Introduction to Croatian wines

In Croatia, you can find about a hundred indigenous grape varieties. Jancis Robinson in his new book, Wine grapes, identified 1368 varieties of which 39 are Croatian indigenous species.

It is interesting that in Croatia there are all five possible viticultural zones which are determined by the temperature and the number of sunny hours, therefore the offer is really diverse.

The main distinction is between continental and coastal wine growing regions.

We will mention some of the indigenous Croatian varieties which you can find on our food & wine bar offer.

POŠIP

Pošip is native to Korčula and something of a world rarity.

The wine is of splendid, straw-golden yellow color. Rich and heavy it leaves a thick trail in the glass and is pleasant, harmonious and full-bodied on the palate.

Pošip is a perfect companion to all fish, shellfish and white meat dishes. It is best served at a temperature of 12-14 °C.

MARAŠTINA-RUKATAC

The Dalmatian grapevine variety Maraština, known on Korčula as Rukatac

Celebrated for its excellence it is often used to improve the taste of other wines.

The light yellow color, fullness and harmony of this wine reflect the local environment and Rukatac will not leave you indifferent!

This elegant southern wine is best served with seafood and roasts, cooled to 12ºC.

GRK

The village of Lumbarda is renowned for Grk, white wine made from the native grape of the same name, which grows well on its sandy soil.

A dry wine with quite exceptional characteristics: it is recognized by its light green-yellow color with golden reflections, its emphatic cultivar aroma, and its noble bouquet.

It has a rich, harmonious and well-rounded taste with a long, slightly tart finish. Grk goes best with all seafood as well as with white meat but can also be served as an aperitif.

It should be served cold at 12-13ºC.

KUJUNĐUŠA

A wine variety which domesticated in Imotski vineyards. It gives the wine of distinct minerality and freshness characteristic for Dalmatian hinterland terroir.

Served with white fish filet, wines of this variety will show you its true splendor.

 

GRAŠEVINA

Graševina is best grown in the north inland wine regions. A fresh wine by type with a nice acidity, abundant fruit on the nose with some floral overtones. While younger and dry, these wines are suitable as an aperitif and with cold dishes made of seafood and hot appetizers with sauces of butter and cheese, even with boiled fish. A little more structured graševina will pair well with grilled fish, chicken, and even veal as a main course.

Serve chilled at 10-13ºC.

DEBIT

Autochthonous variety from Šibenik region and Dalmatian hinterland. These wines are usually straw-yellow to gold-yellow, of medium intensity and it has characteristic nut flavor, with sage and carob aroma that is especially appreciated in this region where it is produced.

The wines made of Debit go ideally with blue fish and simple Dalmatian traditional dishes served at 11ºC.

PLAVAC MALI

The most important and most protected Croatian wine variety. A descendant of the Zinfandel and another old Croatian autochthonous variety Dobričić. It is grown in all wine sub-regions of Central and South Dalmatia. Typical Plavac mali wines are highly southern wines, with more or less bitter taste, usually dry, and very rarely (in extremely good years) with low residual unfermented sugar. Their color is scarlet and bluish (and hence they may have originated in the name), a varietal aroma unaccented, discreet and pleasant. Plavac, including high-quality ones, were always the drink and the food of ordinary farmers and fishermen. The best high-quality Plavac wines originate from Dingač and Postup on the Pelješac peninsula, on the southern slopes of the island of Hvar as well as on some parts of the Brač and Vis island vineyards.

Plavac Mali goes well with fine foods prepared with dark meats, especially game. It should be served at 18°C.

BOGDANUŠA

The grape variety which is grown on the Croatian island of Hvar. Wines from this grape tend to be dry with a yellow-greenish color, harmonious and fresh flavor, distinct minerality and “salinity”. Light body and low alcohol ideally complement  with cuisines of white meat and quality sea fish at a temperature of 10-12°C.

TERAN

Teran is an old Istrian autochthonous cultivar. The main features of Teran are the moderate amount of sugar and very high acid. Teran has a characteristic ruby-red color with purple hues when rotating the wine in the glass. The aroma is typical fruit. It is recognizable by berries dominated by raspberry and pepper.

We serve it with dishes based on meat and game, and with the cold meat appetizers such as smoked ham and cheese up to two years old. Served and consumed at a temperature of 18-20°C.

ZINFANDEL (CRLJENAK KAŠTELANSKI)

Crljenak Kaštelanski is an old, almost forgotten, Croatian species of grape which recently captured the interest of the wine-making public. The reason for that was the discovery that Crljenak Kaštelanski and an American species Zinfandel have the same genetic profile. It was established that these two species are the same.

This highly estimated variety yields intensely colored, strong, full-bodied wines. Unlike wines produced from some other red-berried varieties, the wines produced from Zinfandel are smooth, and have pronounced varietal flavor, which goes from discreet floral to the strong fruit flavor. It`s quality and character largely depend on the place of cultivation, the age of the vineyard, and the wine making technology.

Considering it has a pronounced acidulous taste, it is recommended to be served with pork at 18 ºC.

BABIĆ

This variety is most common in mid and south Dalmatia and shows the best characteristics in the region around Primošten with the terraced vineyards. The wine has intense ruby red color, it is strong and full but the taste is mild and balanced with fruity aroma.

The best choice for this wine is red grilled meat and the temperature should be 13°C.

MRAČAJ (TRNJAK)

This is the variety most common in the region of Dalmatian hinterland. The color is usually very dark ruby red and it smells like dark berries, with Mediterranean aromas and full and harmonic taste.

 

BABICA

Babica grows in Kaštela near Split. It originates from famous Plavac mali. It has a soft scarlet red color, with southern warmth. The ripe fruitiness is interwoven with sweet carob, dry plums, rustic notes and Dalmatian spices.

Light alcohol and body, with stronger tannins, it is the best to enjoy “dry” and served at a temperature of 14°C.