Wine and white truffles in Istria, the Mediterranean Sea’s most alluring coastline
— Travel with us to Croatia and be among the first to discover this new-old wine country! With a great culinary tradition, a landscape that makes you think of Tuscany and with exciting wine producers, we promise that this journey through Istria is something extraordinary. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful, both the dramatic coast and inland, with its pine trees, cypresses and olive trees. The water is crystal clear, there are many small islands, coves and headlands to discover. Istria is a paradise for sunbathers. But at this time of the year it is above all the ground-breaking winemakers and the local gastronomy that entices. This is the Mediterranean at its best.
Next wine tour to Istria, Croatia:
Istria is the peninsula at in the north of Croatia that stretches out into the Adriatic Sea. It is close to Italy, both by land and across the water. Not long ago Istria was actually also part of Italy. Almost everyone speaks Italian and food and wine has many similarities to Italian gastronomy.
In Istria vines thrive and wine in Istria has in recent years evolved into something to be reckoned with.
The old traditional ways of making wine are still around but a modern approach, with a great focus on quality, has quickly come onto the scene. This combination of old and new is exciting and you will discover a style of wine that maybe you have not tasted before. And you will encounter “new” grape varieties teran, refosk and malvazija istarska.
But it is not only beautiful nature and good wines that Istria offers. The culinary treasures deserve a journey too. Delicacies from the sea – oysters, scallops, spider crabs and other shellfish not least –will be on the menu on this tour. But also many other traditional food: charcuteries and sausages, pasta, local cheese etc.
Their olive oil and the cured ham is of very high quality and the coveted white truffle, the same one as you can find in Piedmont, is also a local speciality.
Young, ambitious chefs using all the finest ingredients available, combine new ideas with old traditional recipes. Good quality restaurants are plentiful. Our wine tour is also a gourmet tour!
You fly to Zagreb, where we pick you up with bus. From most places it is easy to find flights into Zagreb.
We stay in the beautiful town of Poreč, in the oldest, but recently renovated, hotel in town, only a few yards from the water. Next door is the famous basilica which was built starting in the 6th century (yes, you read that right).
This will be a fantastic journey filled with wine, gastronomy and history.
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
We have written a lot about Istria, Croatia and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.
Here you can find more about travelling in Croatia wine region.
You can also find more information on the wines from Croatia on BKWine Magazine.
Why go on an food and wine tour to Istria?
Guido Schwengersbauer lives in Istria since many, many years. Today he runs the charming guest house La Parenzana in Buje on the Istrian peninsula. He is a passionate advocate for food and wine from Istria, quite simply the Istrian gastronomy. When we met him in Istria we took the opportunity to ask him why he thinks this is an excellent travel destination and why he loves the Istrian wine and food. Watch the video:
Program — wine tour in Istria, Croatia
This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.
Contact BKWine for more details.
- Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Zagreb
- Day 2, Thursday — Northern Istria, olive oil
- Day 3, Friday — The hill-top village of Motovun and a white truffle lunch
- Day 4, Saturday — South of Poreč, past the fjord and to Rovinj
- Day 5, Sunday — Back to Zagreb and home
Wednesday, day 1 — Arrival in Zagreb
You travel independently to the Croatian capital Zagreb. We meet at the airport at 15:00 (3 PM). One suggestion, if you have the time: arrive one or two days earlier and spend these days in Zagreb, which is a very beautiful city.
Our bus is waiting for us at the airport and we begin our journey towards Istria. It will take us three and a half hours and we take this opportunity to talk about what will happen during our trip, about Croatia as a country, the history, the wine and the food.
Early evening we arrive to Poreč and we check in at the 4-star Grand Hotel Palazzo. The hotel has recently re-opened after an extensive renovation. It is the oldest hotel in Poreč, built in 1910, with an exceptional waterfront location. It has an outdoor pool that can be used even in winter, a fine dining restaurant and a spa.
