Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe
After spending several weeks exploring the wines and wineries of the Croatian coast of Dalmatia, we were headed towards Slovenia.
However, while in Zagreb for a couple of days, we were advised to check out the Wine Route of the little region of Međimurje, about an hour north of Zagreb in the area bordering Slovenia and Hungary. Once there we didn’t regret the detour, for it was one of the loveliest spots in the interior of Croatia that we’ve seen. In this extremely green area, even in summer vineyards are sparkling and verdant on the slopes of the gently rolling hills that cover the land. In between grape vines there are dots of traditional family houses for those who are still here, making the wine.
Although obviously not as touristic or popular as the Wine Routes on the coastal areas, we found Međimurje’s Wine Road to be surprisingly well-developed and organized. Not only were we handed several brochures and maps of the main twenty something wineries that are part of the route, but we also saw plenty of road signs showing the detailed location of all the wineries.
A decision in the Route
It was clear that because of the “off the beaten track” quality of Međimurje, the effort to attract wine lovers to this region is greater. Most wineries have big signs on their front yards (unlike many of them in Dalmatia that required detective skills to find) and big tasting rooms to host visitors, as well as modern facilities and renewed cellars. Needless to say, their hospitality was remarkable.
Although the wines produced in the Međimurje-Zagorje region are almost completely whites there is a great variety to choose from: Chardonnay, Pinot blanc, Pinot Gris, Graševina, Laški Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Mušcat Ottonel, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer, etc, etc. There is even a Wine School in the little village of Sveti Urban, where wine-tasting seminars and lectures are organized from time to time.