You should explore Croatia's many indigenous wine varieties. The climate is perfect for winemaking, and the quality of the wine is high. Even though most wineries produce small quantities compared to other countries, Croatia has been making wine for over two thousand years. Viticulture was introduced by the ancient Greeks and expanded by the Romans. Since the 20th century, the amount of vineyards in Croatia has decreased, but winemakers are now focusing on quality over quantity. The majority of Croatian wines are dry white wines or rustic red wines. White wine production makes up around two-thirds of all the wine in the country. Most white wines have a refreshing, spicy taste. They are usually dry, with lower alcohol content and fruity aromas of fennel, quince, honey, or apricot. One of the most sought-after wines is Istrian Malvazija, which grows in Istria — one of Croatia’s most popular wine travel destinations. If you prefer earthy, full-bodied red wines, try Teran wine. It has a beautiful ruby red color with a light flavor of forest berries. Or if you’re into everyday rosé wines, Croatia’s winemakers have also discovered their new love for pink perfection! They produce dry rosés that are versatile and can be paired with almost any light summer food! Many of the rosé wines have an earthier aroma with ripe apple or pomegranate flavors. Usually, Croatia’s rosé can be described as minimalistic and earthy—a good choice for anyone who wants less fruity notes or a drier impression in their rosé wine.
Istrian Malvasia / Malvasija Istarska
Malvasia is a name given to numerous varieties in the Mediterranean region. However, so far no genetic identity of the Malvasia variety has been established on the Istrian peninsula - the northernmost part of the Croatian coast. Malvasia is known for its ability to produce a variety of wine styles. Due to the excellent growing conditions in Istria combined with the good practices of local winemakers, over the decades this variety has become synonymous with a "safe" choice when ordering white wine in Croatian restaurants.
Malvasia Istriana is nowadays considered the leading and best known white Istrian variety and is one of the most important autochthonous Croatian varieties. It is a grape variety known for its large, yellow-green or golden berries. These grapes are relatively high yielding and so good management of the vineyards and the fruit is important. Most wines produced from this grape variety have a fairly high alcohol content of 11.5-13.5%. The first written mention of Malvazija Istarska dates back to 1891, when it was described for a wine exhibition in Zagreb. Malvasia Istriana is believed to have evolved from another malvasia brought to the Istrian peninsula during the Venetian rule.
There are a number of varieties of Istrian Malvasia, from light, fruity and floral wines to sweet or orange wines. As wine consumption in Croatia increases in the summer, when many international guests visit the country's hot coastal regions, fresh and fruity varieties seem to be the most popular. These wines tend to have aromas of stone fruits such as peach or apricot, usually with floral aspects, with acacia flowers being the most common. Often Malvasia wines also have mineral and/or almond notes.
Malvazija Istarska is a white grape variety from which three different types of wine are produced. The first version is intended for immediate consumption and has a lower quality. The second type is fresh Malvasia, which has the quality predicate IQ (Istrian Quality). It is made from higher quality grapes and has a shelf life of up to three years. The predicate itself was introduced by the Association of Istrian Winegrowers to protect the quality and style of Istrian wines. The third type is aged Malvasia, which should be put on the market no earlier than two years after the grape harvest and has a shelf life of several years. White Malvasia of Istria is one of the rare white grape varieties whose wines can be stored for over ten years.
Teran is a Croatian wine that has been grown in Istria for centuries. The name Teran comes from the red color of the wine and means "red wine" in the local language. This wine is unique because its grape variety is also called Terrano and it grows only in Istria. Teran is made from the autochthonous grape variety Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, which grows on steep slopes that are difficult to access and in shady forests. The grape variety grown there is very susceptible to fungal diseases, so the vines must be pruned and cared for regularly. This wine is a typical representative of Istrian winemaking art and is appreciated for its unique taste and color.
Istrian Teran wine is a unique wine, which is characterized by unique aromas and characteristics. Its intense flavor, dominated by ripe red berries, is both fruity and spicy. The taste can vary depending on the season, but it is often described as heavy, powerful, and strong. It also has a pleasant acidity that enhances the aromas and flavors of the wine. Teran wine also has an intense color, ranging from dark red to purple. Its aroma ranges from fresh berries to spices. The taste is also very complex, which gives you a unique experience when you drink it. So if you want to have a unique experience, be sure to try Croatian Teran wine.
Teran wine is made from Refosk grapes, which grow on the calcareous soils of the Karst plateau in Istria and Kras. It is a very flavorful wine, characterized by its dark, slightly acidic note. To enjoy its full flavor, it is best served with tasty dishes. A classic pairing is Teran wine with grilled meat or fish, as the wine's acidic note can bring out the juicy, autumnal flavor of the grilled food. Savoury dishes such as soups, stews and baked goods also go very well with Teran wine, as the acidic note wonderfully complements the inherent flavours of the food. Since Teran wine is also suitable for aging, it can also be served with cheese, especially hard or semi-hard cheese.