The town of Poreč is a little gem of a town with its Byzantine basilica began in 553, declared as UNESCO world heritage, not to mention the famous waterfront promenade.
We meet in the evening for a welcome dinner with some delicious regional specialties.
Thursday, day 2 — Northern Istria, olive oil
Our bus will pick us up in the morning at the hotel to take us out to the vineyards. We head north, towards the border with Slovenia, which also brings us very close to Italy.
The proximity to Italy means that many of today’s winemakers in Istria have trained in Italy. Istria is a virtually bilingual region and all street signs are in both Croatian and Italian. Everyone here speaks Italian.
We start start the day with a visit to one of the most famous wine producers in Croatia, namely Kozlovič near the village Momjan. Gianfranco and Antonella Kozlovič have 25 hectares, including some very old malvazija, and have built a brand new, modern winery. The couple took over the family vineyard 20 years ago. Gianfranco has been passionate about wine ever since childhood.
For lunch we drive up-hill to the village of Brtonigla that often goes under its Italian name, Verteneglio. Here you can find one of Croatia’s most famous restaurants, San Rocco. We enjoy lunch in the elegant Vinoteca San Rocco. We will also taste the restaurant’s very own, very delicious olive oil.
After lunch we will make a visit to Franco Cattunar and his family. They produce both wine and, since some time back, also an exclusive olive oil. The wines are made from teran, malvazija, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and merlot and the olive varieties grown are istarska bjelica, leccino and pendolino.
Late afternoon we are back at our hotel. The evening is free for your own discoveries in Poreč.
Friday, day 3 — The hill-top village of Motovun and a white truffle lunch
We start the day by going inland, to the village of Motovun, which sits atop a mountain peak. It is one of the top attractions in this beautiful landscape.
We will visit Vina Tomaz in Motovun. The vineyard is managed by a young couple, Klaudio and Daniella Tomaz.
Wine has been grown in the village since long back but it was the Tomaz couple who was the first to have serious ambitions for quality wines. Klaudio’s grandfather was long working with them in the background, far up into his 90s, and has been an inspiration for their very good Barbarossa Teran, that we will taste
After the morning visit we travel uphill on a steep road to the Spinovci farm where we will enjoy a lunch prepared by the Tikel family with white truffles.
The white truffle can be found here in Istria. It is of the same kind as the famous one found in Alba and it is obviously a pride of the region. It is from the beginning of November that the truffle is at its best. In addition to an exclusive truffle-filled yet rustic lunch paired with the family’s own wines we can enjoy a magnificent view from the dining room.
Late afternoon we are back at our hotel. The evening is free to stretch your legs in Poreč and to find someone nice restaurant.
Saturday, day 4 — South of Poreč, past the fjord and to Rovinj
Today we’re off southwards and a bit inland. But we pass a remarkable fjord, almost like in Norway, that they are extremely proud.
We arrive at the Krunčići village and the wine producer Ivica Matošević. For Ivica it all started as a hobby in the mid-1990s and now he is one of the most respected winemakers in Croatia. He has won several awards for his wines. He is known both for his chardonnay that is made in crisp Chablis-style and for his malvazija.
We have lunch at the San Tommaso winery, not far from the lovely town of Rovinj, where Janja Debeljuh, a trained oenologist, has prepared something very good to us for lunch, perhaps first the traditional wine soup (!) followed by her spicy homemade sausages that she prepares over an open fire.
During lunch we taste her own wines – always an interesting exercise in food and wine pairing – and maybe we finish with a restoring Istrian grappa.
After lunch we head to Vina Radovan in Višnjan. Franko Radovan is a small producer with around 4.5 hectares of vineyards. He is a very talented winemaker, making both white and red wines. He has won many awards for his malvazija, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and teran.
Late afternoon we are back at our hotel.
A little later in the evening we meet for an aperitif to discuss our impressions of this exciting wine region. Then we take our seats to enjoy our last evening and dinner together. After dinner maybe it’s time for a walk and for one last view of Poreč’s winding alleys.
