Discovering The Wonderful Wines Of Croatia
If you consider yourself a bit of a wine connoisseur, you can’t miss the opportunity to taste some of the finest wines that the Mediterranean has to offer. Most people are unfamiliar with Croatian wine and have never considered it as an option, gravitating more towards popularized wines from France or Italy. But what if we were to tell you that some of the best wines in the Mediterranean region are right here in Croatia? That’s why we have compiled the ultimate guide to the best wine in Croatia that is sure to get your taste buds tingling!
Some background on Croatian wine
Croatia is home to over 100 indigenous grape varieties. From the grapes that are turned into wine, they offer unique textures and tastes that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. So it’s no wonder that there are plenty of choices when it comes to choosing the best wine in Croatia to try. But where do you start?
The different wine regions in Croatia
It’s no secret that the Mediterranean has ideal temperatures for growing grapes. Seasons in Croatia offer mild, long and dry summers with short, wet winters which are the perfect weather conditions for the best wine grapes to grow.
There are two areas of Croatia in particular that are best known for their wine – these are the Primorska Hrvatska (Coastal Region) and Kontinentalna Hrvatska the Continental (Inland) Region. These are then divided further into subregions known as the Croatian Uplands, Istria, Kvarner, Slavonia and Podunavlje, and the Dalmatian wine region.
These areas are home to some of the prettiest vineyards in the whole of Europe. Why not add a Croatian vineyard to a customized trip or book a place on our wine and culinary delights tour that is perfect for foodies?
The best wine in Croatia
With so many wine-rich regions and a vast selection of grapes in Croatia, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices of what wine to taste. That’s why we have put together a list of the best wines in Croatia, specifically the top 5 you should try on your travels!
Plavac Mali: This Croatian staple originates from central and southern Dalmatia (more specifically the island of Korčula where most of the vineyards are seen). The name of this wine, Plavac Mali, derives from the small blue grapes in which it is harvested – plavo meaning blue whilst mali pertains to small.
This indigenous red wine is rich, full of flavor and low in acidity. It projects a deep red color with notes of blackberry, dark cherries, pepper, carob, dry figs, and spice. Created as a dry wine, it is perfect to serve with local cheese, seafood and ham.
Alcohol level – 12%-17%
Graševina: One of the most popular white wines throughout the whole of Croatia. Located specifically in Ilok, Erdut and Baranja of Eastern Croatia, this wine tends to lean towards flowery and fruity notes.
This white wine is considered dry, fresh, and aromatic with a citrus flavor profile and apple-like notes. It serves well with starters and fattier dishes such as cured meats. Shellfish, local cheeses and salads are also worth pairing with it.
Alcohol level – 14%+
Pošip: Located in Dalmatia, and more specifically the island of Korčula, Pelješac Peninsula, Smokvica and Čara where most of the vineyards are located. Pošip is extremely popular and considered one of the best wines in Croatia and is largely produced year on year to meet the high demand from the locals. Due to its highly regarded status, it was the first white wine in Croatia to be awarded the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).
This white wine is dry and harbors a strong yet refreshing taste with a flavor profile of citrus, figs, peach and dried apricot. Pošip wines have high acidic and sugar levels with a distinctive fragrance. It goes well with fish-based dishes and light cheese such as Paški or Pag cheese.
Alcohol level – 12%-13%
Babić: An indigenous red grape grown mostly in the Dalmatia region. This full-bodied, dark and dense wine often contains a high amount of sugar and alcohol content. Once poured, it’s typically a very dark red color that can be described as almost purplish in some lighting.
This red wine has a fruity flavor profile with hints of figs, dark berries and plums. Hints of spice and tobacco can often be tasted in these types of wines as well. Babić wines pair well with meat-based dishes and vegetables such as mushrooms and potatoes.
Alcohol level – 13%-15%
Istrian Malvasia: The exact origins of this white wine variety remain unclear, but it is considered to be an indigenous wine variety from Istria. It is grown on the entire Istrian Peninsula from which it gets its name. Sometimes this wine variety is referred to as Malvasia Istriana, although it is not made from the same grape as Malvasia from Italy.
This wine is rich and fruity with floral and fruity aromas. It has a medium acidity level and high alcohol content. It pairs nicely with seafood or shellfish such as oysters and white fish. It also goes well with meat-based dishes such as pork tenderloins.
Alcohol level – 11.5-13.5%
Croatia has a lot to offer in terms of wines to try. Sure you can sample a wide variety of wines in one of the many luxury hotels in the country, but for some people that is not enough. Maybe you want to explore some of the best wineries and vineyards in Croatia to get up close and personal with the wine-making process. Or have a tasting session of local Croatian cuisines, specifically paired with some of the best wines in Croatia.
Speak to one of our agents today to create a customized tour that contains a trip to a vineyard or at least sampling wines at some of the local hotels.