The Best Croatian Wines to Fascinate Any Wine Lover!
“Divine and human,” “one of the most natural things brought to perfection,” the one that makes event the most serious people laugh – all that and much more is wine. Ever since the ancient times, many well-known and unknown writers expressed their admiration, fascination, and the effect of this drink “which reveals the truth” – Homer, William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, even Louis Pasteur who called it “the healthiest drink ever.” Apart from that statement, by discovering the pasteurizing process Pasteur saved the French wine industry and paved the way for the modern way of winemaking.
It is a special liquid adored by many around the globe, especially hedonists and all those who enjoy stimulating their taste buds.
Croatia, as a country of plenty (undiscovered) natural beauty and gastronomic delicacies, increasingly stands out on the world wine map. From Istria and continental parts of Croatia to Dalmatia and the very south of the Adriatic coast, you will find exquisite, distinctive, and sometimes even unique wines you cannot taste anywhere else. With a glass of your favorite one, come along to this journey of discovering the best and most famous Croatian wines!
The Best Croatian Wines – We Must Start This List with a King
Peljesac, this magical peninsula on the Adriatic south is not only home to marvelous pebble beaches bordering a clear sea. Besides its natural beauty, it is also famous for its natural wealth – especially its vineyards and production of the finest red wine in Croatia.
A king among red wines that proudly wears the title of a top-quality protected wine is certainly Dingac. It is cultivated from the plavac mali variety which is special because of its resilience to drought and disease.
Dingac is a magical wine that seduces the taster’s palate and contains a high percentage of alcohol and lots of iron. Its alluring scent and dark red color pair best with red meat and hard cheese. With its stable and slightly bitter taste characterized by warm notes of ripe fruits, it is perfect for stronger-flavored and spicier cuisine.
Posip – a King of White Wines
Not far from Peljesac, on the neighboring island Korcula, on sandy ground protected from wind, there is another wine kingdom. It is home to one of the oldest and most valued white grape varieties cultivated into the first wine with PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) – Posip. Because of its extraordinary qualities, it is also called the king of white wines.
Except on Korcula, it can also be found on islands Lastovo and Mljet. With its golden color and distinctive taste with aromas of dry apricots and figs it attracts all lovers of fish, clamps, salads and white meat. It is also characterized by a high alcohol percentage – usually around 12 or 13 percent.
Grasevina, a Wine Drank in a Country of Fascinating Beauty
Grasevina is a wine characteristic to continental parts of Croatia, which is otherwise famous for its rich gastronomic offer. Its pale straw color and extreme dryness add freshness and a fruity scent, as well as extraordinary taste that will satisfy many a palate. Grasevina pairs best with pasta, cheese, and fish stews specific to these parts.
This variety is extremely fruitful and resilient to disease which gives it a special significance. Its great advantage is that it can be cultivated into various kinds of wine which allows the winemakers to play with different styles.
One of the Best Croatian Wines is Also Found on the Fairytale-like Island of Vis
The island of Vis is also called the Untouched Jewel of the Adriatic, and it holds one of the most beautiful European beaches – Stiniva. Besides privacy, this island is also famous for its top-quality wines, the most well-known one being Vugava. This indigenous variety, which you can taste only on Vis, contains a discreet and fruity aroma with a creamy texture. It hits spot-on on those summer days when you need refreshment!
Vugava’s fame stems all the way to the ancient times when, according to the legend, a Greek historian Agatarchidus wrote that this wine, when compared to any other, is the absolute best. It has a higher alcohol percentage and goes best as a dessert wine. It is also served with white fish, seafood specialties like calamari, shrimp, and shells, or roasted lamb.
Istrian Malvasia – a Queen of Istrian Cellars
Istrian Malvasia is an indigenous Istrian wine variety cultivated in Istria, Slovenia and Italy. Its intense flavor and citrusy aroma pair well with many types of food like fish, veal, or pork. Hints of white pepper and dry grass from the wine additionally stimulate the palate and leave a recognizable trace.
This golden-yellow wine with shades of green can be cultivated as three basic types of wine. Basic Malvasia is made for fast consumption. Fresh Malvasia proudly wears the IQ (Istrian Quality) mark and is cultivated from the finest grapes. Macerated Malvasia enters the market at least two years after harvest and can be aged for several years. Each of these types hides a unique taste to try.
Babic – the Most Noble Dalmatian Red-Wine Variety
Babic is an indigenous variety of red grapes mostly cultivated in the sunny Dalmatia. Its grapes are dark blue in color with medium-sized berries and are characterized by a thin and soft skin and juicy pulp of the fruit. The riper the grape is, higher the fruity aromas, which makes the wine sweeter and easier to drink.
The wine is dark, dense, tasty, and well-appreciated. Its ruby color and pleasant scent are hard to resist! It contains a higher level of acids, a higher percentage of alcohol, and more defined tannins which makes it suitable for cellaring and storing.
The Babic variety has two widespread types, Babic Mali and Babic Veliki. They pair best with Dalmatian prosciutto and spicy cheese, pasticada and meat off the grill.
If you are a wine lover, a hedonist, a gourmand and/or enjoy travelling and discovering hidden gems, Croatia is definitely the country to your taste. Delicious, rich, and high-quality wines are spread around the country in places where you can enjoy the beauty of the location as well as this mystical liquid. Wine roads and wine tasting rooms are an excellent opportunity to merge your love for wine with your love for new places. If you find yourself in Zadar region, there are King’s Vineyards not far from Zadar. Besides enjoying the ambience and Mediterranean food there, you can taste Posip, Plavac Mali and Crljenak – an indigenous Croatian grape variety that spanned the Italian Primitivo and American Zinfandel.
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Quotes by: Goodreads.com