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Vineyards in Motovun, Istria

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

Wine out Istria is a unique taste experience that reflects the rich tradition and culture of the region. Istria is one of the oldest wine-producing areas in Europe and has been known for centuries for its high-quality wines. The region has a varied climate and soil that provides the perfect conditions for the growth of a wide variety of grape varieties. Of the characteristic teran to the full and fruity Malvasia, the wines Istria are known for their complexity and richness of flavours. Wine tasting in Istria is a must for any wine lover whether you are a novice or an advanced taster.

The Croatian Region Istria is home to some of the oldest vineyards in the world. The warm Mediterranean climate and rocky soils are perfect for grape growing and wines Istria have been appreciated by the locals for centuries. However, the rest of the world is just beginning to discover the joys of drinking wine from Istria.

The region uses both local and international grape varieties to make wine in a wide variety of styles. With such a diversity of choice, it fits the description of a contemporary success story. So why don't we know more about it?

Wine out Istria and long history

Istria has a long and proud history of wine making, dating back to Roman times when the area was known as Histria. The region was under Venetian rule for centuries, which had a significant influence on wine culture.

After the Second World War, Istria part of communist Yugoslavia and wine production was focused on quantity over quality. It wasn't until Croatia declared its independence in 1991 that the region began to regain its identity and focus on producing high-quality wines.

In recent years, wines are getting out Istria more attention from the international wine community. However, they have a long way to go before they become widely known and appreciated.

Istria is a wine region in the westernmost part of Croatia and the coastal tip of southern Slovenia. The region is known for the production of high quality wines. Istria has a long history of winemaking, dating back to Roman times when the area was known as Histria. The region was under Venetian rule for centuries, which had a significant influence on wine culture.

After the Second World War, Istria part of communist Yugoslavia and wine production was focused on quantity over quality. It wasn't until Croatia declared independence in 1991 that the region began to regain its identity and focus on producing high quality wines. In recent years, wines are getting out Istria more attention from the international wine community.

Wine from the region of Istria in Croatia

The long tradition wine out Istria

The first grapes were cultivated by the Greeks in the 6th century BC Istria introduced, making it one of the oldest wine-growing regions in Europe. However, a turbulent history prevents it from becoming one of the classic regions. Named after the Histri, the first settlers on this heart-shaped peninsula of the North Adriatic, Istria has been part of many countries throughout its eventful history.

It was an important Roman province and after the fall of Rome it became part of the Byzantine Empire. In 788 Charlemagne annexed Istria to the Holy Roman Empire. For centuries it was ruled by Venice and then Austria-Hungary until the end of World War I when it became part of Italy. Since 1945, after the Second World War, Istria part of Croatia.

Istrian wine-making dates back to the 6th century BC when the Greeks introduced grapes to the heart-shaped peninsula of the North Adriatic, now known as Istria† The region's tumultuous history has prevented it from becoming one of Europe's classic wine-growing regions despite its early start.

The region takes its name from the Histri, the first settlers in the area. Throughout its history Istria been part of many different countries, including Rome, the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, Venice, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. Istria has been part of Croatia since 1945.

A winemaker Istria simply explains the past 100 years: “My grandfather was born in Austria, my father was born in Italy, I was born in Yugoslavia and my daughter was born in Croatia. We were all born in the same house.”

The fall and rise of wine from Istria

The area dedicated to viticulture has been in constant decline since the 20s. However, over the past XNUMX years there has been a renaissance in Croatian winemaking, and Istria is now home to over 70 wineries, many of which produce excellent wines.

The fall of Yugoslavia in the early 90s was disastrous for the wine industry. Bulk-producing state cooperatives were forced to close, leaving the vineyards unattended and neglected. But in the years since, a new generation of quality-conscious producers has emerged, modernizing wineries and reducing vineyard yields to produce more concentrated and complex wines.

The native red grape teran has been revived under the attentive gaze of these winegrowers Istria, with some truly exceptional examples now available. The result? Wines out Istria are now among the most sought after in Croatia. If you're looking for a full-bodied red with a lot of personality, this is it teran definitely worth buying.

Different kinds of wines Istria

Istria has a unique terroir that is the result of the diverse landscape. The region is home to a number of different microclimates, each with its own distinctive soil type.

Wine producers Istria want to build on the unique geography and microclimates of the region. The varied landscape allows for a variety of soil types that can produce distinctive wines. Taking advantage of these unique conditions, Istrian producers create new wine styles that put the region on the map as a major player in the wine world.

The terroir of Istria is diverse and complex, making it ideal for producing a wide variety of wines. The region's microclimates allow for a variety of grape varieties to be grown, and the different soil types give each wine its own unique character. Winegrowers Istria use these conditions to create new wine styles that put the region on the map as a major player in the wine world.

The climate

The climate in Croatia Istria is Mediterranean, with strong Alpine influences. This results in cold air in the evenings, which extends the ripening season and increases acidity. During the day, however, the sea breeze from the Adriatic Sea keeps the vineyards cool and dry, which reduces disease.

Although rainfall reaches 800 mm per year, it is mostly in winter, spring and late autumn. Summers are warm and dry, which can lead to drought. However, this also means that fungal diseases are less of a concern.


Kroatisch Istria is often divided into Red Istria, Gray Istria and White Istria, named for the three soils that dominate the peninsula:

  • RED ISTRIA is named for its terracotta-colored soil, rich in iron, called Crljenica (Terra Rossa). This land is closer to the sea and is mainly reserved for the cultivation of red varieties. However, white varieties are also grown on this soil and result in full-bodied and structured wines.
  • GRAY ISTRIA is the largest soil type on the peninsula and occurs inland. It consists of marl, limestone and clay. This combination of soils produces wines that are fruity, mineral and have good acidity.
  • WHITE ISTRIA covers a small area on the east coast and consists of white limestone. These wines are light, fresh and have good acidity.

