As Croatia’s tourism sector booms, the country’s rich diversity of local grape varieties is increasingly gaining attention. In recent years the white Graševina, known elsewhere as Welschriesling, has been behind a number of exceptional wines, but other exciting grapes are showing their potential. Pošip is perhaps the most exciting of all, capable of giving crisp apple and citrus fruit flavours, but Pušipel, Grk and Maraština have promise, as does Škrlet and Vugava. With the long standing commercial success of Primitivo in Italy and Zinfandel in California, it was inevitable that the variety, known as Tribidrag in Croatia, would have an uplift in success. Perhaps more importantly, its genetic relatives Plavac Mali and Vranec fair better here and for lovers of big, heavy red wines, these are well worth seeking out. Dobričić, also a relation, is making a comeback, while the Dalmatian favourite Babić also possesses plenty of rustic charm.
Teran is a red grape found in Croatia. In Italy it is known as Terrano where it grows in the region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. It gives powerful wines with red fruit flavours, soft tannins and pleasant acidity. Wines are typically aged in wood to soften these tannin and most age well for between five and ten years.
Tribidrag is a red grape variety from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. Since it was discovered in the 1960s that this is the same grape variety as Primitivo in Italy and Zinfandel in the United States it has become much more important. It produces full bodied wines with lots of dark fruit flavours.
Malvazija Istarska is a high quality white grape variety found on the Istrian peninsula. In Croatia it is the second most planted white grape variety after Graševina. It is also very common in neighbouring Friuli-Venezia-Giulia where it goes by the Italian name of Malvasia Istriana. It is capable of producing exceptional wines full of flavour, freshness and minerality.