You would probably not expect it, but the city of Zagreb has several wineries within its boundaries. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise, considering the long winemaking tradition in the region, still visible today if you move just a bit from the centre of the city. In fact, if you walk up Tkalčevićeva street, and that is the dead centre of the city, on your left you will be able to see the remnants of old vineyards, and if you drive just two or three kilometres north of Ilica, to the gentle slopes of the Medvednica mountain, you will still see vineyards being maintained and wine made still to this day. Those vineyards are private, so you probably won’t be able to taste or buy any of that wine.
Most of the commercial wineries in Zagreb are located in the Eastern suburbs of the city of Zagreb, in the region which would geographically belong to the Zelina winemaking region. Those wineries mostly grow varieties well established in the Zelina region: Graševina, Chardonnay, Traminac, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Škrlet and the star of the region - Kraljevina. Several of the wineries have joined forces to build the Wine Road of the City of Zagreb, so you can use our map and road signs in the region to visit most of them (as a few of them have restaurants and rooms as well, you’ll be very welcome there, and will be able to get home-made food from the local ingredients, and of course, if you have one glass of Kraljevina too many, staying there for the night won’t be the problem).
Then there is the winery where you can purchase the wines made by the students studying at the Faculty of Viticulture at the Zagreb University. They have the Faculty vineyards, also at the Eastern part of the city (but much closer than those mentioned in the last passage), and they bottle the wines made each year. They have quite a large selection of wines, Traminac (also the late harvest and select harvest), Graševina, Chardonnay, red cuvée Kontesa Nera (5 varieties, mostly Pinot Noir), red cuvée Crni Vitez (mostly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon), and the wines have great prices – for such quality and the sense that you’re helping young people learn how to make wine.
And then there are two wineries that belong to Zagreb, and that make wine in Zagreb, but the grapes are brought to Zagreb from other locations. There are two of them: Jakob winery has been making wines commercially since 2006, and their vineyards are in Brodski Stupnik, in Eastern Continental Croatia, near the Sava River. They have 6.5 hectares of vineyards, mostly Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Syrah and Merlot. They make varietal wines, cuvée wines and quite an unusual rose cuvée. They are also extremely proud of their cuvée they sell as bag-in-box, saying that it is the best value for money red wine in Croatia.
The other winery “importing” wines transports them even further, as Markus winery in Zagreb’s Markuševec neighbourhood (thus the name) makes wines exclusively using Plavac Mali grapes grown on the best location, Dingač, on Pelješac. Danijel Szabo, the owner, chooses the grapes he buys from the local winemakers himself, has it delivered to Markuševac under controlled conditions where they make excellent Plavac Mali, under the brand name Pepejuh (local Pelješac name for the horned viper, a snake often found in the vineyards), one of the finest representatives of garage wine in Croatia.