Istria is indeed a feast for the eyes. Its streams flow to the sea through deep valleys and gullies which bring to mind the ancient local myths about giants. Rolling hills overlook the fields and valleys with little towns perched on the peaks, recalling some old paintings. The view is splendid: white-topped mountains, lush wheat fields, plateaux, valleys, vineyards and olive groves on hillsides, and, finally the sea.
Istrian wine is a poetry of taste and smell, it is an inseparable part of the Istrian man, his passion and love, the deepest intimacy and open pride, a lavish gift of rocky land and abundant sunshine.
The history of wine and the local people is an inseparable story which lasts nearly 2,000 years since the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius brought vines to the warm Istrian soil.
From gold to ruby Malvasia Teran, from young light wines vivid autumn to full elegant flavors of ripe baroque, Istrian wines offer a multi-layered story is beginning to unravel.
The best Istrian winemakers:
- Momjan, west Istria
- Tel. 052 779 177
Gianfranco Kozlović is the most important Istrian winemaker, with Ivica Matosevic and Morena Coronica. Kozlović, just like Coronica, created a special brand of Malvasia. For more than a decade numerous restaurant’s guests do not order Malvasia, but simply Kozlović. Kozlović has become synonymous with the Malvasia, just as Krauthaker and Enjingi become synonymous with Riesling. Ex Kozlović owns a vineyard on the position Santa Lucia, from which grapes are harvested in the same name, rare, complicated and, in principle, a magnificent wine. Kozlovic Muscat is undisputed leading in Istria. Kozlovic winery terrace overlooks the fascinating, actually quite a wild, almost jungle nature of inland Istria. Kozlović is worth a visit not only for the wine but also because of its unique atmosphere.
- Kremenje (Momjan), west Istria
- Tel. 052 779 047
Marino Markežić for decades was known for his restaurant Marino, where in the early nineties was founded Istrian Democratic Assembly and where they always ate the most aromatic truffles in Croatia. Ten years ago Markežić ventured into the wine business; he built in the ultra-modern cellar, with a large wooden barrels, and not just with barriques, he got some Georgian amphorae and optimistically, under the name of Kabola, went on the market. Besides Malvasia Amphora, none of his wine has not, so far, penetrated into the first Croatian neither into first Istrian league, which is partially undeserved. The Kabolini Muscat really are great. If you want to enjoy the first-class summer truffles and see how they produce some of the the more ambitious Istrian wines, do not miss the Kabolovi in Kremenje.
- Krunčići (Limski kanal), west Istria
- Tel 052 380 597
Winery Ivica Matosevic, the main ideologist of the Istrian wine movement, is located directly above the Lim fjord, which is an extraordinary circumstance for Matosevic business associates. In fact, this middle-aged rocker his guests often leads to a nearby restaurant Viking, where lunch begins with oysters and ends on lobsters and crabs.
Matošević’s basement is not large. Indeed, it is a smallish room, which is covered with a bottling plant and tasting room, and above them Matošević’s apartment. Matosevic is in his basement, when you find him at home, selling wine at really affordable prices: less than ten euros (plus VAT) for a bottle. The most important Matosevic wines are Alba Barrique, and white and red Grimalda.
- Bašanija (Savudrija),
- zapadna Istra
- 052 759 250
Moreno Degrassi owns vineyards in extraordinary position on Bujština: Bomarchese, Ferne, Contarini and San Pellegrino.
Degrassi is one of the founders of the Istrian wine renaissance. And today he works closely with the other two famous wine pioneers, Ivica Matosevic and Frank Kozlovič. The fruitage of this cooperation is, among other things, Malvasia Madebaco, winner of this year’s Vinistra, intended for export to the US market.
Degrassi winery is located just a short drive from the hotel Kempinski