Hard to pronounce but a delight to taste, Croatian wines are still somewhat unknown to the international wine scene. However, true connoisseurs know Croatia has many indigenous grapes that are not-to-be-missed when visiting this country. Then you should do like locals do – drink by the hour, not by the drop…
Plavac Mali (Plah-vahts Mahl-ee)
Bold red with blackberry notes, rich in taste and high in alcohol
The primary red wine of Croatia, Plavac Mali is growing mostly along the Dalmatian coast, particularly on Pelješac Peninsula. It was the first wine to have its own appellations – Dingač and Postup, both located on Pelješac. When in Croatia, be sure to pair it with hearty dishes like pašticada (traditional veal sauce served with homemade gnocchi), while listening to stories about DNA liaisons of Plavac Mali and the glorious Californian Zinfandel.
Refreshing light white with fruity and floral character
One of the most famous indigenous grapes of Croatia, Malvazija is called “the queen of Istria”, region where it is mostly grown. Light and aromatic, it’s the ultimate summer pleasure! Very food-friendly, it goes well with white fish or shrimp, light pasta dishes or seafood. But for perfect local treat, try it with white Istrian truffles!
Ruby-red and full-bodied with a fruity aroma
The giant among Istrian wines, Teran has a strong character and bold flavors. The red soils of Istria, enriched with iron, give it a distinctive blood-red color. Teran is traditionally paired with the fragrant Istrian truffles, game and smoky red meat dishes, but also local prosciutto and aged cheese. Try it and find out why it is called the wine of the mighty!
Full-bodied crisp white with subtle almond notes
Indigenous to the craggy island of Korčula, Pošip today spreads all around the Dalmatian coast thanks to its early ripening. The unique rounded taste of this famous wine includes apples, vanilla spice, citrus fruits and almonds. Elegant and impressive, Pošip wines are excellent companions to all fish and shellfish dishes, as well as to spicier cheeses of the Croatian south.
Grk (g r k)
Dry white with melon and pear notes
Another indigenous grape from Korčula Island, it is believed that Grk was brought to the small Lumbarda village by the ancient Greeks around 500 BC. Named for the pleasant tart finish of the wine (grk means tart or bitter), wines produced from this variety are everything but. Dry, delicious and somewhat aromatic and fruity with hints of pine and saltiness, Grk is best over a seafood risotto or Ston oysters.