Wines from Istria are among the best in Croatia and have gained international recognition in recent years. The climate and soil of Istria provide the perfect conditions for growing a variety of grape varieties. Whether you prefer red, white or rose, there is a wine out there Istria for everyone to enjoy.

Terroir of Istria
terroir of Istria: Red, Gray and White 
(Source: Istrian County)

Typical wine out Istria

Malvasia Isstarska

Malvasia Istarska is the most widely planted grape in Istria, accounting for 60% of all vines. The variety is also found in Slovenia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia in Italy, but is native to Croatian Istria.

Malvasia Istriana wines are tangy and refreshing, with notes of acacia flower, citrus fruit and a hint of bitter almond on the finish. The style makes a brilliant aperitif and a perfect combination with local oysters from Limski Kanal. Some good examples have also been made using long maceration of the skin and the local specialty of acacia barrel maturation.

Acacia-aged wines have a similar texture and mouthfeel to oak-aged wines, but with less pronounced vanilla and toasty flavours, leaving more room for the aromas of Malvasia Istriana to shine. They are usually combined with local fuži, a penne-like pasta dish made with the famous Istrian truffles from Motovun Forest.

Istarska Malvazija grape - Malvasia Istriana


The Croatian Istria has been producing wine for centuries and in recent years very good quality wines have come from the region. A local variety that is becoming increasingly popular is the red grape teran. teran-wines are often deep and dark colored, with high acidity and tannin. They can be full bodied, with aromas of dark berries and wild herbs. Good examples of teranwines have great aging potential.

teran-wines are sometimes mixed with Merlot to balance out their wilder side and make them more approachable when they are young. Blends of teran with Merlot and other international varietals embrace a modern approach to winemaking, yet retain their distinctly Istrian character. These wines are also known as Superistrians – a tribute to the well-known international ideas and blends found in Tuscany.

If you are looking for a Croatian wine good quality, try teran then definitely agree. You will not be disappointed!

Teran Grape

Muškat Momjanski

De Muškat Momjanski grape originally comes from Istria and has been cultivated in the region for centuries. The best Muškat Momjanski wines come from the red soils around Momjan and have a beautiful amber hue.

The wine made from this grape is characterized by its intense aromas of flowers and stone fruit, as well as a refreshing, medium-sweet taste. If you're ever in Istria If you are, be sure to try a glass (or two!) of this delicious wine.

Muskat Momjanski grape


It has long been thought that the Borgonja is an autochthonous grape variety Istria is, but it was recently determined by genetic analysis that it shares the same genotype as the Frankovka. Despite this, the Borgonja has a long tradition of growth Istria. In the vicinity of Poreč and Višnjan, the Borgonja was more common than the teran.

It is mainly grown in the western wine regionIstria cultivated and is still most present in the Poreč area. The characteristic of Borgonja is the ruby ​​red color. The taste has intense aromas of berries and raspberry, with scents of violets and a fine freshness and aroma of red pepper that rounds off the soft fruit and vegetable flavors, enriched with cloves and soft tannins.

Synonyms (other known names) are Frankovka, Blaufränkisch, Frankinja, modra Frankinja, Franconia, Kekfrankos, lemberger.

Sansigot / Sušćan

The Sansigot grape variety got its name from the Italian island of Suska, called Sansego, and the Greek name for origanum, sansegus. It has been traditionally cultivated on the island of Suska for centuries, even the surname Sansegoti exists there. According to the stories, the ancient Greeks imported the grape variety and the sandy soil on the island turned out to be perfect for this grape variety. This sandy soil also saved Sansigot during the philosophical epidemic, as a result of which most of the production moved to the nearby island of Krk.

The aroma of the Sansigot wine from Istria is characteristic for a medium-bodied wine with beautiful floral aromas, usually of lavender, and flavors of red and black forest fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, ribes and lively acidity. Depending on the vintage, fig and cherry flavors may also be present, with a low alcohol content of around 12%.


De White wine Žlahtina is mainly grown in it Vrbnickom polje on the island of Krk. The name comes from an old Slavic word meaning noble. It is a White wine with a green-yellow color, to a dark yellow color of straw. It has a light taste with subtle and recognizable aromas of melon, apple and quince.

International varieties in Istria

Kroatisch Istria is a unique and special wine region strongly influenced by its proximity to Italy. As a result, many Italian grape varieties such as Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco and Refosco well represented here. In addition to these local varieties, international grapes such as ChardonnaySauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon en Merlot great results on in Istria.

However, it is not only the international varieties that do well in Istria† The native variety Malvasia for example, is successfully used in the production of both dry white wines and sweet dessert wines. Another local variety, teran, is often compared to Pinot Noir and is used to produce full-bodied red wines with strong character. So whether you are looking for fresh white or cool red, Istria must have something for you.

The world famous wine critic Oz Clarke has even claimed that Croatian Istria perhaps the second best terroir for Merlot has, after the right bank of Bordeaux! So if you're looking for something new and exciting in the wine world, check out some Croatian Istria has to offer.

The future of wine Istria

Kroatisch Istria is a wine-producing region with a long history and many recent investments that are on the cusp of becoming known for its quality wines. The strong local wine market due to the popularity of Istria as a tourist destination offers producers the opportunity to increase exports.

Producers who have been successful in exporting to the European and American markets are now looking to Asian markets. The region has gained international recognition for its wines in recent years and if it manages to maintain the balance between local and international production, Istria become even more famous in the coming years.



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