Wine & More

7 Croatian Must-Try Summer White Wines

Aminess Korčula Heritage Hotel

We know! Summer in Croatia is practically a synonym for hedonism.

We can’t help ourselves from taking full advantage of every vacation moment, and we know what that means.

It means having the ideal wine for every opportunity we wish to enrich.

To simplify things, the following list is a must-try selection of wines from indigenous grape varieties of Croatia’s main regions, emphasizing the coastal region.

Zure Grk Bartul

Photo: Zure, Grk Bartul

The Batistić-Zure family resides in the village of Lumbarda, which graces the eastern fringes of Korčula Island.

The village is renowned for its exquisite cultivation of indigenous white grapes, particularly the Grk variety.

Thriving in the sandy soils of Lumbarda, this grape has absorbed the primal vigor of the sun, flourishing within this extraordinary setting.

Grk Bartul is an exceptional dry wine crafted from the indigenous Grk.

Originating from a newly cultivated vineyard, this wine represents a fresh perspective and innovative approach to harnessing the potential of the renowned sandy fields in Lumbarda.

The aromatic profile reveals melon, pear, hints of dried hay, and white pepper.

If you happen to come across this exceptional wine, we highly recommend trying it. It’s worth noting that Grk wines are in high demand in Croatia due to their limited availability.

Grk is a truly unique variety characterized by the absence of functional male flowers, necessitating cross-pollination from another grape variety.

Such distinctiveness is a rarity in only 1% of known wine grape varieties worldwide.

Franković Malvazija Istriana

Photo: Franković, Malvasia Istriana

Franković’s distinct Malvasia Istriana demonstrates remarkable character and embodies the true character of this Istrian variety without going to extremes.

The white Istrian soil prevails in the renowned Santa Lucija wine-growing subregion, nurturing exceptional wines, particularly the renowned Buje Malvasia.

Hints of citrus, orange peel, and peach intertwine with notes of pineapple, accompanied by the classic Malvasian scent reminiscent of acacia flowers.

This harmonious wine offers an intense and well-balanced palate, leaving a lasting impression with a delightful aftertaste.

This Malvasia Istriana is a year-over-year choice of connoisseurs and one of the best-value wines on the market.

If you’re craving seafood, you’re on the right track.

Stina Pošip

Photo: Stina, Pošip

What kind of summer with a view of the deep blue sea would be complete without a Pošip? An almost forgotten variety, accidentally saved from the brink of extinction, has today become one of Dalmatia’s most widespread assortments.

While the inhabitants of Korčula, the island from which the variety originates, argue over whose Pošip is better, one of the best Pošip wines is also made on the island of Brač.

You’ll find the first bottle empty before the fish has left the grill.

Caution is advised, as Pošip is a variety bathed in the southern sun, which results in higher alcohol content.

Shade and a full plate will complement it well. Luckily, Stina knows how to achieve the right balance. It’s a glass balance of sun, Dalmatian herbs, and dried fruit.

Vislander Bugava Antique

Photo: Vislander, Bugava Antique

If you are from the island of Vis, you may find this wine to be a true representation of the region. Upon discovering the label and family history of the winery, wine lovers may develop a strong personal connection to it.

Bugava, more known by the name of Vugava, is a variety from Vis, jealously considered a privilege of the people of Vis for centuries, isolated from the mainland and modern trends.

Vislander Bugava Antique is a layered wine that reveals luscious fruitiness intertwined with the pronounced aromas of apricot and tropical fruits.

Delicate undertones of roasted nuts and a subtle hint of salinity gracefully linger on the palate, creating a captivating progression on the aftertaste.

This wine ensures a true summery refreshment.

This dry wine of firm structure can follow an entire meal as it pairs wonderfully with piquant tastes such as pesto sauce or mature cheese, but it’s equally rewarding with lighter seafood appetizers.

What better reason to give it a try than its silver medal at this year’s Decanter awards!

Ante Sladić Debit

Photo: Ante Sladić, Debit

Ante Sladić Winery, located in the picturesque village of Plastovo, sits atop a hill overlooking Skradin and the enchanting Krka National Park.

Rooted in a deep appreciation for indigenous grape varieties, this family-owned winery exemplifies an unwavering commitment to cultivating their vineyards and preserving the winemaking tradition.

Debit, a once-prized currency, takes center stage among their esteemed offerings. Its illustrious history includes numerous accolades, exports to renowned wine destinations like France and Italy, and even the admiration of Marshal Marmont himself.

Debit embodies the essence of Plastovo’s terroir with remarkable finesse, displaying a captivating interplay of minerality and freshness.

This light, invigorating, and impeccably dry wine has a truly distinctive character.

Aromas of citrus intermingle with the delicate notes of chamomile, while on the palate, the essence of the sea, hints of salt, and a subtle stony quality.

It still takes a true master, familiar with the soul of the variety, to transform it into an authentic wine.

A smart choice is Ante Sladić.

Kutjevo Graševina

Photo: Kutjevo, Graševina Vrhunska

What Pošip or Plavac Mali is to Dalmatia, Graševina is to all of Croatia.

This most common variety in Croatia, grown predominately on the continental part of the country, is today recognized as entirely indigenous.

In Jancis Robinson’s wine atlas, Graševina is accepted as the primary name for the variety otherwise known as

  • Welschriesling in Austria,
  • Riesling Italico in Italy,
  • Laškirizling in Slovenia or
  • Olaszriesling in Hungary.

This is thanks to the high quality of wine that this variety brings about in Slavonia and the Danube wine region, especially the so-called Golden Valley in Požega county, where the Kutjevo appellation is located.

The finest example of a Graševina is bottled by the Kutjevo Winery, which ensures that your summer days are filled with freshness and aroma.

Kutjevo Winery’s signature label, Graševina Vrhunska, epitomizes exceptional quality.

Its flavor profile offers a delightful blend of freshness, harmony, and vibrant citrus notes, complemented by subtle undertones of green apples and a pronounced minerality, with a lingering aftertaste that unveils nuances of chamomile.

It’s extremely rewarding for an isolated sip by the pool but has enough body to follow even heavier meals of pasta and white meat, especially with an aromatic seasonal sauce.

Jerković Kujundžuša

Photo: Jerković. Kujundžuša

The harder to pronounce, the more interesting – or so they say. 🙂 You might ponder this rule as you order the tongue-twisting “Kujundžuša.”

Or read our article and check out our video on pronouncing Croatian grape varieties. 🙂

Either way, while doing so in the cool shade of a restaurant or a beach, rest assured that this is a local specialty with which you can’t go wrong.

If Kujundžuša presents too much of a linguistic feat, the winemaker’s last name will suffice.

Jerković is a critically acclaimed master of incredibly drinkable yet characteristically distinguishing wines.

With its greenish-yellow hue captured within the glass, this wine exhibits a discreet yet captivating aroma and a gentle, delightful flavor, distinct minerality, and invigorating freshness.

As you savor its bouquet, you will encounter delightful notes of citrus, peach, and the subtle essence of tomato leaf.

An anchovy on your plate, marinated or salted, won’t undermine this local variety’s minimalist and solid structure.

Discover award-winning and boutique selections that promise new and delicious experiences!

Don’t miss out on the endless possibilities of finding hidden wine gems handpicked by our expert team!

If you are unsure where to start, explore our carefully curated wine case selection to find your next favorite bottle today!

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