When people think of Croatia, they hardly think of wine. But those for whom the Bacchus liquor means more than drinking a glass per meal should know that Istria Penninsula, which lies in the west of the country on the Adriatic Coast, has some wonderful wines known worldwide.
Wine production in Istria is focused in four centers, which are Buje, Porec, Pazin and Rovinj, plus their adjacent areas. You can visit the wineries in the region, along the so-called roads of wine and you can taste both wines that have won international medals, and those made by local people at home. By following these trails you can stop either at wineries or private property that have listings that offer wine. Take your time to stroll around the roads winding through the beautiful Istria Peninsula and you will see that each place has its own Konoba, a local traditional restaurant, where you can try the wine of the region and under no circumstances do not dare to miss prsut – a smoked ham which is absolutely fantastic. Many villages and towns offer rooms and accommodation.
The four famous wine roads are:
- Brtonigla, Umag, Novigrad, Dajla, Nova Vas, Grožnjan, Buje, Savudrija
- Visnjan, Tar, Baderna, Funtana, Lovrec
- Buzet, Tinjan, Pazin
- Rovinj, Vodnjan, Valbandon
There are three types of Istrian wine: white wine Malvazija (malmsey), Muscat (Muscatel) and red wine Teran. Malvazija is dating for centuries and is a golden yellow wine, with acacia flower fragrance. Because this wine has a very refreshing flavor, it goes well with the sensational seafood in the Istria Peninsula, found mostly in the cities of the coast. Teran, which has been always treasured and is knows as Casanova’s favorite – Casanova was a resident of Istria, by the way – has a fruity flavor and goes well with red meat. One of the most popular wines in this area is Muskat, which has a golden color, a floral scent and is very sweet. Be careful though consumption of this variety, as it is considered to be aphrodisiac! 😉
Istria is the largest peninsula on the Adriatic Coast and tilts slightly towards the Adriatic. The wine region is enriched by the terroir, the land structure and the rich red soil. The largest city in Istria is Pula, where you will arrive by plane that lands on the local airport which has flights landing here from all over Europe. You can reach Istria by car or by train, which leaves you in the big cities nearby: Zagreb in Croatia, Venice and Trieste in Italy.
Besides wine, agro-tourism is very popular in the peninsula. If you’re looking for a culinary vacation and sprinkled with quality wine, this is the place to live and you will not be disappointed.
Picture 1: tourmyroute.com; Picture 2: frankaboutcroatia.com; Picture 3: winesofcroatia.wordpress.com; Picture 4: bookculinaryvacations.com; Picture 5: pinterest.com; Picture 6: zicasso.com; Picture 7: europeupclose.com