3 Croatian Reds Every Wine-Lover Should Taste Next
If you’re on the hunt for new wines to try from Croatia, the wide range of indigenous and international grape varieties can be overwhelming. Despite the popularity of well-known native varieties such as Plavac Mali, Teran, Pošip, Malvasia Istriana, and Graševina, the selection has never been greater. To simplify your search, we’ve compiled tasting notes for three exceptional red wines. These recommendations can help you discover something unique and exciting from Croatia’s diverse wine scene!
Introduction to Croatian wine
One of the main reasons the wine industry in Croatia is so dynamic and diverse lies in the difference within the wine regions in such a “small country.” We created a Croatian wine map that could help you discover beyond the wines you’ve already heard of or tasted.
You can divide Croatia roughly in two main regions, at least regarding winemaking and climate conditions.
Coastal Croatia with the Mediterranean influence and warm and dry summers. Plavac Mali, the most potential red variety of the coast, then
- Teran from Istria,
- Crljenak (also known as Zinfandel in USA, Primitivo in Puglia, Kratošija in Montenegro and North Macedonia, Tribidrag and Pribidrag in Croatia).
Along with crisp and refreshing white
- and Malvasia Istriana, are the most recognizable white wines of this region.
With a moderate continental climate, Continental Croatia is best known for aromatic and refreshing whites.
Some of the best Croatian sparkling wines are made in this part of the country. International white varieties, such as
- Sauvignon Blanc,
- Riesling and
- Gewurztraminer thrives in these cooler, moderate conditions, but you should experience Graševina as the most diverse grape variety found here.
Red blends are standard, as well as fabulous Pinot Noirs.
Three Croatian Reds Every Wine-Lover Should Taste Next
Here is a cheat sheet if you want to try something different, and maybe not always on the top of your mind when you think about buying Croatian wines.
Two indigenous grape varieties and one international blend. Let’s start!
Sansigot, Ivan Katunar Winery
Very rare to find, Sansigot makes interesting light to medium-bodied red wines. Although this red shows more primary fresh red fruits like cherries and floral aromas, it has a touch of a slightly developed nose with meat, oak, and vanilla.
The aromatic profile makes Sansigot an exciting wine to taste. On the palate, you discover vivid acidity that makes it perfect for drinking all year round and pairing it with food.
A rare and ancient Croatian grape variety, with its origins from the small island Susak, is gaining attention for its unique taste. Known as “Sansigot” or “Sušćan crni,” this type of wine was historically a popular thirst quencher among field workers.
Ivan Katunar Winery, is now one of only a few producers of varietal Sansigot on the island.
The winery is located in the historical town of Vrbnik, surrounded by the most important wine-producing area – the valley of Vrbnik, famous for the golden white wine of Krk – Žlahtina.
Ciconia Nigra Cuvée Superior, Josić Winery
Ciconia Nigra Cuvée Superior is a blend of international varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. The vineyards from which they came are located in the continental part of Croatia, where the Josić Winery is situated.
This Slavonian cuvée is a powerful and deep red wine with an aromatic profile full of ripe and dark fruits, with oak and vanilla aromas to follow. Balanced and enjoyable on the palate with a medium to long finish.
The production of the Superior Cuvée is limited.
Josić family restored old wine cellars in Baranja, dating back to 1935. and now offer a dining experience inside the renovated, tunnel-shaped old wine cellar.
It’s a unique experience if you visit the Baranja wine sub-region and one of Croatia’s most exciting wine cellars.
Castel Zinfandel, Bedalov Winery
Bedalov, a true family winery located near Split in Kaštel Kambelovac, has gained a reputation for producing top-quality wine through a hands-on approach.
With a passion for winemaking and a commitment to preserving the land for future generations, the Bedalov family has nurtured their vineyards for many years, using only eco-friendly methods.
The vineyard, located on the southern slopes of Kozjak, benefits from its southern position, ideal temperature, and excellent ventilation, making it an excellent location for cultivating indigenous Dalmatian grape varieties.
Castel Zinfandel, a limited edition wine made from carefully selected grapes grown on wooden stakes, is one of the winery’s special wines.
There is an interesting note to the character of this wine, an intense flavor and rustic feel, reflecting its Dalmatian origin.
This Crljenak Kaštelanski named Castel Zinfandel is a wine with lavish bouquet of red and dark fruit aromas, a combination of ethereal resin and mineral-rich salt in the finish.
Despite its high nutritional value and strong extraction, the wine attains harmony, conveying an authentic representation of its varietal and regional characteristics.
Looking for a perfect gift for wine lover friends and family members who enjoy a good bottle of wine?
Surprise them with Croatian wines and let them uncover some new favorites!