Croatian Uplands

Croatian Uplands

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LATITUDE

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about this region

The Croatian Uplands wine region, a scenic gem nestled in the heart of Croatia, presents a picturesque panorama of rolling hills and quaint vineyards. This idyllic landscape, characterized by its lush greenery and fertile soils, is a testament to the region's rich viticultural heritage. The area, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of nature, boasts a unique terroir that nurtures a diverse array of grape varieties, making it a celebrated destination for wine enthusiasts.

Among the region's viticultural treasures are its main grape varieties – Pušipel, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Škrlet. Each variety flourishes in the Uplands' distinct climate, benefiting from the harmonious blend of the region's cool winters and the ample sunshine that graces its hills. The result is a remarkable collection of wines that capture the essence of this enchanting region, offering a taste that is as profound and varied as the landscape itself.

The Croatian Uplands wine region is not just a place for wine cultivation; it's a canvas where nature's artistry and human passion come together to create something truly extraordinary. The region's wines are a reflection of its landscape – rich, diverse, and full of character – making every sip a journey through the heart of Croatia's winemaking tradition.

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WINERIES

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Discover Terroir

The Croatian Uplands wine region, located in the northern part of Croatia, is a testament to nature's beauty and the art of winemaking. This area boasts a captivating natural landscape characterized by rolling hills, lush valleys, and charming rural scenes.

Picture this: endless rows of grapevines covering the gentle slopes of the hills, basking in the warm and inviting sunlight. As you wander through the Croatian Uplands, you'll be treated to a picturesque mosaic of vineyards, fertile fields, and serene forests. The scenery is further enriched by the presence of quaint villages and historic towns nestled amidst this idyllic backdrop, providing splendid vistas of the surrounding vineyards.

These towns, often perched atop hills or nestled in valleys, feature traditional stone-built houses with distinctive red-tiled roofs, adding to the region's rustic allure. What sets the Croatian Uplands apart is its unique microclimate, a result of its elevated position and its strategic location between the Pannonian Plain to the east and the Adriatic Sea to the west. This microclimate creates an optimal environment for grape cultivation, with the hills acting as natural guardians against extreme weather and ensuring excellent air circulation.

In essence, the Croatian Uplands wine region offers an enchanting landscape marked by rolling hills, thriving vineyards, charming villages, and a climate perfectly suited for cultivating exceptional grapes. It's a place where the beauty of the natural world harmonizes with the craftsmanship of winemaking, making it a captivating destination for wine enthusiasts and anyone seeking the tranquility and allure of rural life. Here's to the breathtaking beauty of the Croatian Uplands!

The climate of the Croatian Uplands wine region is a fascinating tale of diversity, driven by its intricate landscape that encompasses mountains, plains, forests, and a beautiful coastline. Here, you'll find a unique blend of continental and Mediterranean climates, each region offering its own distinct weather patterns.

Along the coast, where the Mediterranean influence is strongest, summers bring average air temperatures of 24°C-26°C. In the interior of Istria, it's a bit cooler, around 22°C. As for the sea, it mirrors the seasonal shifts, ranging from 8°C in the winter to a balmy 27°C in the summer. Winters here are milder than in the heart of the continent, particularly along the northern coastal areas, where minimum temperatures hover around 2°C, while the southern regions see a slightly warmer 9°C. Dubrovnik takes the prize for being the wettest place, especially from October to December, but snow is a rarity along the coast.

The coastal winds play their part in shaping the climate. The "Jugo" blows in from the east-southeast, bringing warmth and humidity, affecting the southern Adriatic for most of the year and the northern coast during spring. Then there's the "Maestral," a welcome summer breeze carrying good weather and fluffy white clouds from the sea. And let's not forget the "Bura" (or "Bora"), a brisk, north-easterly wind that sweeps through in winter, ushering in frigid air from Eastern Europe.

Now, journey inland, and you'll encounter a more continental climate. Winters here embrace a snowy character, with January temperatures averaging around 0°C to -2°C. Summers, on the other hand, turn up the heat, with July temperatures averaging around 22°C, though recent years have seen unusually hot summers. If you venture into the mountains, expect to find lingering snow on the summits for many weeks. But in the summertime, mountain weather offers a refreshing coolness, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 18°C.

