Living on a beautiful island of wine as I do on Hvar, in a picturesque region of Dalmatia whose wines are exported all over the world, I am constantly amazed that there is no official organised wine roads, as this is surely a great opportunity not only for tourism but to develop and promote one of the strongest aspects of life in Dalmatia.
Cross the border into neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, for example, and the first sign that you see is promoting the wine road of Herzegovina. And so too, all around Croatia, but sadly not in Dalmatia - at least for now. One of the things we want to achieve with our Total Croatia Wine site is to bring all these existing wine roads into one place, and create virtual, unofficial wine roads where they don't exist. We start with a very cute corner of northern Croatia, where white wines are king, and the closest vineyards to the centre of the world - Ludbreg in Varazdin County, which I visited earlier this year, and was immensely impressed by the effort put in by enthusiastic local winemakers and restaurants to create the Ludbreg Wine Road. In their own words (a translation of their Facebook page, which you can follow here):
Once upon a time, in the 12th century, in the hills above Iovia (Ludbreg) lived a beautiful Ludberga. She was a skilled winegrower and she always worked hard in her vineyard and produced her famous sweet wine. At that time, everyone knew about Ludberga’s wine and beauty. As the years passed without Ludberga, Iovia’s Hills (the Ludbreg Winegrowing Area) were slowly forgotten. Wishing to restore the Ludbreg Winegrowing Area to its former lustre, the Ludbreg Wine Road was established.
The Ludbreg Wine Road is located on the hills of the Ludbreg Winegrowing Area, which is an integral part of the Zagorje-Međimurje sub-region in the Continental Croatia Winegrowing Region.
The aim and purpose of the association is to promote wine tourism and its tourist presentation through a comprehensive wine area whose wine road includes wine checkpoints (wine-houses and cellars), and thus expands and stimulates the development of tourism, not just in the Town of Ludbreg, but also in the entire Ludbreg area and beyond.
The Ludbreg Wine Road includes: Restaurant/Tasting Room “Arabella” Globočec, Wine Cellar “Makar”, Wine House “Kirić”, Restaurant “Črn-Bel”, Winery “Stručić”, and Tasting Room “Kežman”.
Here you can try: Graševina, Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, Sauvignon, Green Silvanac, Chardonnay, Traminac, Moslavac and Manzoni, Muscat and Pinot Noir, Frankovka, Cabernet Sauvignon and, of course, our Poštenjak. In addition to the wines, the offer includes authentic “hilly” delicacies from the Ludbreg area.
Poštenjak, or “wine without malice”, is a quality wine that contains 70 percent of Graševina, 20 percent of Chardonnay and 10 percent of Pinot Gris. The wine is named after a popular character, honest and naive Dudek from the Croatian TV series “Gruntovčani”, written by screenwriter Mladen Kerstner, who was originally from Ludbreg.
The Ludbreg Wine Road includes a statue of St. Vincent with a viewpoint. This statue of St. Vincent is the tallest such statue in Croatia and even in the world, and offers a view of Varaždin County, Koprivnica-Križevci County, Međimurje County and neighbouring Hungary.
Also, we always take care of cleanliness and environmental protection of the area around the wine road.
So, if you would like to taste or drink a glass of wine and try some “hilly” delicacies, you can find us in the very centre of the world.
Learn more about the wines of Lubreg in the video below from G.E.T. Report (in Croatian), and to learn more about one of the most fascinating towns in all Croatia, check out TCN's visit to Ludbreg here - amazing place.