The Top 10 Must-Visit Wineries in Croatia
Enjoy the finest wines at Croatia’s best wineries
Whether you are a passionate wine lover or simply enjoy a glass of wine from time to time, you definitely cannot miss the opportunity to explore the richness and the variety of Croatian local wines. When it comes to designing wine tours, Select Croatia will help you combine those great wines with other must-see Croatian attractions, coupling food & wine tastings with sightseeing and cultural experiences. To help you get a deeper understanding of the most interesting winemaking locations in the country, we have designed a short guide listing the 10 best wineries in Croatia.
Korta Katarina Winery, Peljesac
The Pelješac Peninsula is a long stretch of land extending out into the Adriatic, just one hour north of Dubrovnik. Due to its long tradition of wine-making, this area is an inevitable attraction for all visitors to Dalmatia, the country’s southernmost region.
Home to Dingač and Postup, the first appellations of controlled origin to be registered in Croatia, the peninsula offers many opportunities for wine lovers to experience some of Croatia’s finest wines, accompanied by the region’s delicious gourmet food specialties.
If you are visiting the picturesque city of Dubrovnik, you should not miss the chance to spend a day among the vineyards that dot this part of the country.
Select Croatia’s Peljesac Coastal Wine Rapsody Tour will introduce you to the local wine-making traditions at the Korta Katerina Winery, one of the region’s best. It is located in the small coastal town of Orebic where you will have the chance to taste some of their finest wines, while enjoying a breathtaking view of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.
Milos Winery, Peljesac
Miloš was probably the first to introduce wine-making in the micro-region of Pelješac. The production is almost entirely based on the Plavac Mali (little blue) grape variety that results in flavored and complex red wines.
Frano, the owner, and his sons have an eccentric approach to wine-making that focuses on bringing forward the aging potential of their wines by only using natural yeasts, in addition to letting the wines age in typical Slavonian oak barrels. The Miloš’ baseline Plavac Mali and their signature wine, Stagnum, should not be missed.
Rizman Winery, Komarna
Located in the village of Komarna, on the mainland near the Pelješac Peninsula, the newly-opened Rizman Winery is situated atop a hill. Olive trees and vineyards flourish here, and the estate offers wonderful views over the sea. If you are en route to or from Dubrovnik, this is a convenient pit stop to relax for a couple of hours with a glass of wine, while drinking in the spectacular coastal views.
The winery produces high-quality wines, including the must-try Plavac Mali, Pošip and a very interesting Tribidrag. The Stimac family, whose most famous member is probably Igor (a footballer and former member of the Croatian national soccer team), also produce two varieties of extra-virgin olive oil.
Plenkovic Winery, Hvar Island
Hvar is a popular destination for tourists traveling to Croatia. The island claims to be the sunniest spot in Europe, with more than 2,715 hours of sunlight per year, and the ranges in temperature are minimal.
Rolling vineyards and olive trees constitute the perfect frame for two of Croatia’s top wineries: Plenkovic Winery, which has won multiple awards, and Duboković Winery, home to some of the finest wine tasting experiences on the island.
Select Croatia offers an Evening Wine Tasting in Hvar so that you can explore the picturesque Hvar countryside, taking a break at these two celebrated wineries along the way. You will be introduced to their cellars, production facilities and, of course, get to taste wines made from Plavac and other local varieties of purple grapes. Included in the tasting are two sweet dessert wines and a trio of grappas.
Duboković Winery, Hvar Island
Ivo Duboković and his family have been making wine in a small, candlelit cellar on the island of Hvar for centuries. Accompanied by Ivo’s personal playlists, wines are produced from the beloved Dalmatian Plavac Mali grape, as well as from island-specific grapes like Drnekuša, Parć, Bogdanuša, Kuč and Maraština.
Duboković’s wine spectrum covers almost all styles, from crisp whites to masculine reds. The wines boast intriguing names like 2,718 Sati Sunce u Boci (2,718 Hours of Sun in a Bottle) and Prvi Poljubac (First Kiss, a traditional prosek dessert wine).
