Discover New Wines | Meet Master Vintners | Taste Indigenous Varietals
From the Continental to Istrian to Dalmatian regions, Croatia is experiencing a wine renaissance – a burgeoning of boutique wineries, the expansion of name brands and innovation among traditional family wineries as they are handed from father to daughters & sons.
Meet the Vintners who are leading the Croatian Wine Renaissance
From Istria in the north to the southern Dalmatian islands, Croatia’s wines have taken their place among top european vintages since before Roman times. In the 5th century BC the Greeks brought the first known Plavac Mali vines to southern Hvar and Korcula islands. Later, the Romans expanded cultivation throughout Istria and Dalmatia. Today, Croatian wines are winning international competitions – 52 won awards at the 2010 Decanter World Wine Awards , 65 won awards in 2012 and 95 in 2013.
Entrepreneurial Croatian winemakers are producing wonderful wines from a wide variety of indigenous varietals – reds from age old Plavac Mali & Teran grapes, refreshing whites, unique roses and even unusual orange wines. And they are turning international cabernets, chardonnays, merlots, syrahs and pinots into distinctive wines with a twist from unique Istrian and Dalmatian terroirs.
Croatia is also emerging as a leader in the organic/bio wine industry, with thousands of hectares under organic cultivation. Leading new and traditional wine makers in Istria and the Dalmatian islands are producing tens of thousands of liters per year of very good organic wines.
Mike Grgic of Grgic Hills Winery, was one of the first to verify the relationship between the California Zinfandel and the Croatian Plavac Mali. His family has wineries in Napa Valley, California and Peljesac Peninsula in Croatia, where they produce award winning wines.
“The story goes back to the 1960s . . . DNA tests now confirm that Zinfandel is an ancient grape from Croatia that is considered one of the 13 “founder grapes,” the ancestors of today’s noble varieties.” — Dr. “Vinny” from Wine Spectator