September 5, 2022
Karin Rockstad, Spanish translator, WSET Educator, SWS, FWS, Albariño Ambassador, Certified Cava Educator
I went to Croatia a few years ago and fell in love with the country, its people, the food, history, landscape, and of course, the wine. The delicious reds and rosés of Plavac Mali, Teran, and Babić are great! But here I'm looking at the most planted white grape in Croatia: Graševina.
The grape is widely planted throughout central Europe, so it goes by many different names depending on the country: Welschriesling, Riesling Italico, Olaszrizing, Laški Rizling, and more (though it's not even related to Riesling). Its origins are unclear, with theories suggesting the Romans brought it to the area or the French, or that it's a native Balkan grape.
In Croatia, it thrives in the cooler Slavonia region. Most of it is consumed domestically, but lucky for us, some is exported to the US, and more specifically, to the Twin Cities. The styles can range from dry, off-dry, sweet, to sparkling. Even ice wine!
This grape has high acid and high sugar levels. Young wines are floral, and crisp, with apple and pear flavors and aromas, perfect for appetizers, seafood, salads, and cheeses. This is also a late-ripening grape, so when picked later, or when affected by noble rot, the wine becomes honeyed, with baked apple aromas. A delicious dessert wine! If you're familiar with how Chenin Blanc and German Rieslings can run the gamut of styles, then you'll understand the versatility of Graševina.
Here are a couple to try:
Enjingi: a family-owned winery for 117 years. Instagram: @enjingi_winery
The above link is for one Twin Cities wine shop, but this bottle can be found in many others around town. I've had this with pork and it was great!
Vina Belje: located near the Danube River in eastern Croatia. Instagram: @vinabelje
This bottle is also available in many wine shops - and it's one liter, so even more liquid joy for your money! Soft and creamy on the palate, apple, citrus, and pear.
Want to learn more? Check out these sites:
Croatian Premium Wine:
You can shop online for single bottles or join the wine club (I'm in it). Instagram: @croatianpremiumwine
Wine & More:
Also a place to shop for Eastern and Central European wine, and good articles too. Instagram: @thewineandmore
Love to travel? Check this out: