Croatian wine regions
Favourable geographic position, diversity of climate and pedological settings ideal for cultivation of grapevine made the area of the Republic of Croatia exceptionally suitable for development of winegrowing and winemaking through history. Numerous archaeological sites and historical records bear witness to the times when the Greeks, Illyrian tribes and the Romans were spreading the winegrowing culture and enjoying wine.
Unlike other winemaking countries, Croatia has four different regions which build upon specific insolation properties necessary for successful cultivation of grapevine. Each one of them reflects influence of the Mediterranean, of the Alps, and of the Pannonian Plain. In a relatively small space extending from the south to the north, sunny Dalmatia is abutted by Croatian Istria and Kvarner. Hills of the Central Croatia are in the northwestern hinterland between mountains and hills sloping down from the Alps and the Dinaric Alps. They reach across gentle slopes of the Slavonian Mountains into Slavonia and the Croatia’s part of the Danube Basin in the extreme east of the country – ultimately arriving to the banks of the Danube.
Diversity of terroirs allows a wide range of wine styles and diverse varieties of wine. Graševina (Welschriesling) is the most widely grown Croatian variety, largely cultivated in inland areas to produce diverse varieties of wines ranging from light and fresh sparkling ones rich in aromas through young to full-bodied, complex, and matured Graševina. In addition to Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Traminer, Grüner Silvaner, and Sauvignon, the inland area is also the home to many indigenous varieties such as Škrlet, Kleščec or Kraljevina typical to individual winemaking subregions. An equal challenge lies in discovering the best red wines produced from Pinot Noir, Blaufränkisch, Merlot, or Cabernet Sauvignon. Istria prides itself in Malvasia, along with Teran, Borgonja, Muscat Rose, and Muškat Momjanski. Off Adriatic coast, there are thousands of islands harbouring their indigenous grape varieties such as Žlahtina (Chasselas), Maraština, Pošip, Grk, Babić, Plavina, or Plavac Mali harvested in particularly attractive Dingač area, as well as globally popular Croatian variety – Crljenak Kaštelanski (Zinfandel).