If you've been following along on my Instagram page recently, you saw that I took a week-long trip to the country of Croatia with my parents and the tour company The Adventure Gals at the beginning of October. Croatia is a country you need to put on your list for the amazing views, food, and wine.
Croatia is made up mostly of islands and has the perfect environment for winemaking. There are more than 300 geographically defined wine areas and four wine regions: Istria and Kvarner, Dalmatia, Croatian Uplands, and Slavonia and Danube. There are over 130 indigenous grapes in Croatia.
The trip was focused on food and wine in Dalmatia, which was absolutely abundant and incredible. The Adventure Gals did an AMAZING job picking the vineyards for this trip. All of these vineyards were truly family owned, with family members literally pouring the wines in your glass. From every place we went to I got at least one bottle!
The grape varieties we mostly indulged in were:
Debit: A white grape that grows along the northern and central Dalmatian coast.
Pošip: A white grape grown in the Dalmatian region.
Plavac Mali: A red grape grown primarily in the Dalmatian region of which its parent is Zinfandel.
Tribidrag: A red grape. Today, studies concluded that Zinfandel has a direct line to Tribidrag.
Get to know the wines I took home
My 10 bottles of wine from my trip made it safely home thanks to my Fly With Wine suitcase. You can take all your favorite wines home from your next trip too by using my discount code BIGTASTEXFWW for 10% off at http://flywithwine.com/!
Get to know the wines that made the biggest impact on my taste buds, in which I took back home to North Carolina.
🍷 Wines I thought were super unique and had to have:
Grabovac Draga Reserve 2019. The taste is absolutely refreshing with its bounty of stone fruits mixed with a hint of honey and a finish of slight butter and oak. Draga is a single vineyard blend of Kujundžuša, Pošip, Žilavka, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay (20% each).
Ante Sladić Maraština 2021. This wine gets 24 hour skin contact and is aged on fine lees in neutral Slavonian oak barrels. I love the citrus taste and the floral nose on this wine! Ante Sladić grows four indigenous grape varieties in the National Park Krka, one of them being the white Maraština. Their 15,000 vines grow in a very convenient micro climate — they get warm, dry days and cool breezes from the Adriatic Sea.
Benmosché family Dingač 2016 by Bura Mrgudić winery. It is absolutely delicious, and I know it’s because the happy Plavac Mali grapes get a gorgeous view of the Adriatic Sea everyday. Dingač is a full-bodied wine aged in wood. You get the taste of juicy plum balanced with some minerality, with a delightful dark berry and vanilla nose. You can now get their wine shipped to the U.S. via their website with free shipping on any orders of six bottles or more. And if you live in Connecticut, you can get it even cheaper by purchasing from the BevMax locations in Westport or Stamford for an additional 10% off per 12 bottle case.
🍷 Wines that were so delicious I had to take them home:
Grabovac Chardonnay Riserva 2019. I don’t like an overly-oaky Chardonnay and despite being full bodied and aged in oak it has a crispness! I get the taste of nuts, vanilla, peach, and apple, complimented by a tropical nose. Grabovac’s vineyards are located in a valley like area in Imotski, which is such a gorgeous backdrop!
Tasovac Pošip 2021. This light bodied wine is refreshing and acidic, with a sweetness to it. In the glass you get lemon and grapefruit, with some minerality. The island of Korčula is the ancient origin of this white wine.
Grabovac Desertno 2016. This is a wonderfully balanced sweet and acidic dessert wine. You get honeydew melon and pear on the palate. Some dessert wine can be very syrupy sweet, but this wine is delicate and enjoyable!
Coravin has a great little Croatia wine 101 article if you're interested in learning more about the wine region. The Coravin online shop is actually how I found the company Fly With Wine; they have created an amazing wine suitcase collection, which protects your precious bottles in transportation. We gifted my father the Grande 12-bottle suitcase for our Croatia trip and it worked like an absolute dream! If you have a trip you're going on where you know you'll want to bring back some bottles of wine, I encourage you to look at their 8-bottle and 5-bottle suitcases. Fly With Wine even has other handy wine accessories. You can get 10% off your order with promo code BIGTASTEXFWW at checkout.
Have you ever had Croatian wine? I've slowly been seeing them more on menus at wine bars in Charlotte. They truly are worthy picks for your next wine outing.