That landscape is Zagreb County. This lush green ring encircles the capital and has long been the playground of those looking to escape the rat race of the big city. This county offers natural beauty, historical and cultural treasures, and a superb food and wine scene which is right at the doorstep of the city.
Zagreb is somewhat fortunate that is surrounded by some outstanding wine country, in fact, you can even find some small vineyards just outside of the Zagreb metropolitan area. The wineries in the region are one of its distinctive features, and they attract both local and international wine enthusiasts who come to sample the wines from one of Croatia's premium wine regions. Zagreb County is situated in the central part of northwestern Croatia, placing it in continental Croatia where white grape varieties dominate.
There are three distinct wine regions in Zagreb County, Samobor, Plešivica and Sveti Ivan Zelina. The regions all have fantastic wine roads intersecting the gentle slopes making experiencing the Zagreb wine regions incredibly easy.
If you start in the town of Samobor, don't leave without trying some of the local delicacies like kremšnita and Samobor salami, you can take a short drive through the Samobor hills to the Samobor Vineyard and Wine Association where the wine road commences.
Along the way, you'll find seven wineries who produce graševina, riesling, green sylvaner, portugizac but be sure to stop in and try a unique aperitif called Bermet, which originates from Samobor. Bermet is made from a range of finely selected red grape varieties, which is then aromatized with wormwood and various locals seasonal fruits. The exact recipe is closely guarded by each producer. However, it is said that the recipe was obtained in 1802 when Napolean and his army were in Samobor.
This wine region is quite small when compared with many of the others in Croatia, but what is lacks in size it more than makes up for in exceptional wines. Located just 30km from Zagreb near the town of Jastrebarsko on the gentle hills of the Samobor mountain range, Plešivica arguably produces Croatia's best sparkling wines and is referred to as the Champagne of Croatia by some.
But it's not just remarkable sparkling wines in Plešivica; you'll also find graševina, chardonnay, riesling, pinot gris, gewurztraminer, sauvignon and green sylvaner and a host of other varieties. There are some innovative and exciting wines being produced in Plešivica with many of their winemakers leading the way in producing Croatia's best wines. Be sure to stop in at Šember and Tomac wineries and try their amphora wines.
Sveti Ivan Zelina
A short drive Northeast of Zagreb you find the picturesque wine region of Svet Ivan Zelina which is located in the Lonja
River Valley. Here you'll find a broad range of grape varieties being grown from graševina, chardonnay, gerwurtztraminer, yellow muscat, riesling, pinot blanc, pinot gris and the star of the Zelina show Kraljevina. This indigenous white grape variety is light and has a lower alcohol content. The town hosts an annual wine event called Northwestern Croatian Wine Exhibit where wine producers, aficionados and people who just like wine get together to share ideas and taste the wine from the region.
The town hosts an annual wine event called Northwestern Croatian Wine Exhibit where wine producers, aficionados and people who just like wine get together to share ideas and taste the wine from the region.
For more information on the wine regions of Zagreb County go to their website.For full screen preview click here