Wine & More

Žlahtina: the wine that will leave you speechless (literally!)

The mere mention of Žlahtina is sufficient to induce thirst, and understandably so! This particular type of wine is the ideal white wine that any wine enthusiast yearns for during hot summer days. Although its name may be challenging to pronounce, Žlahtina is renowned for its easy-going and refreshing taste. Let’s delve deeper into this captivating native variety!

The origin of Žlahtina

Source: HTZ and Ivo Biočina, Vrbnik wine-growing region

The Vrbnička Žlahtina, a native Croatian grape variety, is a point of pride for the winemakers of Krk island. The wine’s name, Žlahtina, derives from the old Slavic word “žlahten”, which stands for “noble”, and the adjective Vrbnička was added because of its origin. 

This white wine is almost exclusively produced in the vicinity of the town of Vrbnik, and not only locals consider it to be the most authentic beverage on the island.

If you drive to Vrbnik, you will pass through 211 hectares of vineyards where grapes for this wine are grown. The Vrbničko polje, a field where grapes are grown, spans a valley northwest of a town. It is one of the karst phenomena found along the Adriatic coast. The field, situated at the foot of hills and the sea, is characterized by a unique combination of Mediterranean plants and vegetation and a mixture of sea and mountain air. The Mediterranean and alpine climate create an ideal environment for this grape cultivation. The Vrbnička Žlahtina has a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) as it grows almost exclusively in this limited area.

Source: HTZ and Ivo Biočina, Vrbnik

Vrbnik is situated on the northern Adriatic coast in the Kvarner wine-growing region. A small town located on a cliff that drops dramatically into the sea. This historic town is renowned for its rich Glagolitic heritage and is considered by many to be the cradle of literacy. 

In addition to its cultural significance, Vrbnik is also famous for its narrow streets. One of the narrowest streets in the world can be found here. If you visit this beautiful island, Vrbnik is a must-visit destination! Look at our Croatian wine map to see where the Croatian littoral region is.

Picture 1. Croatian wine map

Croatian wine

How do you pronounce Žlahtina wine?

ŽLAHTINA [ʒlahtɪna]

When pronouncing Žlahtina, it’s essential to remember the unique sounds of the Croatian language. 

The first letter, “Ž” is pronounced as a soft “zh” sound, similar to the “s” in “measure.” The following “l” and “a” is pronounced as in English, while the next “h” is a silent letter. The final “tina” is pronounced as “teen-ah.” 

Therefore, the correct pronunciation of Žlahtina is “zhlah-tee-nah.” Žlahtina is an essential component of the local winemaking tradition, What better way to earn some sympathy among locals while visiting Krk than (trying) to pronounce their beloved variety in the right way? 😀

Ready to impress your friends with your newfound Croatian language skills? Then check out this article or feast your ears on the accompanying video! With our expert guidance, you’ll be nailing those tricky consonants and syllables like a seasoned native speaker in no time. Don’t believe us? Give it a watch and see for yourself!

What does Žlahtina wine taste like?

Gospoja (Toljanić) winery
Source: Gospoja (Toljanić) winery

Žlahtina is a white wine that is delicate, smooth, and harmonious, displaying a crystal-clear, golden-yellow hue. Its mild bouquet and subtle aroma give way to refreshing flavors of wild rowan berries, immortelle, and apples, enhanced by a gentle minerality and hint of salinity.

Žlahtina food recommendations

Žlahtina goes equally well with various fish appetizers or sheep milk cheese produced on the island of Krk. Moreover, Žlahtina is an excellent wine choice for any occasion, regardless of one’s level of wine knowledge or preferences. Its subtle and delicate flavors make it a refreshing spring and summer crowd-pleaser, so you can never go wrong with it! 

Best Žlahtina wines

Notable producers of Žlahtina wines are:

Fun fact about Žlahtina

PZ Vrbnik winery made waves in the wine industry in 2006 with a unique experiment. They submerged bottles of sparkling wine made from Vrbnička Žlahtina in the Adriatic Sea at a depth of 30 meters, half a mile from the coast of Vrbnik. The constant temperature of 12 degrees Celsius at that depth provides ideal conditions for sparkling wine fermentation. 

Valomet, the sparkling sea wine, gets its name from the Croatian word for “a rock against which the waves break.” The bottle’s unique design incorporates shells, corals, stones, and limpets, all submerged at the bottom of the sea for several months, giving the wine its perfect taste and appearance for its eventual owners.

PZ Vrbnik
Source: PZ Vrbnik winery, Valomet wine

Explore our carefully handpicked selection of the finest Croatian wines, including the distinctive Žlahtina variety, to find the perfect match for your palate. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply curious, our expertly selected range offers a diverse array of native Croatian wines.

If you’re unsure where to begin, head to our spacial cases featuring top-quality bottles from exquisite boutique winemakers! Embark on a journey of Croatian wine exploration and savor every sip of your chosen wine!

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