The cuisine is an essential part of Croatian life which makes wines also inevitable part of it. And Croatia is all about diversity – everything is so very different in a small surface. Diversity is obvious in everything here, in geography, territory, and cuisine and of course, planted grapes which are the most important for this subject.
From the very beginnings, cuisine and wine go together. The tradition of winemaking goes back from the 6th century BC. First, it was inherited from the ancient Greeks and Romans and it has been ameliorated in Croatia for over two centuries now. These days, when the culture of wine growing and wine tasting is being popularized, let this divine juice lead you in a tour you definitely won’t forget.
"Wine is sunlight held together by the water"
Feel the inspiration from this famous Galileo quote and begin your cruise. From Istria on north Croatia to Dalmatia on the south, and either you like red or wine wines, whether you’re a true wine connoisseur or you drink a glass from time to time, you’ll love this journey of a variety of flavours of different Croatian regions and finally you’ll learn that Zinfandel is in fact of Croatian origin. Now that we revealed the happy end of this story, let us introduce you with few distinct wine regions and several extreme wine-makers to ease the orientation through most interesting winemaking locations in Croatia.
Boskinac Winery, Pag island
Pag island, other than being a party destination, it has a very big cultural heritage. It took place on the UNESCO world heritage list because of its wonderful lacework tradition. Gastronomy that comes from this northern gem of Adriatic is very well known which, of course, includes the production of outstanding wines. Not only that is being best-known winery on the island, but Boškinac winery is also one of the most popular wineries in the country. Built in 2000, on the northern part of the Pag island, in a quiet valley of olive trees and pine trees, it offers a variety of award-winning red wines and few white wines. Boškinac cellar is best known for Boškinac Cuvee - produced from the international varieties cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Among white wines, their proud is Gegić, produced from the variety from the same name and Boškinac white, which consist of chardonnay, gegić and sauvignon. Advice on how to pair this island’s authentic specialities with these excellent wines you’ll also get once you step in this wine oasis, so it’s really worth visiting it.
Bibich Winery, Skradin
Located on the hills above Skradin, five miles east from the port of Šibenik, Bibich winery during years has kept the tradition of winemaking. Family roots go back to the 15th century where the property and wine trees are still. Family Bibich was continuously in winemaking with few pauses. After WW II Mr Petar Bibich renewed wine production and their placement on the market. Production was focused on a variety of sort debit and buyers were coming from all parts of former Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, during the War of Independence in the early 90’s the property was completely destroyed and after the war, it has begun recovery again. After several years of work, training and cooperation with several world wine producers, oenologists and wine connoisseurs, the first wines are coming to market in 1998 and won first awards. Today, 20 years later, Bibich wines are on the wine lists of the world's finest restaurants.
Biograd na moru
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Stina Winery, Brač
Stina is a Croatian word for a stone which makes a lots of sense coming from the island of Brač – Diocletian palace in Split was made in famous white Brač stone and some say it was even brought in Washington DC while White house was built. Stina, as the strongest symbol of the island, was a justified inspiration for the name of this winery. The winery is located in the old historical building of “The first Dalmatian Wine Cooperative”, at a seafront, on the Bol’s main promenade so the spirit of the old winery is well preserved. Today is completely renovated and it consists of winemaking facilities, a wine cellar and a wine tasting room. Don’t miss tasting their Stina Pošip and Plavac mali barrique, which they’re very proud of.
Putalj Winery, Kaštel Sućurac
Kaštela are very proud of Crljenak Kaštelanski - very difficult to pronounce but very drinkable thanks to its distant relative - Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo), which is, according to the analysis, on the same genetic level. In Kaštel Sućurac, first one of seven villages of Kaštela, Mr Anton Kovač has planted Zinfandel vineyard and made his dream come true – he produces better and better wines during years. He also starts experimenting with rose wines and planted Plavac Mali (Zinfandel offspring).
Make your sailing tour interesting and a bit jolly – plan a short visit to at least one of the wine-making destination, make memorable moments and experience one of the biggest reasons why Croatia is always on top gastronomy charts all over the world.
Duboković Winery, Hvar island
On the north part of the Hvar island, in Jelsa, family Duboković has been making wine in a small, cosy cellar for centuries. His tradition of believing in a natural process, using organic products for the best tasting wines has brought him a reputation of a Croatia’s leading boutique winemaker. Their wine spectrum goes from crispy white wines to masculine red wines. Sympathy is also caught thanks to the names he gives – Moj otok (tr. My island), a blend of white varietals Maraština, Bogdanjuša and Kuč, or 2718 Sati sunce u boci (tr. 2718 Hours of Sun in a Bottle) -made of Plavac Mali - which is the average hours of sunshine during the year on Hvar, or Prvi poljubac (tr. First Kiss) – famous dessert wine, prošek.
Plenković Winery, Hvar island
On the southern slopes of the sunniest island - Hvar, extending from Milna – Sv. Nedelja – Zavala, Plenkovic vineyards are planted. Vineyards are being processed exclusively manually. The predominant grape variety is Plavac Mali and Pošip, rarer are Bogdanuša and Maraskina. Winery Plenković has been founded in 1986. and in 1993. they are changing the name in Zlatan otok which is today’s brand. From the very beginnings, they have achieved great success on both national and international competitions and fairs and they had been elected for the winemaker of the year twice and ever since this award exists they have been among the top-ranked.
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Miloš Winery, Pelješac
Stunning Pelješac peninsula with its beautiful nature and surroundings has this perfect position with a big inflow of solar energy, warmth, light and sedimentary sandy soil, which are the ideal condition for cultivation of Plavac mali. On the slopes of the Papratno cove near Ponikve village, family Miloš has been in wine production for generations. They are specialized in producing different types of Plavac mali – dry, semi-dry, half sweet and dessert wines. The quality of their wines is best said with excellent reviews that had positioned them on the top of the winemaking scene.
Grgich Winery, Pelješac
Grgić wines were established in 1996 by legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Mr Miljenko Grgić. He, together with his daughter and his nephew started to produce the finest wines from the Dalmatian grapes, using the techniques he used already in California. Their biggest prides are Grgić Pošip (white wine) and Grgić Plavac mali (red wine), world-known wines that regularly appear on the wine lists of the most prestigious restaurants. All Grgić wines in Trstenik have been judged to be top premium wines and his Plavac mali has been recognized twice as the best red Croatian wine on the market.
Matuško Winery, Pelješac
By now you already noticed that Pelješac wine route is the most interesting one J In Potomje, few kilometres above Trstenik, Matuško winery developed from a small wine-tasting cellar in one of the most well-known Croatian wine-tasting destinations in last few years. The most celebrated wine is Dingač, but their selection of wines is also fulfilled with inevitable Postup, Rukatac, Pošip and Plavac mali.
Rendete la vostra vacanza di vela interessante e un po’ di più - pianificate una breve visita ad almeno una delle destinazioni di vinificazione; createvi momenti ed esperienze indimenticabili di uno dei motivi principali per cui la Croazia è sempre al top delle classifiche gastronomiche di tutto il mondo.