Nenad Trifunovic

Are Croatian Wines Expensive?

Good Croatian wines are expensive compared to mass-produced industrial wines, but if you know where and what to look for, they offer incredible value for money.

There are two main reasons why Croatian wine is considered expensive:

  1. Tourism: Less than 4 million people live in Croatia, and almost 20 million tourists visit Croatia annually. The most significant number of tourists visit the coast because of the genuinely fantastic sea, and it’s mainly during July and August as if there are no other months of the year when you can enjoy it on the coast. In addition to the sea and natural beauty, historical sights, and culture are essential to the experience—especially table culture. Enjoying wine is definitely part of that culture. As demand for Croatian wines continues to rise, driven in part by the influx of approximately 20 million tourists who visit Croatia annually, the prices are inevitably influenced, resulting in a perception of higher costs.
  2. Dedication to quality: Wine production in Croatia is small compared to the big wine countries. Croatia is a country of thousands of small, family-run wineries. True, there are a few large wineries. But, even they are small by world standards. The largest Croatian wineries’ production capacity is smaller than those considered small wineries worldwide. This results in a dedication to the quality and unique character of the wine because Croatian wines cannot compete with cheap, mass-produced wines.

The truth is that the perception of all Croatian wines as expensive is superficial. Winewise, Croatia is one of the most diverse countries in the world, especially considering its small size. Therefore, with little effort, you can find numerous options at various price points.Are-Croatian-Wines-Expensive-Tourist-enjoying-Croatia

How much is wine in Croatia?

To answer how much is a glass of wine in Croatia, typical prices in a mid-range restaurant are usually around 6 Eur. 

However, The price of wine in Croatia can vary depending on several factors, such as the region, the winery, the specific wine variety, and the quality. Therefore, while it is true that some Croatian wines can be perceived as expensive, it is important to note that there is a wide range of options available at different price points.

At the lower end of the price spectrum, you can find affordable Croatian wines offering good value for money. These wines are often produced by smaller, family-run wineries and are crafted with care and attention to detail. Prices for such wines can range from around 10 to 15 Eur per bottle.

Moving up the price scale, you will find premium and limited-production wines showcasing the best Croatian winemaking. These wines can be priced higher, ranging from 20 Eur to 50 Eur per bottle or even more, depending on the rarity and prestige of the wine.

It is worth mentioning that wine prices in Croatia can also be influenced by factors such as age, grape variety, production techniques, and vineyard location. Additionally, wines available at restaurants and wine bars may have different pricing due to various factors like overhead costs and markup.

While Croatian wines can be perceived as expensive compared to mass-produced industrial wines, exploring the diverse range of options is essential. By doing so, wine enthusiasts can discover Croatian wines that suit their preferences and budgets, offering a delightful experience and excellent value for money.

Remember, the best way to fully appreciate Croatian wines is to explore different regions, visit local wineries, and engage with passionate winemakers eager to share their stories and creations. Or, you can simply ask us 😁Are-Croatian-Wines-Expensive-Wine-Tasting-in-a-bar

What wine to buy in Croatia?

When choosing wine in Croatia, the options can be overwhelming due to the country’s rich viticultural heritage and diverse wine regions. However, here’s a guide on what wines to consider based on their popularity and distinctive characteristics.

  • Plavac Mali: This indigenous grape variety is considered the king of Croatian red wines. It thrives in the Dalmatia region. Especially the Pelješac peninsula (Dingač vineyards), producing robust, full-bodied red wines with rich flavors of dark fruits, spices, and a hint of Mediterranean herbs. Look for reputable producers like Miloš, Kiridžija, Korta Katarina or Saints Hills for excellent examples of Plavac Mali.
  • Malvazija Istriana: If you prefer easy-sipping white wine, Malvazija Istriana is a must-try. It is grown primarily in the Istrian peninsula and produces crisp, fragrant wines with notes of citrus, apple, and acacia flowers. Some well-regarded producers include Coronica, Kabola, Benvenuti and Meneghetti.
  • Graševina: Known as Welschriesling in other parts of Europe, Graševina is Croatia’s most widely planted white grape variety. It thrives in the continental climate of Slavonia and is mainly used for producing fresh, fruity wines with balanced acidity. Producers such as Krauthaker, Iločki Podrumi, and Kutjevo have garnered praise for their Graševina wines.
  • Teran: This red grape variety is indigenous to the Istrian region and is known for producing wines with a distinct ruby color, lively acidity, and flavours of forrest berries and earthiness. Some notable Teran producers include Coronica, Kabola, and Benvenuti.
  • Babić: Hailing from the Dalmatian region, Babić is an ancient grape variety that yields red wines with balanced freshness, marasca cherry flavours, and a touch of Mediterranean herbs. Look for wines from artisanal producers like Prgin, Delusional Wine, and Testament.

