Wine production in Croatia has been taking place for centuries, and in fact its history dates as far back as the Ancient Greeks who first produced wine in the south Dalmatian region 2500 years ago. Many of the most traditional grape varieties survive in Croatia since they are ideally suited to the local wine hills, however when it comes to wine production methods, large scale Croatian producers have adopted modern practices, which means that the quality of their wine can be guaranteed.
Croatia has more than 300 defined wine regions, with a strict classification system in place ensuring origin and quality. Most Croatian wines are whites, with the rest being primarily red and only a tiny proportion being rose.
Domestic wine consumption is common, with most local people traditionally drinking wine to accompany their meals, although it is often diluted with sparkling or still water to produce a drink called gemist or bevanda.
Croatia has two very distinct wine production styles, with the north eastern regions producing fruit, rich whites that are similar to those produced in Hungary, Austria and Slovenia. Meanwhile, in the South, the wines produced are traditionally Mediterranean style reds. The Dalmatian coastline and islands have their own local varieties of grapes, and when this is paired with the unusual microclimates and harsh vineyard landscapes, the wines produced here are extremely individual and are among the best known in the country.
Almost 70% of Croatian wine is white, with 32% being red, although some dessert and sparkling wines are also produced here, although they are less well known internationally and have yet to be firmly established in the market.