THE CROATIAN INVESTMENT CONSULTANTS AND PROMOTION AGENCY
Croatian wine (vino) has a history dating back to the Ancient Greek settlers, and their wine production on the southern Dalmatian islands of Vis, Hvar and Korčula some 2,500 years ago.
Like other old world wine producers, many traditional grape varieties still survive in Croatia, perfectly suited to their local wine hills.
Modern wine-production methods have taken over in the larger wineries, and EU-style wine regulationshave been adopted, guaranteeing the quality of the wine.
There are currently over 300 geographically defined wine regions, and a strict classification system to ensure quality and origin.
The majority of Croatian wine is white, with most of the remainder being red, and only a small percentage is rosé wines.
In 2010, Croatia ranked 30th in wine producing countries with an estimated 50,000 tonnes
Under the communist system of Yugoslavia, wine production was centered in large cooperatives, and private ownership of vineyards was discouraged.
Quantity rather than quality became the main focus.
The Croatian War of Independence in the early 1990s saw many vineyards and wineries once again destroyed.
However, with the move back to small, independent producers, Croatian wines are once again competing with the best in the world wine market.
Croatia is a Mediterranean country, lying to the east of Italy, across the Adriatic Sea.
Towards the north lie the Alps, and to the north-east the country forms the western end of the great Pannonian Plain.
The interior of Croatia has a continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers with enough rain for this to be a major agricultural area.
Wine-growing is concentrated in the hilly areas bordering on the Pannonian Plain.
The Dalmatian Coast is typically Mediterranean in climate, although the Dinaric Alps mountain range creates pockets of alpine climate at higher altitudes.
The coastline of the Adriatic Sea is ideal for grape cultivation with its hot, humid summers and mild winters.
Further down the coast, and on the islands, grapes are grown on the karst hillside, sometimes steep slopes with little rainfall.
Some of the best-known wine-production areas are on the Dalmatian islands.
Located along hillsides and slopes, wine regions along the coast receive many hours of sunlight, ideal for grape production.
Croatia is also home to the Slavonian oak forest, producing the oak casks favoured by many winemakers in Europe for aging their finest wines.
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