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When someone mentions Croatia first thing that comes to mind is the crystal clear sea, beautiful beaches, and hundreds of islands. But continental Croatia is just as beautiful, with the color palette being just a bit different. Continental Croatia is filled with beautiful nature, stunning scenery, sunny golden fields, rivers, and green hills. These green hills are often planted with vines, making the view even nicer.
Even though this area has native varieties, you can also find international varieties, and innovative winemakers have upgraded the wine scene in continental Croatia. We want to make sure you try the best ones, so we’ve prepared a list of must-go wineries of continental Croatia.
The Belje Winery winery is surrounded by 650 hectares of vineyards and has an eight-kilometer wine road strolling through green landscapes as far as your eyes can reach. The right way to get to know the best wines that Belje Wine Cellar can offer is you opt-in for a wine tasting, whether individual or guided. The wine tasting area is furnished in a traditional ethno-style of Baranja. Graševina is one of the most popular white varieties in Croatia and the main star of Belje winery. Graševina’s taste can vary from fresh fruity, like apples and citrus, to light herbal notes, in warmer years, the aromas move towards exotic fruits, and in later harvests abundant floral and then honey notes appear. A common characteristic for all Graševina is a specific spicy-bitter aftertaste. But you can also try other varieties, such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Blue Frankish, and Pinot Noir. Make sure to grab a bottle or two at the boutique and gift shop.
In the heart of Slavonija Perak Winery vineyards are located. Kutjevo’s wine region on the southern slopes of Krndija, between Kutjevo and Vetovo. As we earlier mentioned Graševina is the queen of most of continental Croatia’s vineyards. So Graševina is planted on 70% of Perak’s vineyard. The oldest vines date back to 1968, whereas the latest were planted in 2014. In Perak winery make sure you try Graševina Icewine. The grapes for Icewine are harvested on January 7th, 2016, at the temperature of 12°C below zero, and are fermented for almost a year. This wine is served as an aperitif or with desserts. We don’t have to mention you should buy a bottle as a gift or a souvenir.
Iločki Podrumi is located on the right bank of the river Danube, in the most easterly located town of Croatia - Ilok. This winery produces around 4 million liters of wine, produced from 990 hectares of vineyards. Iločki podrumi Winery has a restaurant The Old cellar, which is located inside of the former winery and above the wine cellar built in the 18th century. You can try typical dishes of that area paired with their best wines. Definitely try Traminac – this variety is distinguishable for its very intense and strong aroma, and it is characterized by high alcohol content and low acid levels, which is why its already characteristic sweetness is especially notable. Or if you are a fan of red wines try – Frankovka. This wine has a deep ruby red color with pronounced fruity varietal aromas and gentle very well-balanced spice and smoke tones.
Galić winery is a modern winery from Kutjevo, which grows vines using the latest knowledge about the bases, assortment, and using the most modern technics, without neglecting the ecological aspect of production. Galić winery is making Croatian continental wines a rising star. The main stars in this winery are Bijelo 9 and Crno 9. Wine Crno 9 is a blend of 2 varieties - Cabernet sauvignon and merlot, which makes this wine rich and layered with flavors. Bijelo 9 is a blend of 3 varieties - 50% Graševina, 25% Chardonnay, 25% Sauvignon blanc.
Family Josić from Osijek in 1999 bought an old wine cellar, they restored it, equipped it with modern technology while preserving the traditional look of the wine cellar, and bought around 1.6 hectares of old vineyards. Josić Winery have a wine-tasting cellar and a restaurant where you can try traditional Baranja dishes. Order a plate of cold cuts that Baranja is proud of Baranja kulen, homemade sausages, ham, švargle and fine, variegated bacon, nibbled on a piece of cheese and mixed with a piece of homemade freshly baked bread. Cold cuts go great with a glass of Baranjski Šiler – a wine of bright red color with a specific taste and aroma obtained by blending two varieties of wine: Frankovka and Cabarnet Sauvignon.