Istria, a heart-shaped region of western Croatia, just a few kilometers from Italy, is renowned for is richness in vineyards, olive oil and truffles. Istria is beyond doubt Croatia wine country.
By foreigners it is celebrated as an Italian-flavored peninsula, mostly due to its gorgeous picturesque atmosphere of seaside towns and hill villages, pastel landscapes, dramatic beaches, luscious rose gardens, and absolutely outstanding gastronomy, crowned by its top-quality wines, olive oil and truffles. It does not surprise one that Chicago Tribune dubbed Istria “Italy without the price.” Beyond any doubt, Istria provides nurture for both mouth and soul, creating a unique experience of lightness of being.
Each sip of Istrian wine takes you back into the centuries-old history of Istria and its inhabitants who cultivated a unique approach to life and its delights. While enjoying the Istrian wines, you can peacefully soak up the warm Istrian sun while gazing across the vineyards and breathing in the fragrant aromas of Mediterranean herbs.
Don’t leave Istria without trying these top wine choices
Malvasia, the principle indigenous white grape variety in Istria, is a semi-aromatic white dry wine obtained from Istrian Malvasia grapes. Its shining brass color, deep golden glitters are accompanying its light fruity and floral scents with traces of honey acacia. The minerality of the wine is reflected in the salinity of the taste. Served at 8-10 C, its typical almond and mild acid flavors give Malvasia a long lasting liveliness and smoothness in mouth and will refresh you in warm summer evenings. It is paired with fish dishes, white meat, Istrian prosciutto and lighter cheeses.
Considered one of Croatia’s finest wines, this strong-bodied red wine with character dates back at least to the 14th century and is obtained from Istrian Teran. Heady with the scent of raspberries, it has a higher acidity and makes the perfect match for a meaty goulash or your favourite meat plate dishes. It is believed to stimulate the appetite and facilitate digestion. The wood in which it is aged gives Teran a hint of vanilla from which the aromas of ripe plum and black currant intensify. Ripe tannins, tinged with wood, give the wine a taste and seriousness. It is served at a temperature of 18 to 20 C. Its dark cherry red color with purplish red rim and mouthwatering juiciness will be a delight on an evening with friends.
Cabernet sauvignon, the quality red dry wine, from the sunny slopes of the Mediterranean is characterised by its unique aroma of capers and ripe cherries. Its freshness with slight traces of pepper is gained from the minerality of red Istrian soil. It pairs well with all the meat steaks, beef, lamb, poultry, strong fish broth, spicy food and ripe cheeses. Served at 17 to 19C.
Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé
This semidry and fruity wine with its attractive pink color will win you over with its strawberries and raspberries smells. Rosé has clean crisp notes and its pink freshness is great as an entrance to gastronomic delights. It is paired with shellfish dishes and seafood risotto, but also beef, lamb, poultry and spicy food. Serves at 13-15C. A glass of rosé is a lovely choice for an afternoon drink in good company.
This luxurious dessert wine has a gorgeous golden yellow colour and a great depth of flavour, but is also surprisingly light and fresh. It’s a dry, semi-sweet wine that is grown in the region of northwestern Istria, whose microclimate helps to cultivate this unique wine. Its luscious smell of white flowers, rose petals and acacia honey alongside the taste of juicy nectarines and delicate hints of nutmeg is absolutely irresistible. It’s suitable to pair with light desserts, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts and a wide variety of both hard or soft cheese. This lovely, elegant, semi-sweet dessert wine is a glass of fragrant refreshment anytime, anywhere. It is best served at 6-8 °C.