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Food & wine
Buje

Wine roads in Northwest Istria

Istria’s wine roads lead to the very heart of the Istrian way of life, which has cultivated a special link with wines and vines since time immemorial. In many ways, the contemporary story of Istria and wine originated in the peninsula’s northwestern region, where new ideas began to emerge some 15 years ago. Those ideas helped to reinforce Istrian winemaking during its great revival brought on by the introduction of new technologies to archaic production in the early 1990s.

Prominent Croatian Winemaking Region

The special status of the entire Umag-Novigrad region in this endeavour comes as no surprise, as the region has always seemed foreordained for great achievements in wine growing. Sun-kissed hills and a unique blend of red and grey soils have always favoured the growth of grapevines, so much so that over the centuries a new variety of grapevine, the Muškat Momjanski (Momjan Muscat), was developed in the small town of Momjan near Buje.
Some of Croatia’s leading wine producers - Kozlović and Degrassi, Coronica and Kabola, Ravalico and Cattunar, Clai, Veralda, CUI,  and many others – can be found in this rather small region today.
All you need to do is choose a wine cellar or two (why not several?) on the wine road, check their working hours, and you’re ready to set off. Specialised guidebooks and maps are available at tourist info points. Your hosts at the wine cellars and vineyards will eagerly take you through all the phases of wine growing and production.

Tasting of domestic and international wines

Be sure to taste wines made from the domestic varieties Muškat Momjanski, Malvazija Istarska (Malvasia Istriana) and Teran. If you’re looking for international varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, the region’s modern wine cellars will not disappoint you.   After wine tasting and a pleasant chat with your hosts, you will find it difficult to resist buying a bottle or two of wine, especially at the favourable prices the cellars charge. Nevertheless, don’t let the modern technologies and tasting rooms fool you: these vintners have a rich history and take great pride in the tradition from which they stem. Many are the descendants of farm working families that toiled for generations in vineyards and wine cellars.

Major wine events are an ideal time to tour the wine roads of northwestern Istria:

  • Istria Wine & Walk – ideal for all wine lovers and outdoors enthusiasts.

  • Around the world Open Cellar Day is traditionally held on the last Sunday in May.

  • In the Kingdom of Muscat Wine is a wine and culture event dedicated to the Muscat grown in Momjan.

  • The Festival of Grapes is the best-known and most lavish festival staged in Buje, which marks the start of the grape harvest.

  • Momjan Muscat & Truffle Days is an autumn event at which local winemakers and restaurateurs offer special menus based on white truffles paired with the Muscat of Momjan.

  • Martinje – St Martin's Day is celebrated every November when the new wine is ready and Momjan celebrates its patron St Martin.

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