The Croatian Uplands, nestled around the capital Zagreb and stretching toward Hungary and Slovenia, have their own unique climate story. This hilly landscape, adorned with small vineyards, experiences cold winters, but the ample sunlight is a blessing for vineyards, making it an ideal home for grape varieties like Pušipel (akin to Hungarian Furmint), Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. This climate gives birth to aromatic wines with a delightful acidity.

Beyond the region, the Dinaric Alps stand as a natural boundary, separating the Mediterranean charm from the interior plains and influencing the captivating climatic variations. In coastal cities like Split, expect sunnier skies and warmer sea temperatures. However, if snow is your fancy, the interior regions offer a more reliable wintery blanket compared to their coastal counterparts.

In essence, the Croatian Uplands wine region is a tapestry of climates, where the convergence of landscapes, from the coast to the mountains, paints a vibrant and dynamic picture for both nature enthusiasts and wine aficionados.

Nestled within the Croatian Uplands wine region, a tapestry of soils unfolds, each contributing its unique signature to the wines produced. Let's embark on this journey through the soil diversity:

  1. Limestone and Marl: This soil composition is most common in the Plešivica area. This distinctive type of soil creates the perfect setting for the cultivation of Riesling grapes. The result? Elegant wines that bear the unmistakable imprint of their terroir, boasting characteristics that captivate the senses.
  2. Clay and Sandy soils: As we venture into the heart of the Croatian Uplands, particularly in the Međimurje region, clay and sand soils reign supreme. These versatile soils provide an ideal canvas for a rich array of grape varieties to flourish. Here, Pušipel (also known as Furmint), Yellow Muscat, Graševina, Green Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir thrive, each drawing unique flavors and nuances from their surroundings. The clay and sand soils work their magic, endowing the wines with a full-bodied, well-rounded taste while preserving the vibrant acidity and imparting a delightful fruity character.

In the Croatian Uplands, the soils tell a story, each varietal echoing the whispers of the earth from which it springs. It's a tale of diversity and distinction, where the land itself becomes an artist, painting the flavors of this enchanting region.

Discover

The Croatian Uplands, a picturesque region adorned with rolling hills and lush vineyards, is home to a diverse array of grape varieties, each with unique characteristics that make them well-suited to the area's terroir. Among these, Pušipel, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Škrlet stand out for their adaptability to the region's climatic conditions and agricultural practices. These grapes, thriving in the Uplands' distinctive environment, contribute significantly to the region's viticultural richness.

  1. Pušipel: This grape variety, also known as Furmint in neighboring Hungary, has found a congenial home in the Croatian Uplands. Pušipel is well-adapted to cooler climates and benefits from the region's combination of sunny days and cool nights. This grape is versatile in its cultivation, capable of thriving in various soil types found in the Uplands, from loamy to volcanic. Its resilience to colder temperatures makes it suitable for the region's varied microclimates, contributing to a longer ripening period that is essential for developing its distinct characteristics.
  2. Riesling: Riesling, a grape variety synonymous with elegance and resilience, flourishes in the Croatian Uplands. This variety demands a cooler climate, which the Uplands provide, allowing the grapes to mature slowly and retain their natural acidity. Riesling vines prefer well-drained soils, typically thriving on the region's sloping terrains which ensure adequate drainage and exposure to sunlight. The region's climate, marked by significant diurnal temperature variations, is ideal for Riesling, aiding in the preservation of its natural flavors and acidity during the ripening process.
  3. Sauvignon Blanc: In the Croatian Uplands, Sauvignon Blanc finds an ideal setting for growth. This variety benefits from the region's moderate climate, which helps in maintaining the balance between sugar and acidity in the grapes. Sauvignon Blanc vines are adaptable to a range of soil types, yet they particularly thrive in the mineral-rich soils of the Uplands, which contribute to the grape's health and vigor. The region's combination of warm days and cool nights during the growing season is crucial for the development of Sauvignon Blanc's distinctive attributes.
  4. Škrlet: Škrlet is a native grape variety that embodies the essence of the Croatian Uplands' viticultural heritage. This grape is well-suited to the region's continental climate, requiring a balance of warm days and cooler nights to mature properly. Škrlet vines are hardy and adaptable, capable of thriving in the diverse soil types present in the Uplands. The variety's ability to withstand temperature variations and its preference for well-aerated soils make it a perfect match for the region's terroir, allowing it to develop its unique characteristics fully.

