Croatia Wine Tour itinerary
Day 1 – Zagreb Airport arrival & Zagreb walk & wine
The official part of the tour stars with the meeting of our driver on The Zagreb airport. We booked a private transportation for you getting you straight to your accommodation.
After a short break, on the first day, you will have a walking tour to get to know Zagreb, the Croatian capital. We will take you on a private walking tour, but it’s not just a walking tour, it’s wine tasting too. You will visit 2 wineries and have a Croatian wines tasting.
Day 2 – Međimurje wine tour
We are taking you on a private wine tasting tour to Međimurje region.
The wine tradition in this region goes way back to the Roman times, but the true revelation of the Međimurje county wines happened in the 1990’s when the family estates turn to a more professional take on the winemaking process. The sorts typical for Međimurje are: sauvignon, graševina, Rhine Riesling, Yellow Muscatel, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The international white grape variety, found under the names of Moslavac, Šipon or Furmint in Croatia, is mainly grown in northern Croatia and the region of Međimurje, and it produces fresh and mineral white wines. Pušipel provides a great raw material for producing a whole range of wine styles, from typical still wines to “predicate” and even sparkling wines. Pušipel has become a Međimurje brand and you definitely have to try it.
Day 3 – Plešivica region wine tour
You are not going far from Zagreb. Jastrebarsko is best known for its Plešivica Wine Road, which opened back in 2001. Plešivica Wine Road is adorned in by beautiful tame landscape, cultural and historic sites, tradition, and friendly hosts. The best Croatian sparklings, Rieslings and Pinot Neros come from Plešivica, with Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Grey Pinot wines also near the top by their quality.
Apart from indigenous varietals Portugieser, yellow Plavec, sweet Zelenac and Šipelj, you can also taste world-famous wines, such as Chardonnay, Rhine Riesling, Sauvignon, Traminer, and Pinot Noir and Gris. Plešivica wines have been winning awards all over Croatia, and abroad.
Day 4 – Zagorje region wine tour
Again, you are staying close to Zagreb. Navigating through the rolling hills of Zagorje and visiting its wineries is a wonderful experience with many breathtaking views. Zagorje has had a long relationship with wine and some would say that wine runs through the veins of the people of Zagorje. Roads wind through the hills covered in vineyards where you’ll notice the odd wooden cottage (kleti) selling wine.
When it comes to wine history, Zagorje some interesting discoveries. For example in Radoboj a vine leaf fossil, vitis teutonica, was found which is 12 million years old. In addition, the mother of many grape varieties, gouais blanc, which was grown in all wine regions of Europe in the middle ages had become somewhat of a forgotten variety was found in a vineyard near Krapina. It would have remained forgotten if scientists had not discovered that in fact, this grape variety was the mother of chardonnay, riesling, furmint and as many as 60 varieties of grape.
Predominant varieties in this region are traminer, sauvignon, rhine riesling, pinot blanc, pinot gris, chardonnay, sylvaner green, yellow muscat, white muscat, graševina, furmint, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and frankovka. They are also producing some excellent predicate wines including ice wine.
Day 5 –Slavonija wine tour 1 ILOK
The next few days are reserved for the Slavonia region, the flat east of Croatia, a region hugged by three rivers (Drava, Sava and Danube). A few small hills are like islands in the vast plains of golden fields and the vineyards growing there are the home of Croatia’s principal variety, Graševina.
Slavonia is not only the home of fine wines but also of one of the most highly rated species of oak. In neighboring Italy, Slavonian oak is used for the aging of some of their best wines such as Barolo and Barbaresco.
On the eastern border of this region is Ilok, the easternmost town in Croatia situated on the Danube River. It has a unique terroir with ideal conditions for vine cultivation, which were recognized in prehistoric, antic, Roman and Medieval times. Today, Ilok has a thousand year old vine cultivation and winemaking tradition, and Iločki Podrumi (Ilok Wine Cellars) are continuing this tradition. 990 hectares of their vineyards spread over the undulating plateaus of western slopes of Fruška Gora Mountain heading towards the Danube, and annually produce about 4 million liters of wine.
