Croatia

15 growing regions

Croatia was formerly part of Yugoslavia, and gained independence in 1991 as „Republika Hrvatska”. Wine has been grown along the Dalmatian Adriatic coast since the 6th century BC. At that time, the Greeks established some colonies in ancient Dalmatia, which later had its heyday in terms of wine in Roman times. Emperor Probus Marcus Aurelius (232-282 AD) encouraged wine production in the 3rd century AD, and the Slav people who settled here in the 7th century continued this tradition. Venice conquered the area in around 1000 AD, and remained in power for around 300 years. The Cistercian order established a wine cellar in Kutjevo in 1232, this is still in existence today. The climate is determined by both continental and Mediterranean influences. The vineyard area totals around 60.000 hectares, split into two distinct wine-growing regions. There is Continental Croatia in the north, with Slavonia and the Krajina stuck in between Slovenia and Serbia, while in the south lies the Croatian Coastal Region with Istria and Dalmatia. Continental Croatia with the Danube area consists of the 7 wine-growing regions Zagorje-Medjimurje, Plesivica, Pokuplje (Kupa area), Prigorje-Bilogora, Slavonija (Slavonia) and Podunavlje (Danube area). Mainly white wines are produced in this region from Beli Burgundac (Pinot Blanc), Grasevina (Welschriesling), Semijon (Sémillon), Sovinjon (Sauvignon Blanc) and Traminac (Traminer). The second wine-growing region, the Croatian Coastal Region, has mainly become known through the area of Dalmatia, with vineyards stretching from Rijeka to Dubrovnik. It is divided into the following wine-growing regions: Istria, Sjeverna Dalmacija (North Dalmatia), Srednja/Juzna Dalmacija (Central and South Dalmatia with many islands, such as Hvar, Korcula, Lastovo and Vis) and Dalmatinska Zagora (Dalmatinian plains). This region is known for its excellent, full-bodied red wines made from indigenous varieties such as Plavac Mali, Babic, Plavina and Refosk (Refosco). International varieties planted include Beli Burgundac (Pinot Blanc), Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grasevina (Welschriesling), Pinot Gris, Malvazija (Malvasia), Merlot, Riesling, Rumeni Muskat (Yellow Muscadel) and Zweigelt. The best-known Croatian wines (which are often named after the variety) include Bogdanusa (white), Dingac (red), Grk Bijeli (white), Faros (red), Marastina (white), Peljesac (red), Plavac Mali, Posip (white), Postup (red), Prosek (red and white), Teran (red) and Vugava (white). Total production in 200 was around 2,1 million hectolitres of wine. The best-known producers include Enjini Ivan, Katunar, Frano Milos, Grgich Miljenko (cellar master at Grgich Hills in the Napa Valley in California), Milos Frano, Krauthaker Vlado, Skaramuca, Zdjelarevic and Zlatan Otok (Zlatan Plenkovic).

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