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Wine from Istria

For centuries wine and olive oil made in Istria. The history of viticulture in this Croatian peninsula goes back to Greek and Roman times. Some facts about the wine from Istria:

typical White wine from Istria

  • Malvasia (pronounced: mal-va-zia)
  • Muškat (pronounced: mush-kat)
  • Žlahtina

typical Red wine from Istria

The most prominent vineyards in Istria

  • the hills of western Istria (Buje, Umag and Poreč)
  • the hills of Central Istria (Pazin and Motovun)

Croatian wine made in the coastal region. Croatian wine made in continental Croatia

Also read: Wine from Istria is a place where the old world and the new world meet

History of Viticulture in Istria

The history of viticulture in Istria is deeply rooted in the local culture. The importance of viticulture and long tradition are most noticeable in Kalavojna bay, near the town of Pula. The name Kalavojna comes from ancient Greek, meaning the bay of good wine.

Viticulture in Istria is a thousand-year-old tradition and builds on a favorable climate. The relatively warm Adriatic Sea has had an important influence on the development of vineyards in the coastal region of western Istria. The vineyards in the coastal area of ​​Istria are mostly located around the towns of Umag and Buje, while the vineyards in the rural area of ​​Central Istria are mostly found on and around the hills of Cicarija. The taste and color of the wine from Central Istria is therefore often influenced by the altitude and other geographical conditions.

Malvasia en Teran most important wine from Istria

All of Istria is dominated by Malvasia en Teran. These are two very distinctive breeds. The coastal region of western Istria is characterized by a mild Mediterranean climate, hilly landscape and a constant gentle breeze, an absolute necessity for the perfect vineyard. Central Istria is dominated by a continental climate, it is not directly influenced by the sea. The valleys are often foggy while the nights see a significant drop in temperature.

Due to the influence of the fog and temperature fluctuations, the taste of the wine is strongly influenced. Wine from Istria that comes from the coastal region is more mature, has a predominantly fruity taste. Wine from Central Istria is a bit sharper, richer in minerals and has a particularly fruity taste.

Soil as a basis for good wine from Istria

Much attention is paid to specific soil types. Red soil is a typical example of the coastal region, while in the continental area the soil is strongly influenced by marl, popularly referred to as white soil. Both soil types are very fertile, although they are not particularly suitable for top quality wines. But thanks to the presence of limestone in the soil, this changes the entire situation. A good vineyard does not need a thick layer of soil over a layer of limestone. It is more important that the soil is porous enough. Many grape varieties are grown on a red or white soil yielding good quality wine with a slight difference in taste.

Prominent wine from Istria

The most common wine from Istria is the Malvasia and with Teran. Both wines have their own special characteristics.

Malvasia most prominent White wine from Istria

The most prominent wine from Istria is the Malvasia. although Malvasia Known only locally ten years ago, today it is one of the leading wine varieties on the Croatian market and one of the most exported wines from Croatia. For decades stood Malvasia known as a fruity simple table wine. However, after 1990 this changed thanks to a new generation of modern winemakers who developed a new technique for pruning the grapes. Malvasia is today characterized by a whole range of primary flavours, ranging from mineral– and citrusy flavor and floral aromas of ripe continental and tropical fruits. Malvasia is rich in extracts, sometimes characterized by a mildly refreshing character, but sometimes also a stronger, fuller and more mature character, both are equally appreciated.

Teran most prominent Red wine from Istria

Another prominent wine from Istria is the Teran. Just like the Malvasia also has the Teran a slightly higher one acidity. The Teran as a grape variety requires a lot of attention and patience during growth. As the Teran When treated correctly during growth, the wine becomes very attractive. Teran grapes have a beautiful deep red color and a purplish shine and have a rich fruity taste that is reminiscent of the stone fruits such as cherries, sour cherries and black blueberries. The balanced ratio between the acids and extracts give the taste its strength, while the pleasant level tannin contributes to a sweet aftertaste.

Local wine from Istria

Both Malvasia as the Teran are considered local Istrian grape varieties. although Malvasia often being related to some other Mediterranean varieties with a similar name (Malvasia), scientific analysis has found no matches. Teran is considered a separate clone of a larger grape family, the Mondeuse Noir. In Italy it is better known under the name Refosco, in Istria it is often also referred to as Refosk.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, originally grown in Burgundy, are also showing exceptional results in Istria. At present, the share of the Merlot compared to the Teran increasingly. Another very popular White wine from Istria is the Muskat, known locally as Muškat momjanski or Muškat Bijeli (the white muscat). The Muškat descends from a larger family, Muscat e Petit Grain. Muškat is therefore often produced as one sweet wine, but recently dry varieties have also become available on the Croatian wine market.


Besides Istria, red and White wine created. The most famous are Dalmatia en Slavonia, both with different types and styles. Wines from Slavonia are among the most underrated in Croatia. Next Dalmatia and Istria has Croatia there are also many wine regions inland. One of the best known is the area along the Danuberiver in the east of Slavonia† This area is known for its fresh and fruity wines such as Grasevina, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay en Riesling.

Related pages about wine from Croatia

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