Wines from Istria in Croatia, part 5: An Austrian in Istria explains

Guido Schwengersbauer has lived in Croatia for many, many years. Today he runs a charming small hotel called La Parenzana in the small village of Buje on the Istrian peninsula. One of his passions is the Istrian wine and food.

We met Guido recently when we were travelling in Istria and talked about the Istrian wine and food the he so loves. Watch the video interview here: Guido talks about wine and food from Croatia

Guido Schwengersbauer gives us an introduction to the wines and food of Istria in Croatia:

Istria is a region in northern Croatia on the border to Slovenia, not far from Italy. It is an area known for good food, good wine, olive oil, truffles and a beautiful landscape.

Guido Schwengersbauer

Guido Schwengersbauer

On the wine side, much has happened since 1990, when Yugoslavia disappeared. Earlier it was important to make large quantities of cheap wine. Now there is a new generation of winegrowers, called The Young Wild, with new ideas, new technology, and new skills in how to make quality wine. There has been a revolution in winemaking in Croatia.

There are two genuine, unique, autochthonous grape varieties in Istria: First, malvasia, or malvasia istriana (from Istria), a white grape variety making full-bodied and relatively aromatic white wines, but much more sophisticated than malvasia wines from many other wine regions. The typical red wine is made from a grape variety called teran (a relative to refosk or refosco). It used to give very tannic and heavy wines. Now there are many exciting new wineries making unique high quality wines from this grape with modern winemaking techniques. There are around 40 modern wineries in Istria and everyone is making a lot of experiments.

Gastronomy: Istrian food is based on the special climate and the special temperatures they have (in summer and in winter), and the wind, the Bora. The wind makes it possible to make a lot of dried (not smoked!) meat, sausages, and hams. The Istrian cuisine is a mix of Italian cooking, Austrian and Hungarian traditions, and food from the Balkans. There is also a very traditional Istrian kitchen but with a variety that makes it exciting and that lets you always discover new things.

By BKWine,
Interviewer: Per Karlsson, BKWine.
© Copyright BKWine, Per Karlsson.

Music: Johan Stertman & Patrik Lundin, with permission

Motovun village overlooking the landscape, Istria, Croatia

Motovun village overlooking the landscape, Istria, Croatia, copyright BKWine Photography

(BKWine organises  bespoke wine tours to Istria, including a fabulous truffles lunch.)

This post is also available in: Swedish

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