Stina Winery, Brac Island
Brač is the largest island in the Dalmatian region and it’s known for the white stones (stina, symbol of the island) that were used to build Diocletian’s Palace in Split; some people also claim that these stones were used for the construction of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Many of the most famous Croatian poets, sculptors and painters have drawn inspiration from Brač stones, and so did one of the best wineries in the country: Stina Winery. The name also refers to the difficulty and fatigue of cultivating grapes in a region that is characterized by extremely steep slopes.
In 2009, the winery underwent a thorough renovation and new grapevines were planted. Traditional cultivation methods were kept, however, and all the work in the vineyard is still done by hand. Stina wines are distinguished by their strikingly innovative packaging — the bottles were designed by the renowned Croatian design studio, Bruketa &Žinić.
Boskinac Winery, Pag Island
The island of Pag is known worldwide for its entertaining attractions, including the numerous music festivals that take place every year on its dreamy beaches. But Pag is not just about fun: the island is also well known for the incredible lacework tradition, recognized by Unesco as an intangible cultural heritage of Humanity, and for its extraordinary local gastronomy that includes the production of excellent wines.
The most appreciated winery on the island is certainly the Boškinac Winery. It was built in year 2000 and has since then been home of some of Croatia’s best red wines, receiving many national awards and recognitions. The cellar is best known for coupage of cabernet sauvignon and merlot and a series of local white wines.
Located in a quiet valley amidst pine trees, vineyards and olive groves, the winery offers wine tasting opportunities that include innovative interpretations of the island’s cuisine; for example, ewe’s milk cheese with anchovies.
Bibich Winery, Skradin
Bibich Winery is located in the hills above Skradin, five miles east of the idyllic port city of Šibenik, and is strategically situated between the coast and the hinterland, not far from the National Park of Krka.
Although this is an incredibly picturesque part of Croatia, it was badly hit during the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990’s and was completely destroyed in the War of Independence. The winery was rebuilt in 1995, and today, over two-thirds its production is served in upscale eateries in the USA.
Bibich has been able to produce superior quality blends of indigenous varieties and noble grapes, proving to the world that Croatian wines are a force to be reckoned with! Some must-try wines include the single vineyard Bas de Bas, made from 85% Syrah and 15% Merlot.
Kozlovic Winery, Buje
Istria, with its rolling hills and valleys planted with grapevines and olive trees, is also known as the “Tuscany of Croatia.” One of the top Istrian wineries is Kozlovic, named for a family of fourth generation winemakers that is among the oldest in the region.
The most ancient part of the cellar was built in 1904 but a newer section, added in 2012, brought in modern technology to help improve their winemaking procedures and raise their wines to the highest levels of quality.
Select Croatia offers wine tasting opportunities in this picturesque winery where the best Istrian wines, including Malvazija, Muskat, and Teran, will be accompanied by cured prosciutto, local cheeses and other finger foods.
Ilocki Podrumi Winery, Salvonia
Located along the Danube River, Slavonia is the most eastern part of Croatia that borders on Hungary and Serbia. The region is famous for its far-reaching views of the plains, combined with traditional food specialties and interesting wines.
If you want to explore the rich gastronomic heritage of Eastern Croatia, check out Select Croatia’s Sensational Salvonia: Danube Kingdom of Food, Wine and Antiques. This tour will introduce you to one of the top wine producers in the country, the Old Cellar of Ilok. For more than five hundred years, these ancient cellars have been used for the maturation of high-quality wines in the traditional way: in wooden barrels made from sturdy Slavonian oak.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Odescalchi dukes built these wine cellars under the Ilok Castle. They are still in use today and are owned by Ilocki Podrumi, a company that produces a great variety of fine wines including Traminac, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Rein Riesling and Chardonnay varieties.
written by Filippo Rossi
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