Wine tasting is a long-established tradition in Croatia and the country offers a rich variety of exceptional red and white wines that are as much part of the local experience as Croatian cuisine. Locals traditionally like to enjoy a glass of wine with their meals and, with numerous small, family-owned wineries dotting the coastal and continental landscape, they are generally spoilt for choice.
Voted in the top five of USA Today’s Readers’ Choice contest for Best Wine Region to Visit in 2014, Croatia is known for its long tradition of wine making, going back to ancient times. Greek settlers started producing wine on the islands in southern Dalmatia about 2,500 years ago and the tradition has spread and taken root throughout the rest of the country in the centuries that followed.
Croatian wine makers produce a diverse range of quality wines, from familiar varieties such as Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Shiraz to authentic, location-specific wines such as Plavac Mali, Teran, Graševina and Pošip, among others. While many international grape varieties are grown in Croatia, there is also a rich local tradition of indigenous varieties, some of which are grown across the country, while others are only in use in limited areas.
Today, there are more than 300 geographically defined wine regions in Croatia and each offers wines with distinctive regional character. Some of the country’s best known wine-production areas are the hills around the Pannonian Plain in the north-east and the Dalmatian coast in the south. The heartland produces the majority of the country’s wines and most of these are white (67%), while the coastal region produces mainly red wines (32%). Many wineries also produce rosé, dessert wine and sparkling wine.
Croatian islands in particular are well known for their wine regions and varieties, as the mild, humid climate with many hours of sunlight makes them ideal for grape cultivation. While the continental region is known for its rich white wines similar to those produced in Austria and Hungary, Istria for its fine wines similar in style to Italian varieties, and the coastal region further south for its Mediterranean reds, the islands produce highly distinctive wines, mostly as a result of microclimates, different soils and unique native grape varieties. They are home to some of the country’s best known wines.
Wine tasting holidays in Croatia
Visitors looking for hotels in Croatia with family rooms where they can enjoy fine Croatian wine and good food can book their stay at the Hotel Boškinac. The hotel’s rooms and suites offer exceptional comfort and a view of the nearby Mediterranean garden, olive groves and vineyards. The Boškinac Winery produces several of Croatia’s best known red and white wines, continuing the long family wine making tradition, and offers wine tastings to visitors looking to try some of Croatia’s best wines during their stay. The winery is best known for Cuvee Boškinac, an exquisite blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Gegić, a dry white wine made from the grape variety of the same name, indigenous to the island of Pag. Guests can also enjoy Pag cheese, prosciutto, and other local delicacies.