Croatia celebrated its 21st birthday in 2013 and its wine industry too seems to be coming of age. From Istria, the country’s northernmost wine region just over the border from Trieste, to the Dalmatian coast and hinterland to the south, aromatic whites abound and the best producers seem reassuringly intent on celebrating native grapes over the more commercially expedient international varieties. The discovery that local red grape Crljenak Kaštelanski is none other than Italy’s Primitivo or California’s Zinfandel has reinvigorated interest in this variety, but lesser known reds such as Istria’s robust Plavac Mali and the more refined Babić from Primošten can be well worth seeking out.

In a nutshell

Idiosyncratic wines, white and red, with real potential.