Međimurje County

By , 19 May 2016, 11:50 AM Wine Regions
Drava river Drava river Photo by Progressof

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What more is there to say about the land that would be the original "Shire" had Tolkien visited it?

Lovely Međimurje lies between the Drava and Mura rivers and is where the first gentle slopes of the Alps begin. The biggest city in Međimurje is Čakovec, and the county has strong agricultural roots, which is very evident when you take a drive through the county.

Wine production dates back to antiquity in the region, but really kicked off in the 1990's with there now being 50 odd wine producers. The varieties that dominate the region are Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Riesling, Muscat yellow, fragrant and red Traminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. But there is one other special wine called Pušipel (Furmint) for which Međimurje is famous for. This white grape variety is another of those produced in continental Croatia with a low alcohol content and high acidity, perfect for eating fatty continental Croatian charcuterie. It's light straw yellow in colour and super refreshing, a real pleasant wine to drink. Most winemakers in Međimurje are producing exceptional quality Pušipel with some of the best being Štampar, Crmrecnjak, and Jakopić.

The best way to explore the wine country of Međimurje is by car where you can cruise the gentle hills and take you pick from 50 wineries. Don't be surprised if you're still tasting wines well into the evening with your hosts, because the people or Međimurje are famous for their hospitality.

One of the wineries well worth visiting is Lovrec who for 6 generations have been producing outstanding wines like yellow muscat, sauvignon. silvaner, riesling, pinot gris, traminer and a great cabernet sauvignon-syrah blend called Knights Black. In addition, they have a great collection of old winemaking equipment from centuries gone by, a fantastic tasting room and even an obilesk from the Napoleonic wars.

Another great winery to visit is Jakopić winery whose story began in 1908 in Železna Gora, where the grandfather of the family started the winery. Three generation later the tradition continues and Jakopić are producing some of the best wines in Međimurje. They're are producing all the usual continental Croatia wine varieties but the Pušipel prestige which is a real standout. If you prefer your wine with food, the Jakopić family also have a great restaurant called Terbotz which serves simple, high quality Međimurje cuisine with a modern twist. Here you can taste all the Jakopić wines coupled with exceptionally good local food.

If you're in Međimurje in May then a great event to attend is the Days of Wine which commences on the 15th of the month. Here you can try wines and take part in various wine related activities which celebrate Međimurje wines.

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Croatia Wine Map

For all of the various varieties, indigenous and imported, hundreds of winemakers and many different wine styles, Croatia can be divided into 4 major winemaking regions. Those are: Eastern Continental Croatia, Croatian Highlands, Istria and Kvarner Bay, and Dalmatia. We have written about those regions extensively, and we invite you to research them through our article on the regions, articles with more details written on specifics of wine-making in each of the Croatian counties and through our series of articles showing you the virtual wine maps for best-known wine regions in Croatia.

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