Croatian Uplands

/ / Croatian Uplands

The hills of the Central Croatia are tightly intertwined with grapevine. This is attested by archaeological finds around Radoboj in Hrvatsko Zagorje, more than seventy million years old. However, this region owes its renowned affection for grapevine to the Thracians, the Illyrians, and the Celts who cultivated grapevine to produce wine and to the Romans who alternated between prohibiting and encouraging its winegrowing. 

This area consists of five winegrowing subregions or rather five diverse protected designations of origin (PDOs) dotted by vineyards. Moslavina is situated in the east of the region where vineyards sprawl across gentle slopes of the Moslavačka Gora. Further to the north, there are the Prigorje–Bilogora subregion vineyards covering slopes of the Medvednica, the Kalnik and the Bilogora mountains. The Zagorje–Međimurje subregion is the northernmost winegrowing region in Croatia. It consists of characteristic rolling hills linked to the Alps to the north. The Plešivica subregion is characterised by picturesque and unique winegrowing amphitheatres of the Žumberak Mountains. The Pokupje subregion vineyards are nestled on low-lying Vukomeričke Gorice hills in the basins of the Kupa and its tributaries – the Mrežnica and the Dobra rivers.

The climate in the region is moderate continental, favourable for production of white wines. The most widespread grape varieties are Graševina (Welschriesling), Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Moslavac (Furmint), Sauvignon, and Yellow Muscat. There are other noteworthy varieties such as Škrlet and Kleščec. This is also an area of indigenous, less represented varieties such as Sokol, Velika Belina, Belina Smudna, Črnina Kasna, and many others. Those wines have medium alcohol levels, moderate to high acidity. They are highly extracted, normally fresh and drinkable, with wonderful floral, fruity, and spicy aromas. This is an area of excellent, characteristically fresh, and lively sparkling wines mostly produced using blends of varieties. Wonderful sparkling wines are made of indigenous varieties Kraljevina, Moslavac, Škrlet, Plavec Žuti, or Šipon. In some years, moderately warm autumns, and conditions conductive for growth of noble rot allow production of complex, dense, viscous predicate wines of relatively high acidity and exceptionally pronounced aromas. This is also an area where red and rose wines are produced. Colour of the red wines varies across a palette of ruby hues. They are fresh, with medium to high alcohol components, moderate tannin content, and pronounced fruit aromas. Even though the red wines are normally enjoyed young, it is also possible to produce complex red vines suitable for maturing. The most prevalent varieties are Blaufränkisch, Pinot Noir, Portugieser, and Cabernet Sauvignon.