A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in Croatia.

wine tasting tours and winery visits

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Why Visit Croatia?

Croatia’s centuries old history of winemaking is relatively unknown to the wider world, so you may not have considered the country as a destination for a wine tasting holiday. However, Croatia produces exceptional wines, made by passionate winemakers who are immensely proud of the country’s viticultural traditions. It’s not just the wines that are exceptional, Croatia is home to impressive historical sites, a spectacular coastline lapped with crystal clear waters and delicious local cuisine.    

As well as being the original home of Zinfandel, Croatia boasts over 130 indigenous grape varieties which makes for some unique wine tasting opportunities. The grape names are unusual (and unpronounceable!) so the best introduction to Croatian wine is to book a wine tasting tour with an expert local guide. Over the past decade a new generation of Croatian winemakers are creating innovative wines that are gaining international recognition so it’s an exciting time to be visiting Croatia on a wine tasting holiday. 

Wine and food go hand in hand in Croatia. The freshest local seafood, sweet figs and grilled meat are perfectly paired with the locally produced wines. Istria, in particular, is a foodie’s heaven with an abundance of regional produce that includes both black and white truffles, wild asparagus, mouth-watering prosciutto, and top-quality olive oil. And oyster lovers should visit Ston to sample the country’s finest oysters. The Winerist team can recommend a food tasting tour to tantalise your taste buds.
Croatia is blessed with a beautiful natural landscape, so when you’re not feasting on local produce and sampling local wines, venture into the mountainous mainland, take a boat cruise to discover the many small islands or explore the eight national parks. History buffs will be wowed by the fascinating well-preserved ancient sites; beach lovers can choose from miles of coastline and still find deserted coves. 

Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Croatia is home to a diversity of grape varieties, many of which are indigenous. The four main wine producing regions each feature a different climate and soil which influences the grapes grown in that region and consequently the characteristics of the wine. In general, red grapes dominate Dalmatia and the southern coast; whilst white grapes are favoured in Istria and the coastal north.   The most planted red grape variety in Croatia is Plavac Mali. This grape has long been confused with Zinfandel, and extensive research has revealed that it is a cross between Zinfandel and Dobričić - two indigenous Dalmatian grape varieties. Plavac Mali grows in the southern part of Dalmatia, on the Peljesac Peninsula, and produces some of the best wines in the region.
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Best time to visit

Croatia’s favourable climate means that a wine tasting holiday can be enjoyed year round. However we recommend visiting in the Spring and Autumn months for the best weather conditions when you can expect pleasantly warm, sunny days that are ideal for exploring vineyards on a wine tour, discovering the historic sights, swimming and leisurely lunches. The hottest time of year in Croatia is the summer months of July and August when average temperatures can reach 30Cs, and consequently these are the most popular months for tourist visitors. Dubrovnik in particular, is extremely crowded at this time of year, and accommodation along the coast gets booked up in advance. One of the best times of year to visit Croatia on a wine tasting holiday is during the grape harvest season which typically takes place between late August and October. If a truffle hunting experience in Istria is on your holiday list, white truffle season is September until January, whilst black truffles are harvested year round. 
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How long to stay

Croatia may seem like a small country, but it is brimming with wine tasting opportunities, gourmet experiences and outdoor activities to keep you busy for at least a week! In a long weekend break to Dubrovnik, you can discover the wines of the Peljesac Peninsula and sample the freshest Ston oysters. Or base yourself in Split for three nights and take a wine tasting tour to the islands of Hvar and Brac. If you can spare 7-10 days you have time to venture up the coast to Istriva, experience both Dubrovnik and Split, or explore the beautiful parks. On a two-week holiday you’ll have time to visit three of four of the country’s wine producing regions and compare their unique characteristics and intersperse feasting and wine-drinking with some R&R on the beach.  
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How to get there

There are frequent flights from most European cities into Croatia, especially during the summer season. However, if you are travelling from the USA direct flights are limited so you will probably connect through another European hub. Croatia has several international airports which service different regions of the country. Zagreb is Croatia’s biggest and busiest international airport, although Dubrovnik airport experiences high volumes of visitors during the peak summer season. Dubrovnik airport is the southern-most airport in the country and the closest to the wine-producing Peljesac Peninsula, as well as Kotor and Tivat. If you are planning a gastronomic holiday in Istria then Pula airport is the main point of access, and if you plan to taste wine in Hvar or Brac, the closest international airport is in Split. Other international airports are located in Zadar and Rijeka.  
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