Istria is the first encounter with Croatia for many Dutch people. They have then driven long enough, see the sea and the holiday can begin. In any case, there is the most space for tourists here. Unlike the rest of the country, there are very large campsites and very spacious hotels here.
This peninsula is located in the northwest of the country on the Adriatic Sea and borders Slovenia. But just a few kilometers away is the border with Italy. Over the centuries, many rulers have left their mark on the area. The Ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Venetians, the Great Habsburg Empire and the Republic of Yugoslavia have all had their influence on the area.
Perhaps the most visible domination that remains was probably that of the Romans. Many coastal towns have a beautiful old Roman core and the city of Pula has the largest intact amphitheater after the Colosseum in Rome.
Istria has a moderate subtropical climate with regular rainfall all year round. Because of this climate grow and there are completely different grapes than in the other wine regions of the country.
The main grape for white wines is Istarska Malvazija. This grape is a descendant of the Malvasia grape that is grown throughout the Mediterranean region under various names such as Malvasia, Malvazia and Malmsey. The name "Malvasia" is derived from the Greek city of Monemvasia in the Peloponnese. DNA analysis has determined that the Istrian Malvazia differs from the other numerous Malvasia varieties and can thus be considered an authentic Istrian variety.
This grape produces both young, fresh wine and full aromatic amphora wines. The fresh young wines go well with light fish dishes and dishes with many umami flavors. With the full-bodied amphora wines we don't even have to talk about the pairing, in that case you can just "eat" the wine.
For the red wine, the Teran is without a doubt the most important grape in the region. This is a grape from the Refosco family. The grapes have been cultivated for centuries in Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, with the grape known in Italy under the name Terrano or Refosco, in Slovenia Refošk and in Croatia the name Teran. The grape is considered indigenous throughout the region.
The grape produces beautiful full red wines that are legendary with truffle dishes. Did you know that the largest white truffle ever found in Istria?
A third grape of importance to the region is Muškat Momjanski. This is a very aromatic white rack that grows exclusively around the village of Momjan and nowhere else in the world. This grape is used to make (semi) sweet wine, but also dry white wine.