Arrival airport: Zagreb (ZAG)
Departure airport: Zagreb (ZAG)
No. of wineries visited:10
Zagreb – Motovun – Rovinj – Zagreb
This tour is designed for those with poetry in their soul, such is the stunning countryside we see on this trip.
We start in Zagreb, the bustling medieval city that is Croatia’s capital. Ah, Zagreb! Once a stop on the Simplon Orient Express, this medieval city will charm you with its old city walls, imposing cathedral, and great restaurants. Here we will start our introduction to Croatian cuisine and wine. In-between many samples of local cheeses and charcuterie, we will taste our way through a vertical tasing of a special, premiere wine, as well as exploring the best region for sparkling wine production.
Then, the rivers and seas of a stunning part of Croatia beckons. Slowly, we work our way west from Zagreb, past tall Cyprus trees, to the Istrian Peninsula. Here the land and architecture takes on a more Italian feel, but the wines are decidedly Croatian. Inland, the landscape is peppered with valleys and you’ll dally in achingly beautiful hilltop villages as you sample local wines. This is also truffle country, and we will hunt for some of the world's largest and most sought after ones, before ending our days sipping delicious cocktails, watching the sun set over the crystal-clear water of the Adriatic.
As for the wines, this region is blessed with rolling hills, a temperate climate moderated by a sea breeze, and at least four different types of soil, makes for perfect vine growing territory. This diversity of soil and microclimates is reflected in the vast number of wine styles available from mostly native varietals. Young, fresh Malvazija Istarka dominates production though and for good reason - its utterly delightful and incredibly food friendly. The unruly Teran, once tamed through the collective wine knowledge of generations, has an inherent charm, full of Mediterranean herbs and elegant tannins. We also sample some of the best sparkling wines that will rival more famous regions for quality and style. Made in the traditional method and otherwise - amphoras anyone? - they are a must for anyone with even a passing love of bubbles.
Days 1 - 2
- Arrival in Zagreb, collection and transfer to hotel. Welcome cocktails and a welcoming dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in Zagreb.
- Morning tour of Zagreb, including the famous Dolac market, with nibbles and snacks of local fare. Then off to see the best sparkling wine producer in the country and a couple of their friends before heading out to the Istrian peninsular. Overnight in Motovun.
Days 3 - 4
- After breakfast, we go truffle hunting! Croatia is home to some of the best and largest, holding the current world record in fact for the largest white truffle ever found.
- After we visit three local wineries before sun downers on the terrace overlooking the valley.
- More wineries the next day, as we make our way to Rovinj. A quick tour of this charming town before a free evening to have dinner and explore by yourselves. Overnight in Rovinj.
Days 5 - 6
- Full day exploring the wineries of the west and south of Istria. Prosciutto, cheese and olive oil tastings are thrown in for good measure. One final dinner together and then overnight in Rovinj.
- A leisurely trip back to Zagreb, stopping at charming seaside towns for lunch and a couple more wineries to send us on our way.
- Drop off at Zagreb airport or in the city center if you are staying overnight.