Wine Hipsters, Here’s Why You Should Be Going To The Balkans For Vino
Yeah, yeah, Bordeaux, Burgandy, blah blah blah. If you’re into wine, you know all about the magic being produced there. But wine hipsters, you want to seek out the new, the exciting, the underrated and probably inexpensive. The answer? The Balkans.
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania are all crafting some pretty delish wines, at a much lower price than what you’ll find just across the Adriatic Sea in Italy and France and with a much smaller fanbase. Here are the best wine regions in the Balkans you need to know about.
Slovenia has three big wine spots: Podravje, Posavje and Primorje. Podravje has white wines that are usually dry, such as Sipon (Furmint). Posavje makes Cviček, a unique mix of red and white. Primorje is the most well-known for the Goriška Brda area. You’ll find familiar names like Cabernet and Merlot, but also the region’s specialty Rebula (Ribolla Gialla).
The Croatian coastal region (called Primorska Hrvatska in Croatian) is where most of the tourists are at, but it’s also where you’ll find Plavac Mali. The grape is a cousin to Zinfandel. Kontinentalna Hrvatska, AKA the inland sector of the country, has a cooler climate and the native Graševina grape. You’ll sip dry, aromatic white wines like the Sivi Pinot (Croatian pinot grigio).
It’s no secret that we love Montenegro. We do. And we also love the country’s wine. Vineyards in Montenegro often come with a 10/10 view. Some of the largest vineyards in Europe are located here in this tiny country. The Balkan Vranac vintages are what to chase here, as well as local chardonnays and merlots.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
While the Vukoje Winery near Trebinje is the most well known (and we can absolutely vouch for the delish vintages), Bosnia and Herzegovina has yet to really hit the main stage of cork-dork attention. But go for sips made from some of the country’s signature grapes: Zilavka and Blatina.
Underrated Serbia is packed with potential wine trips. The sweetest wines are in Fruška Gora, where you’ll find reislings and the local bermet. And rosé fans will be happy to know you can drink the pink stuff in the Župa area.
There’s so much wine made in Macedonia. A lot of it is mass-produced, but small-batch wineries in the Tikves Valley offer tastings at crazy-low prices. And the views are pretty quaint and lovely too. Bonus points if you pair a glass with local goat cheese.