Frankovka is another variety found in countries that surround the Danube; it is known to a wider audience as Blaufränkisch and Traminac, the Croatian counterpart of Gewürtztraminer are the sorts you will find in these parts.
Day 6 – Slavonija wine tour 2 KUTJEVO
Kutjevo is the oldest winery in the region, lies in the middle of continental Croatia’s region of Slavonia. This region is also known as Vallis Aurea, Golden Valley, or the cradle of winemaking in Croatia. In Kutjevo, Cistercian monks in the early 13th century founded the abbey together with a wine cellar and started producing wine. Today they hold 50% of total Croatian wine exports.
The Kutjevo wine cellars have an impressive wine collection which was destroyed in World War II, the tradition of archiving wines in this well-known cellar continued from 1947 onwards. Today, the Kutjevo collection is the most comprehensive wine collection in Croatia, boasting over 65,000 bottles of aged and archived wines where the oldest (Pinot Blanc) dates back to 1947.
We will proceed to an overnight in Opatija.
Day 7 – Istria Wine Tour
After breakfast at your accommodation we will proceed to explore the Istrian peninsula.
Wine region Istria is producing some of the top-notch wines. The heart shaped north-west corner of Croatia is developing a wine tourism niche based on the wine production itself, much like France or Italy.
Moderate Mediterranean climate, conditioned by the sea currents and seemingly constant breezes, has blessed Istria with at least four viticulture-wise fertile soil types. That kind of diversity is primarily meritorious for multitude of wine sorts.
The most famous sort of Croatian wine is the Istrian Malvasia. Malvasia, the absolute queen of the Istrian wine cellars. It is the common name for a number of different or related varieties which have been cultivated by the inhabitants of the Mediterranean winegrowing areas since ancient times.
Overnight in Opatija
Day 8 – Opatija – Plitvice lakes – Split
Being on a specialized tour doesn’t mean that you will miss things along the way. Even though the wine is the most important thing, you surely don’t want to miss the unique locations in Croatia. That’s why we are taking you to Split but via Plitvice Lakes National park. The oldest, the most visited and the biggest national park is actually 16 lakes connected with waterfalls listed on the UNESCO heritage list.
On the way to Split you will visit a few more wineries along the way.
Overnight in Split.
Day 9 – Hvar Island Wine Tour
This day is dedicated to the beautiful island of Hvar. The tradition of winemaking on the island dates back even before the Greek settlers. The wine from Hvar was highly appreciated and sold over the Mediterranean.
The wineries on Hvar are special because from the slopes of the island they go all the way to the beaches. You will taste bogdanuša, the authentic sort of wine from the island. Bogdanuša is a white sort and in translation it means ”given from God”. It’s special because it contains it’s acids which later on gives freshens to the wine and by it’s resilience to drought.
Day 10 – Brač island Wine Tour
Brač island is, however, famous for its white stone, an ideal material for sculptors and interior designers , but very unfriendly for those trying to grow grapes and make wine. Brač has the highest vineyards in all Croatia. And after the spectacular descent to the town of Bol, famous for its Golden Horn beach, you will visit the first Dalmatian wine cooperative, dating back to 1903. The current owner, Stina winery, is modern, stylish and outstanding, and you should not only try their awarded wines, but check out their award-winning bottle labels too.
Day 11 – Pelješac peninsula wine tour – Dubrovnik
Pelješac wineries are among the best red wine producers in Croatia. It is the homeland to the sort: Plavac Mali – Dingač and Postup. The grapes have high levels of sugar (triple isolation: sum, sea and the rocks). The vineyards are cultivated by hand which gives the wines additional value.
You will take the Pelješac wine road and taste the best wines on the peninsula.