Sun soaked hills, fertile Istrian soil and the horny hands of Istrian farmers have for centuries been the prerequisites for the production of fine and top-quality wine. Today the new generation of Istrian winemakers struggles with the experience of the older ones, striving and succeeding in modernizing the traditional winegrowing techniques. This is one of the reasons why Istrian wines are ranked among the leading wines in Croatia. Istrian wines have also received numerous international awards.
One of the typical Istrian wines is Malvazija, the symbol of Istria, which hasn't changed for over one hundred years. Teran and its subtype Refosk are typical Istrian red wines. There are also varieties such as the red wine Borgonja and rose called Hrvatica. Among the fine wines one should surely taste white and gray Pinot, Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot as well as Muscat.
In just the last ten years Istria has become the leading region in the production of Croatian high-quality wines. Istrian wines have become recognizable and highly esteemed, not only as part of the Istrian tradition and its beneficial climate, which they have always been, but they have been greatly awarded at numerous international wine fairs. Six wine roads have been marked and organized in the regions of Porec, Buje, Buzet, Rovinj, Vodnjan and Pazin, with nearly 70 wines cellars. Istria has earned its status as a wine Mecca. Some will point out that by its shape Istria resembles a bunch of grapes. Perhaps this is the very secret of the centuries-old connection between Istria and its fine varieties of wine.
Soup with red wine
From the distant past Istrian soup has been a specialty at the Istrian table. Nine deciliters of warmed up red wine - Teran or Borgonja, are poured into the bukaleta, usually an earthenware jug. Then a teaspoon of sugar, olive oil, pepper and warm, toasted bread are added to the wine. A spoon is placed in the jug and it is served to the quests, which if they wish may drink it in the traditional friendly Istrian way - by sharing the bukaleta with others at the table.