Each of these grape varieties, with their specific agricultural and climatic needs, contributes to the rich tapestry of wine production in the Croatian Uplands, underscoring the region's importance in the world of viticulture.

The Croatian Uplands wine region is well-known for its stunning landscapes and fertile soil, which give rise to a diverse range of captivating wines that are as charming as the region itself. These wines are praised for their lively acidity and medium to full body, and they come in a spectrum of colors, from pale straw for whites to deep ruby for reds. The region's distinct climate and soil play a crucial role in crafting the wines' complexity and richness.

  1. Graševina: This is the standout star of the Croatian Uplands, celebrated for its versatility. Graševina wines typically exhibit a crystal-clear appearance with a light to medium body. Aromatically, they offer a delightful fusion of floral and fruity notes, often featuring hints of green apples, citrus fruits, and a subtle touch of minerality. On the palate, they strike a harmonious balance between freshness and richness, with a noticeable zingy acidity that leaves a crisp, revitalizing finish. Depending on the winemaking approach, Graševina can also showcase more intricate flavors, with aged versions revealing deeper nuances of honey and nuts.
  2. Škrlet: This homegrown wine stands out for its delicate and subtly intricate character. Škrlet wines are typically light-bodied with a gentle pale yellow hue. The aroma profile of Škrlet is refined and understated, presenting floral scents alongside soft fruit undertones like pear and melon. On the palate, these wines are generally fresh and light, with a well-balanced acidity that makes them particularly suitable for pairing with food. Škrlet eloquently embodies the terroir of the Croatian Uplands, delivering an authentic and distinctive flavor.
  3. Chardonnay and Other International Varieties: The Croatian Uplands also excel in crafting wines from well-known international grape varieties like Chardonnay. These wines often feature a medium body and a golden hue, with their aromatic profile ranging from fresh and fruity to rich and buttery, depending on the winemaking techniques employed. Tastes of tropical fruits, vanilla, and oak are commonly found in these wines, offering a palate that is both complex and pleasing. The Chardonnay from this region, as well as other international varieties, highlights the versatility and adaptability of the Croatian Uplands in the world of winemaking.

Each wine from the Croatian Uplands narrates a unique story of its origin, reflecting the distinct attributes of the region's climate, soil, and traditional winemaking practices. Whether they are indigenous or international grape varieties, these wines stand as a testament to the region's unwavering commitment to producing high-quality and diverse wines.

altitude

120-400 m

rain

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soil

The soil varies between Clay and Sandy (the predominant one) and Limestone and Marl.

top varietal

Pušipel, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Škrlet

History of wine

The story of winemaking in the Croatian Uplands is like a fascinating journey filled with twists and turns, just like the flavors in a fine wine. This region's been making wine for ages, and it's all about how the people and the land have come together over time.

So, let's kick things off with the ancient days when the Illyrians were farming in the Bronze Age. They got things started, and then the Greeks showed up, living on those cool Croatian islands – Korčula, Hvar, and Vis – and took winemaking to the next level.

Fast forward, and the Romans, who were experts in growing grapes, kept the winemaking vibe alive. This tradition stuck around even during the medieval times, becoming a big part of the local scene. The Croatian Uplands became a kind of canvas where generations of winemakers put their skills to work.

But it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Over the centuries, this place faced its fair share of troubles, like those Ottoman invasions, a nasty bug called phylloxera that wiped out vineyards, and those rough times with world wars and communism. Each of these challenges left its mark on winemaking, making it tougher and more adaptable.

Now, winemaking in the Croatian Uplands has seen a real revival. Thanks to groups like the Association of Winegrowers and Winemakers of Istria (Vinistra) in 1995 and the Association of Croatian Wineries by the Croatian Chamber of Economy in 2010, the wine scene got a shot in the arm. They brought back the old-school ways of winemaking and mixed them with some modern techniques.

Today, the Croatian Uplands are known for their crazy variety of both local and foreign grapes. You've got traditional stuff like the Kraljevina grape making a comeback, and they're even making sparkling wine up on Mount Plešivica. It's a hip and happening wine scene, blending history with the latest trends, featuring over 130 native grape types.

In a nutshell, the Croatian Uplands' winemaking history is a wild ride through time. It's a story of resilience, creativity, and a deep love for the craft. This rich history continues to influence how they make wine here, making it a unique and precious part of Croatia's winemaking heritage. Cheers to that!

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