Wine tradition in Istria reaches far into the past, to the ancient times. The reason behind this lies in the fact that this region displays perfect conditions for grapevines. Fertile land and Mediterranean climate, gently reaching the continental one, have borne marvellous sorts of wine, both international and local.
Teran, Malvasia, Muscat, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon – these are just some of the inscriptions on bottles from Istrian cellars. Their quality is attested by the fact that they hold awards from world-class competitions, such as Decanter World Wine Awards.
Oenologists and other experts agree on the fact that Istria is the leading Croatian wine region. Many local wineries have a truly remarkable tourist offer encompassing much more than a classic wine tasting.
So, when choosing wine bottles that will elevate your New Year’s Eve celebration on another level, choose the ones coming from top Istrian wineries.
Here we’ve selected the ones that will charm your palates and make this celebration truly special!
In the cellars of Clai winery you will find no enzymes, no yeast nor chemistry. The decanting and filling are done according to the Moon phases. These organic wines can be found in the village of Brajki next to Buje, close to the Slovenian border. Sveti Jakov wine is loved by both Croatian and international oenologists, and is on the must-try list of all wine lovers. Asides from wine, Clai also produces its own olive oil and spirits.
Four generations of Kozlović family have been working on maintaining authentic Istrian wine sorts: Istrian Malvasia, Teran and Momjan Muscat. Their wines display an interesting combination of modern and traditional, as well as a flare of nature which surrounds them. Beautiful, contemporary winery is located in Vale next to Momjan, holding some of the best Croatian wines.
It was in the 1891 that Markežić family had decided to cultivate prime wine sorts in Momjan region, and today their offer includes olive oil as well. Certain Kabola wines are produced in amphorae, which elevates the quality of maceration. In 2009, they have proudly introduced an organic wine production.
The magnificent Belaj castle, dating way back to 1575, proudly stands on the Učka mountain, displaying a centuries-old wine tradition. The vineyard surrounding the castle is full of history, and always intertwined with the story of the castle itself, as well as the entire region. Besides classic wine tastings, the castle also holds different kinds of events such as weddings and corporate events.
The wines coming from Matošević winery had found their way into world-renowned restaurants, so it comes as no surprise that they had received numerous acknowledgements and awards. They are produced on two locations, allowing for land to be adapted to different kinds of wine sorts. All of them can be tasted in Sv. Lovreč cellar, in the village of Krunčići.
Winemaking tradition in the Arman family had begun with grandfather Edoardo. He instigated winemaking, primariliy Malvasia and Teran, and dedicated his whole life to creating premium wine bottles. His success and his legacy continues today with his grandchildren. Handpicked prime vines give the best wine bottles, which is confirmed by numerous awards they had received.
Deklic Winery gives us bottles that, in their own words, are characterised by minerality, freshness, durability, retro flavour and fine aroma. Whether it’s their emblematic Famlia bottle or Rose, Malvasia or Chardonnay, each drop of Deklic wine intertwines with a hundred years of family tradition. This legacy of love for wine is carried on, and will continue to be carried on through future generations.
In a village of Markovac just outside of Višnjan you will find Poletti wines, which include Malvasia Istria, Chardonnay, Teran, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Muscat Rose. A truly rich tradition present on this piece of land reaches as far as 1842. Winemaking is a family business that represents so much more than the making of wine. This is why each sip is full of special kind of warmth. The one that can be achieved only when the wine is produced with lots of love!
The land in Kaldir where Benvenutti wines are made was meant to be used for winemaking purposes. How can we be so sure of it? Because a wine jug from the antic period was found on it! That’s right, wine tradition is truly rich here, and continues today by Albert and Nikola Benvenutti. Their wines are special because they are made in old oak barrels, and because they go through a special kind of vinification.
The red Istrian soil, a dense forest of old oak trees and the proximity to the sea – all of this symbolises Coronica wines. Their every drop is inspired by Istrian peninsula, foremostly the village of Koreniki where they are made. Depending on what you prefer, the wine cellars of this winery contain local and international wine sorts. Rest assured that each bottle will truly impress you!
In Damjanic winery wines are not just a drink, they are a lifestyle and the way in which we can connect to the world around us. From Malvasia to Muscat, Chardonnay to Clemente, each bottle contains the taste of Istrian land, sun and the sea. Situated in Fuškulin just outside of Poreč, this winery invites local and international visitors to visit the terra magica. How do they do it? You’ll find out once you taste them!
On the west side of Istrian peninsula, the one that reveals magnificent sunsets, you will find the village of Lašići and Pilato wines. All the wine bottles hold the controlled origin certificate, and the sorts range from local to international. Each bottle is a fruit of great love and respect towards wine, and the experience that passes through generations. This results in rich flavour, the one that can only be achieved by the ones who know the “how and whats” of winemaking.
The gold medal from 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards went into the hands of Roberto Terzolo, honouring his macerated Malvasia Campi Del Bosco. The wines from this winery had found their way to locations all around the world, from the USA to Italy, as well as the tables of top Croatian restaurants. You will find another eight sorts of wine here, from Muscat to Teran. All of them are a truly magical experience. Taking care of the vineyard is like sailing across the ocean, and harvesting is like arriving to the port, says Terzolo. We are sure that his winery will visit lots and lots of ports.
Motovun is a famous art destination due to its film festival, but another art arose in this small town. The one connecting wine and theatre. The one where the wines are “unfinished” so they could become stages, constantly changing, but always so interesting to the public. The director of these shows is Mladen Rožanić, a man who evoked long lost memories and feelings using wine. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Taste and see for yourselves!
“Wine and children must be born out of love” – is an old Spanish saying. As far as wine is concerned, we can be sure that Istria is full of love. This fruitful soil and the perfect seaside sun, as well as the hardworking hands of local winemakers, produce top wine sorts. The ones that will accentuate the brightest night of the year!
And if you’re looking for a place to stay when you visit these wineries, contact us!