Whether you consider yourself to be a wine connoisseur, or you simply wish to experience Croatian culture with every sense, trying local wines is a must.
Dalmatia is a paradise where jagged cliffs lead to golden-sand beaches, Medieval forts ensconce colourful boutiques, and verdant vineyards line every hillside.
The Dalmatian Coast is also the cradle of some of the finest Croatian wines.
But with so many beautiful landscapes and cityscapes to see, why not pair delicious wines with dramatic sights? Here are our top three wine-drinking locations to experience on the Dalmatian Coast.
Dubrovnik’s UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town is one of the most famous sites in the whole of Croatia, and for good reason. The former city walls were constructed between the 11th and 17th centuries, and still act as the gateway to ornate Baroque churches, palaces and fountains, all connected by cobbled streets and marble pathways.
It is located around 98km south east of the Matusko Winery in Potomje, famous for its full bodied red wines, and faces the Mediterranean ocean.
Dubrovnik is a must-visit spot during any holiday to the Dalmatian coast, but it is also an inspiring place to enjoy a glass or two of local Croatian wine. Head to D’Vino, the city’s first ever dedicated wine bar in the heart of the Old Town, for all-day wine tastings. They explain, “From Slavonija's dry whites to Istria's Pinots or Peljesac Peninsula's deep reds, we will take you on an unforgettable tour of Croatian wine.” It would be rude not to.
Oil might not be the first thing you’d think to pair with fine wines, but in a climate so perfect for olives and grapes, this changes. In the picturesque and popular town of Split you’ll find a welcoming restaurant that marries these two Croatian ingredients in perfect harmony.
Head to the Uje Oil Bar, in the centre of Diocletian’s palace, to sample local olive oils at 11am in chic, elegant dishes. Then, afterwards, head over to its sister wine bar to enjoy local varieties as you take in the regal architecture of the Roman Emperor’s palace, dating back to the 4th century AD.
If you’re looking for a spectacularly beautiful lesser-known spot to enjoy a glass of vino, you would be well advised to take a boat ride across to one of the paradisal Elaphiti Islands. The largest, and one of the most peaceful, of these is Šipan. This island is perfect for everything from snorkelling, kayaking and cycling to sampling Croatian wines.
The island is famous for its rich red wines, and to find the best family recipes by the bottle, head to the harbourside shop at Sudurad. Perfect to drink in complete tranquility on some hidden beach with the Mediterranean sea twinkling in turquoise blue all the way to the horizon.
Alternatively, you can enjoy another wine and oil tasting experience at the luscious vineyards of the Daničić family. Taste two wines for around £2.50, dine on scrumptious tapas and learn about the history and process of the family vineyard in a truly memorable experience.