7 Most Unique Croatian Vineyards
Even though Croatia is a small country, its geographical and climatic diversity has also influenced the growth of 130 native grape varieties. The vineyards here are nothing short of breathtaking, with rows of vines cascading down slopes that overlook the glistening sea and sprawling across picturesque valleys and hills like a work of art.
Croatia’s winemakers have perfected their craft, and the results are incredible! We’ve compiled a list of the top 7 stunning vineyards in Croatia’s most significant wine regions. From fascinating scenery to exceptional wines, a journey to these breathtaking vineyards to savor some of the best Croatian wines will leave you spellbound!
We wrote extensively about Dingač, the most famous Croatian appellation, and its breathtaking vineyards here. In Croatia, Dingač is by far the most famous Croatian vineyard. Located at the very south of Dalmatia, on the Pelješac Peninsula, this wine-growing area stretches on 60 hectares of southern slopes of Pelješac. It has been the first protected Croatian appellation since 1964. Astonishingly steep slopes and triple insolation from the air, stone, and sea are specific distinctions related to Dingač.
Check out how Wine&more team covered the Dingač topic in this video:
The most important Croatian red native variety Plavac Mali produced from Dingač appellation, has a Protected Designation of Origin on the label and has grown successfully for centuries on the steep slopes that descend from a height of several hundred meters to the clear blue sea. A full-bodied wine with intense and concentrated aromas of ripe fruit, with subtle aromas of sagebrush and aromatic herbs found in abundance on the Pelješac, is named exclusively by this appellation – Dingač, not variety – Plavac Mali.
Notable producers of wines from the Dingač appellation include:
- Matuško winery,
- Bura-Mrgudić winery,
- Edivo winery,
- Benmosche winery,
- Madirazza winery,
- Kiridžija winery,
- Dingač winery,
- Matković winery,
- Saint Hills winery,
- Vicelić winery,
- Skaramuča winery.
If you prefer Dingač wines, you can order some of the best ones wrapped up in a Best of Dingač Wine Case.
We also compiled an extensive offer of top-quality Plavac Mali wines from other wine-growing regions, so be sure to look and pick out something that will suit your palate – here.
Or start with our Selection of Plavac Mali to introduce yourself and your wine-enthusiast friends to this amazing grape variety!
Picture 1. Dingač wine map
Some of the most aromatic Croatian wines are cultivated around the medieval town of Momjan.
Along with international varieties:
- Sauvignon Blanc,
- Cabernet Sauvignon and
native Istrian varieties are grown:
- Momjan Muscat (Moscato),
- Malvasia Istriana and
Did you know that the sweet Momjan Muscat (Moscato) wine has a fascinating history dating back to the 1200s? This dessert wine is a native variety of Momjan from Muscat White grapes brought to Istria by Italian traders. Today, it has a Protected Designation of Origin status and is praised for its exceptional potential in the region’s unique climate and soil conditions.
You won’t believe the heavenly taste of Muscat (Moscato) wines until you try them for yourself! Our exclusive coverage of these delicious wines will leave you craving a sip!
Istria region has countless good locations for wine production, and it is not easy to single out the best, however, in recent years, the Motovun wine-growing area has undoubtedly stood out as a place where the native red Teran and Malvasia Istriana thrive.
Teran gives outstanding results in this wine–growing region. The first time Teran was mentioned was in 1390 when presented to the representatives of the Viennese court. The wine has a characteristic ruby-red color and a relatively high content of total acids with a hint of astringency and, when done right, is considered age-worthy wine. Due to its inherent fullness and a large number of polyphenols, Teran is also considered a “healing” wine. Head to our cover story for more information about Teran’s medicinal benefits!
Notable producers of wines from the Motovun wine-growing region include:
- Benvenutti winery,
- Roxanich winery,
- Tomaz winery,
- Valenta winery,
- Fakin winery,
- Bertoša winery,
- Matijašić winery.
Plešivica, an hour-long drive from Croatia’s capital Zagreb, is the name of the vineyard that stretches along the hills that climb towards Samobors hills, and it is named after the village of Plešivica, where some of the best vineyards of that region are located. Even though it has only 2,300 hectares of vineyards, Plešivica is one of the most interesting continental wine regions.
It is best known as a home of Croatian sparkling wine because of the soil similar to the one in Champagne and the taste, Plešivica is called ‘small Champagne.’ Due to the cooler climate, more aromatic varieties, such as:
- Sauvignon Blanc,
- Rhein Riesling,
- Pinot Noir,
- Pinot Blanc, and
- Pinot Gris thrive particularly well.
Notable producers of wines from the Plešivica wine-growing region include:
- Tomac winery,
- Korak winery,
- Šember winery,
- Jagunić winery,
- Kolarić – Coletti winery,
- Ivančić Griffin winery.
According to tradition, it was here on these picturesque hills that the ancient Romans planted their first vine. Among the golden green hills spread around the Međimurje wine road are wine-tasting options where you can try the stable, complete taste, seductive color, and fragrance of the wines that will charm you as much as the Štrigova wine region itself.
Multiple award-winning samples of the divine wines are the white varieties of:
- Sauvignon Blanc,
- Rhine Riesling,
- Pinot Gris and
- Pinot Blanc,
- Green Sylvaner, and
- Yellow Muscat.
Fans of red wine have a slightly shorter list to choose from –
- Pinot Noir and
- Cabernet Sauvignon,
- while Rosé wines will surely come to your tables often.
Notable producers of wines from the Štrigova wine-growing region include:
- Dvanajščak – Kozol winery,
- Štampar winery,
- Cmrečnjak winery,
- Kocijan winery,
- Štrigova winery,
- Jakopić winery,
- Horvat winery,
- Preiner winery,
- Lovrec winery.
Although the Ilok wine region, located on the extreme slopes of Fruška Gora and next to the Danube River, is known for its good wines, the vineyards of Principovac stand out.
Principovac micro-location is elevated, and the constant airflow makes it possible to preserve the health of the very sensitive Gewürztraminer (also known as Traminer) grape variety.
On the other hand, the ferny and drained soil of Principovac favors the ideal proportion of malt in ripe grapes, and the Danube preserves the microclimatic balance necessary for the aroma of the Gewürztraminer variety. The result can be seen in mature, delicious, and aromatic wines under the label of the same name. Some of the best late-harvest and ice wines come from this vineyard.
Read all about Principovac and Iločki podrumi winery in our must-see cover story!
Notable producers of wines from the Ilok wine-growing region include:
- Iločki podrumi winery,
- Buhač winery,
- PZ Trs winery,
- Papak winery,
- PO Čobanković winery,
- Knezović winery.
There are few places where the most popular Croatian white native variety Graševina shows such good results as with the Kutjevo wine region. Here, Graševina found a balance between maturity and liveliness, fullness and elegance, minerality and fruitiness.
The unique vineyards ascend deep into a forest 400 m above sea level. They are situated on a volcanic rock, making the wine from this vineyard specific regarding minerality and taste. Graševinas from Vinkomir, Mitrovac, Venje, and Hrnjevac micro-locations and vineyards have the potential of longer aging and can be used to produce archived wines.
Notable producers of wines from the Kutjevo wine-growing region include:
- Kutjevo winery,
- Krauthaker winery,
- Galić winery,
- Adžić winery,
- Enjingi winery,
- Sontacchi winery,
- Mihalj winery,
- Perak winery,
- Tandara winery.
In our cover story, find more information about Croatia’s most sought-after grape variety – Graševina!
In conclusion, Croatia’s winemakers have been steadily gaining recognition in recent years, thanks to the unique and diverse terroir on which they grow vines and produce some outstanding wines.
Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or appreciate the finer things in life, visiting Croatia’s wine regions and learning more about Croatian wines is an experience you will want to repeat – repeatedly!
Are you tired of the same old wines and want to explore something new and exciting? Look no further! We have everything you need to know to expand your palate and impress your friends!
If you’re ready to try some of the best Croatian wines, check out our handpicked selection at Wine&more. Cheers to discovering new favorites!