For the past few days I was in Zagreb doing some inspections and meeting friends and partners. That time a year…
Although I had a fairly planned schedule and knew what I was to expect, I was not prepared for Korak wines.
I have to admit that my general knowledge of Croatian wines is limited but I have tasted almost everything that is worth tasting. That’s what I thought, at least. Living on the coast, we are mostly drawn to our local wines like Debit, Babic, Plavac, Posip and Istrian malvazijas… But inner Croatia holds treasures that are worth discovering and sharing!
Korak winery is a small winery up in Plesivica hills only about 30 minutes from downtown Zagreb! The owner, Mr. Velimir Korak, has been producing high quality wines for over 20 years now although the family tradition dates back centuries.
Our “guide” was chef Sime of Gastronomadi culinary consultants in Croatia. We have just finished a cooking class with our guest Kylie – http://culinaryhopscotch.blogspot.com/2010/03/zivoli-in-zagreb.html and Sime suggested that we head to the hills for some authentic tasting. He calls Korak – the best winemaker of Croatia – and, after I have tasted the wines, I have to say that that is not an exaggeration!
The wine cellar and wine tasting room is located on the top of a hill overlooking the villages and fields and even Zagreb can be seen. We visited the cellar this Wednesday: grim and cool March day but I kept thinking what a spectacular place this must be in May, June, Summer…
We started the wine tasting with Rizling (Riesling) and Sauvignon which both had that incredible smoothness and fruity taste that are the main characteristic of all Korak wines. Very drinkable and very smooth, these wines were a true surprise to me as I was used to very different wines from inner Croatia and not so drinkable Rieslings from Kutjevo or other “mass-producers” of Baranja and Slavonia.
The owner’s wife later brought some of the home made snacks they serve: ham, bacon, cottage cheese and garlic sausage. All paired perfectly with Pinot Noir 2008 that seemed to us as a perfectly light summer wine but the 2007. vintage proved us a bit off as this wine is quite interesting with several textures interweaving and being not as light as the young 2008.
At the end, we had a chance to enjoy a truly exceptional Korak Chardonnay Sur lie! In my humblle opinion, this is one of the best Chardonnays I had ever had a chance of tasting!
Simply an exceptional wine!
This lovely visit sparked several new tour ideas, of course!
Korak winery has a web site as well – http://www.vino-korak.hr/ and you can contact us for more ideas on wine tasting and culinary delights in the area on our Culinary Croatia web site.
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Great posting, Alan. Korak’s Sur Lie Chardonnay is truly a beauty. And the 08 Pinot Noir was stunning when I had it back in November. Can’t wait to try them again! Korak wnery should definitley be part of any wine-lover’s tour of the Croatian continental wine region.
For the story of my Korak adventure, please check out the Wines of Croatia blog:
@ Cliff – Oh, yes! Great, great wines!
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