These suggestions are just a starting point, and Croatia offers many more exciting wine varieties and styles to explore. When purchasing wine, consider visiting local wineries or specialized wine shops where knowledgeable staff can guide you based on your preferences. Also, don’t hesitate to try lesser-known producers and discover hidden gems, as Croatian wines continue to surprise and impress with their quality and uniqueness.Are-Croatian-Wines-Expensive-Picking-the-wine-bottle

Where to buy wines in Croatia?

When buying wines in Croatia, you have several options to explore. Here are some suggestions on where to find and purchase Croatian wines:

  • Wineries and Vineyards: One of the best ways to experience Croatian wines is by visiting wineries and vineyards directly. Croatia is home to numerous family-run wineries that warmly welcome visitors for tastings and sales. Exploring different wine regions allows you to immerse yourself in the local wine culture and directly support the winemakers. In addition, you can often purchase wines at the cellar door.
  • Wine Shops and Boutiques: In larger cities and popular tourist destinations, you will find specialised wine shops and boutiques that offer a wide selection of Croatian wines. These shops curate a diverse range of bottles from various regions and wineries nationwide. The knowledgeable staff can provide recommendations based on your preferences and help you discover hidden gems or exclusive releases.
  • Online Retailers: With the rise of e-commerce, several online retailers specialise in Croatian wines. These platforms offer convenience and accessibility, allowing you to browse a wide range of wines and have them delivered to your doorstep. Therefore, choosing reputable online retailers focusing on quality and reliable shipping is important. And we are all too well aware of that 😀
  • Restaurants and Wine Bars: When dining out in Croatia, especially at establishments known for their wine selection, you can explore and sample a variety of Croatian wines. Many restaurants and wine bars offer extensive wine lists featuring local bottles, allowing you to discover new favourites. Sometimes, you may also purchase wines directly from the restaurant to enjoy at home.Are-Croatian-Wines-Expensive-Where-to-buy-wines-in-Croatia

To conclude – Priceless vs Worthless

In conclusion, Croatian wines offer a world of discovery and exceptional value for wine enthusiasts. While some may perceive them as expensive, exploring the diverse range of options is important. Croatia’s small, family-run wineries and their dedication to quality contribute to each bottle’s unique character and craftsmanship.

By venturing beyond mass-produced industrial wines, wine lovers can unlock the treasures of Croatian wine regions and uncover hidden gems. Croatia offers an array of indigenous grape varieties and distinctive styles that cater to different palates.

Whether you visit wineries and vineyards, explore online retailers, or dine at restaurants and wine bars, the world of Croatian wines is within reach. Embrace the opportunity to savour the rich flavours, embrace the stories behind each bottle, and appreciate the passion of the winemakers who bring them to life.

So, the next time you raise a glass of Croatian wine, remember that beyond the perceived expense lies a world of exceptional quality, diversity, and value waiting to be explored.

Oscar Wilde once remarked, ‘Nowadays, people know the prices of everything and the value of nothing.‘ This sentiment rings true in the world of wine, where the focus on price can overshadow the true value and essence of a bottle. Croatian wines, often perceived as expensive, defy this notion. They embody the passion, history, and distinctiveness that can be found in every sip. So, let us not merely dwell on the price tag but instead embrace the value that lies within each bottle, and embark on a journey of discovery through the captivating world of Croatian wines.Are-Croatian-Wines-Expensive-Cheers

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