Exploring the Vineyards of Istria: Croatia’s Tuscany

Exploring the Vineyards of Istria: Croatia’s Tuscany

Nestled in the northern Adriatic, the Istrian Peninsula is often hailed as "Croatia’s Tuscany" for its picturesque landscapes, rolling vineyards, and charming hilltop towns. With a rich history of winemaking and a burgeoning culinary scene, Istria is a must-visit destination for wine lovers and gastronomes alike. Here’s your guide to exploring the vineyards, cities, accommodations, and dining options in this enchanting region.

Vineyards to Visit

  1. Kozlović Winery
    • Located in the lush valley of Momjan, Kozlović Winery is one of Istria’s most renowned vineyards. With a heritage dating back to 1904, the winery offers a perfect blend of tradition and modernity. Visitors can enjoy tastings of their award-winning Malvazija and Teran wines while soaking in the stunning views of the surrounding vineyards.
  2. Kabola Winery
    • Situated near the town of Buje, Kabola Winery is famous for its amphora-aged wines. This family-run winery dates back to 1891 and offers a unique tasting experience in their elegant stone cellar. The views of the rolling hills and the Adriatic Sea in the distance add to the magical ambiance.
  3. Roxanich Winery
    • Located in the medieval town of Motovun, Roxanich Winery is known for its organic and natural wine production. The winery’s extensive cellar and modern tasting room provide a perfect setting to sample their diverse range of wines, including the popular Rosé and white blends.
  4. Clai Winery
    • Situated near the village of Krasica, Clai Winery is a pioneer in organic winemaking in Istria. The winery's commitment to natural processes results in exceptional wines that truly reflect the terroir of the region. Visitors can taste their biodynamic wines while enjoying panoramic views of the Istrian countryside.

Cities to Visit

  1. Rovinj
    • This charming coastal town is a gem of the Adriatic, with its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and scenic harbor. Rovinj offers a vibrant cultural scene, historic sites like the Church of St. Euphemia, and numerous galleries and boutiques.
  2. Poreč
    • Known for the UNESCO-listed Euphrasian Basilica, Poreč is a blend of ancient history and modern attractions. Stroll along the Decumanus Street, explore the Roman ruins, and enjoy the town’s lively cafes and restaurants.
  3. Motovun
    • Perched on a hilltop, Motovun is famous for its medieval charm and stunning views. The town is a center for truffle hunting and offers delightful wine and food experiences. The annual Motovun Film Festival adds a touch of cultural vibrancy to this picturesque town.

Where to Stay

  1. Hotel Lone, Rovinj
    • A design-forward hotel with luxurious amenities and exceptional service, Hotel Lone offers a stylish base for exploring Rovinj and the surrounding vineyards. The hotel’s spa, outdoor pool, and proximity to the beach make it a perfect retreat.
  2. San Rocco, Brtonigla
    • A family-run boutique hotel set in a restored heritage building, San Rocco offers a blend of rustic charm and modern comfort. The hotel features an excellent restaurant, a wellness center, and a beautiful garden with an outdoor pool.
  3. Villa Borgo, Motovun
    • Nestled in the heart of Motovun, Villa Borgo offers cozy accommodations with stunning views of the Istrian landscape. The guesthouse’s terrace is an ideal spot to enjoy a glass of local wine while watching the sunset.

Where to Eat

  1. Monte, Rovinj
    • A Michelin-starred restaurant, Monte offers an innovative dining experience with a focus on local ingredients and modern culinary techniques. The tasting menus are a true gastronomic journey, complemented by an excellent wine list.
  2. Konoba Morgan, Brtonigla
    • This family-run restaurant offers traditional Istrian cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Dishes like truffle pasta, grilled meats, and fresh seafood are highlights, paired with local wines for a truly authentic experience.
  3. Restaurant Zigante, Livade
    • Located in the heart of truffle country, Restaurant Zigante is a haven for truffle enthusiasts. The menu features a variety of truffle-infused dishes, from pasta to desserts, showcasing the region’s famous black and white truffles.
  4. Damir & Ornella, Novigrad
    • Known for its raw seafood specialties, Damir & Ornella offers a unique dining experience with dishes prepared right at your table. The restaurant’s focus on fresh, local ingredients and traditional recipes makes it a must-visit for seafood lovers.


Exploring the vineyards of Istria offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, rich history, and exceptional wine and food experiences. Whether you’re wandering through the charming towns, savoring local cuisine, or sipping on world-class wines, Istria promises an unforgettable journey for any traveler. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover why this enchanting region is often called Croatia’s Tuscany.