatian Uplands region of Plešivica hills.
In Croatia, the tradition of wine making can be traced back to the 6th Century BC part of the tradition of the Croatian Culture. Heading down North out of Zagreb to the Bolfan winery in the beautiful Croatian Uplands region of Zagorje-Međimurje and let yourself immerse in this beautiful land discovering his award winning Riesling and Pinot Grigio. These two wines are perfect if combined with baked štrukli (a Croatian pastry delicacy that can only be found in the 35 miles radius around Zagreb).
The wine experience in Croatia gets even better when you start the exciting coastal journey along the Adriatic Coast. From North, the Istria region to the South, Dalmatia a true journey of discovery of the grape varieties grown for generations along the coast.
When in North Istria, at Moreno Coronica, you will be delighted by the excellent Coronica wines, a variety of white wines perfect if paired with local prosciutto and cheese. The Gran Teran is bottled in this region.
Right passing Istria, south down you arrive in Pula where Bruno Trapan creates Malvasia perfect if paired with the fresh and aged Kumparička goat cheeses from the only goat farm in Istria nearby. The Trapan Wine Station is a modern, small winery located in a small village just outside Pula, Istria. Istria today is thought to be the second Tuscany due to its intact terroir right in the middle of the Mediterranean. Here you can find amazing wines, olive oil and food. The most celebrated wines in this part of Croatia are the Istrian Malvazia and Teran. Bruno, the owner, grows completely organic grapes and produces around 70,000 bottles per year, signature wines.
From Pula we head down, along the Adriatic Coast and arrive in Primošten. Suha Punta Winery is set in a very similar setting like Tuscany and the wines produces by Leo Gracin keeps scents like fennel, blackberry and Croatian wine Dalmatian Maraska cherry resulting in the great wine Babić is.
Leaving the capital behind, an exciting coastal journey along the Adriatic coast awaits, indigenous grape varieties that have been grown along the coast for generations, a journey on which you will learn that the Zinfandel grape is in fact of Croatian origin.
Halfway down the Adriatic coast, in the picturesque town of Primošten, winemaker Leo Gracin of Suha Punta winery, tucked away in Varoš, infuses his Tuscan-like terroir wines with scents of fennel, blackberry and Dalmatian Maraska cherry, as if he personally picked the flavours out for each of his bottles of Babić. It is also considered the first wine made of the Croatian grapes, elected one of the best red wines of Croatia. Vines have been grown here for centuries, dating right back to the Illyrians, before the Greeks and Romans took over cultivation.
Visiting the islands: Wineries in Brač and Hvar
Traveling South you arrive in Split. Split is considered the second largest Croatian City entered around the ancient Roman Palace of Emperor Diocletian. The location is ideal for ships to cruise across the Dalmatian waters to the islands of Brač and Hvar. Hear is considered to be the home of the Plavac Mali grape.
On the island of Brač, famous for the Golden Cape Beach (Zlatni Rat). Here you should not miss to visit Stina winery and immerse yourself. Known also to be the only winery in Croatia from which you can take a jump into the Adriatic. This winery is located in Bol opened in 2009 when Jako Vino, a local, rented a building from the Agricultural Cooperative of Bol. The building is dated 1903 “The First Dalmatian Wine Cooperative”.
The wine tasting room is modern with sleek interiors and views of the sea. At this wineyard 10 different wines are produced. From the Stina Opol to the Plavac mali barrique. The grapes are grown above the village of Murvica on the South slopes of the island where vine grows on steep slopes right where the grapes were originally.
Looking for something more traditional?
Head to in the hinterland 15 minutes from Supetar where you will discover Senjković winery.
Senjkovic family is one of those families from Dračevica you fall in love with, their passion for each bottle of wine they produce and the charming winery right in the heart of the island. Some of the most amazing wines they produce are the Bosso, the BROČKA RIČ or the rosé SPOŽA.
From Brac you will travel to the near island of Hvar with its amazing scenery. Let’s start from North in the town of Jelsa. Tomić winery is where you want to spend couple of hours of your afternoon. Tomić family produces top quality wines. The grapes in this sunny island were brought by the Greeks as early as the 4th century BC. The grew and grow some of the finest grape varieties in this area. The owner before turning his vineyard in the celebrated wineyard that is today, lived in France learning and experiencing the most of the French wine culture. Back in Hvar he created his reputation in the wine world. His variety of Plavac Mali and red cuvee line-up are just sublime.
Be sure not to miss the Bilo Idro restaurant located on the South side of the island home of the Zlatan Otok winery. You will be spoiled by the delicious food and the Zlatan Plavac Grand Cru. The wine producer is Zlatan Plenković, one of the most celebrated and first independent winemakers in Croatia.
Proceeding South you will explore the amazing world of wine around Dubrovnik.
The Dubrovnik region is teeming with top quality grape varieties.
The two most famous wine locations are the Peljesac peninsula and island of Korcula. Peljesac Peninsula has become world famous for its autochthonous grape variety called Plavac (small seed distinct colours), especially in the regions of Dingac and Postup.
In these areas the vineyards are spread down to the sea and are the steepest in the world. The sun exposure increases the sweetness of the wine.
The Dingač wine from Pelješac is considered the best red wine in Croatia. Dingač’s colour is ruby-red and has a pronounced flavour bouquet of berries and Mediterranean flowers, herbs, berries, spices and tobacco taste.
The Plavac Mali Grape, in 2002, was discovered to be the predecessor of the very well know Californian Zinfandel. The Californian and Peljesac wines are actually the same variety which can also be confirmed by all those who try them.
On Korcula island, the Pošip variety does well, producing one of the most appreciated white wines in Croatia. The area around Čara is an especially important wine growing area, as is Smokvica. This variety has a high sugar percentage.
Croatia is a wonderful land with diversity and grape varieties, but what distinguished the wines produced in this country from others nowadays are the exceptional passionate winemakers that continue a family tradition.
Best Time to have a wine tour:
The climate and coastline are ideal and Dalmatia is perfect during the months of July and August. The islands are wonderful to experience during those months and private boats or ferries are always available so you can move around.
Croatia wine tour: When to go
Given its enviable climate and coastline, it’s no surprise that Dalmatia is overrun in July and August. At these times of year Split and Dubrovnik can feel sweltering and stifling, so it’s better to escape to the relative peace of the islands.
Dubrovnik has two festivals of interest to wine lovers who can visit off-season: FestiWine in April and October’s Good Food festival.
Ston, at the southeasterly tip of Pelješac, is famous for its oysters, and has a festival in their honour in late March.
Contact Haute Retreats to plan a trip to Croatia, our team of expert travel designers can recommend the best villas, luxury resorts, restaurants and activities for your interests.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]