Sunday, day 5 — Going home
After breakfast we load our luggage and ourselves in our bus and head back to the airport in Zagreb where we arrive no later than 12:00 (12 noon).
The program may be subject to minor modifications.
Tour Details — Istria, Croatia wine tour
Price per person: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast, at four-star Grand Hotel Palazzo in Poreč
- Meals as described in the program above (*):
- 2 gastronomic multi-course lunches, with several wines, at a wine producers’ or local restaurant
- 1 truffles lunch, with several different wines, at a wine producer’s or a local restaurant
- 2 gastronomic multi-course dinners with local specialities, including tasting of several wines
- Start and end point: Zagreb
- Bus transport during the whole trip
- All vineyard and winery visits
- Private, high quality tastings at wineries, approx. 2-3 per day
- The visits will be in English, with the possible exception being translated from Italian
- Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide
(*) See below for more important information on our meals.
- Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.
You organise your travel to Zagreb yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.
We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.
For this trip to take place we must have a minimum of XX participants registered at the “book before” date.
Book This Trip
You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:
- phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
- Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
- email: email@example.com
More on our wine tours
About the wine producers and wineries we visit
Our aim is that you shall experience some of the best and most interesting that the wine region has to offer, both of wine and food.
We put a big effort into finding and creating outstanding winery visits. Often it will not be the most “famous” and internationally well-known wineries that will give you the best and most unique experiences…
It is usually when you get to meet the winemaker or winery owner himself (or often herself) that the visits become really exciting. And perhaps we even meet the whole family at the estate.
You start discussing and start to understand what it is they do and why in the winery and in the vineyard. Maybe we will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. Need we say we invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries?
That is why our trips are not “jam packed” with visits at wineries. Nevertheless we often run short of time since the discussions – and the wine tastings – can easily become very engaging…
Our wine country tours typically include a mix of small family producers, exclusive boutique wineries and larger internationally well-known wine estates, all selected with great care so that it will give you a unique experience of the people and of the behind-the-scenes in the winery and a good understanding of the wine district’s characteristics, tradition and culture.
At the time of publishing a travel program not all visits have been finalised. We are continuously working on improving the program. The domaines / wineries / châteaux that we visit on a tour may therefore sometimes differ from what was written in the original program. Contact us if you want more details, or if you have any special requests.
On meals: food and gastronomy
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of our wine travel philosophy; wine is an integral part of the gastronomy.
A wine tour with BKWine will therefore also be a gastronomic experience.
The meals that are included in a tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard.
Sometimes we will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in their home. This is a unique experience that is generally not open to other visitors to wineries. It is an occasion to experience exciting combinations of food and wine while discussing with the people who made the wine.
Sometimes we will have a luxurious meal at a gourmet restaurant. At other times it may be not at a prestigious luxury address but at a local restaurant selected for its presentation of local gastronomic specialities, its atmosphere and its quality – a place where locals go. Or perhaps it will be a buffet lunch made at home by the winemaker and his wife. In all cases we want to show you local gastronomic specialities and the local food and wine pairings.
Do not expect a picnic with salad and sausage from the supermarket and wine in plastic mugs… Think instead of a wine-and-dine experience with specially composed menu with three or four courses and delicious wines.
A wine tour with BKWine is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
Why travel with BKWine?
We are experts and specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also in wine in a broader perspective.
No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tours and gourmet travel as BKWine.
We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours. This is what we love to do, because it is fun and exciting. What we want more than anything is to share with you all these wonderful experiences.
It does not matter if you are “a total novice” on wine and food or if you have a life-long experience in the wine sector. We will give you a very special experience, in a way that no other tour operator can do.
We write in specialised wine magazines and one of our books has won the prize as best wine book in the world. We are regularly called on to be part of judging panels in wine competitions.
We personally visit some 300 vineyards every year. We have organised several hundreds of wine and food tours with an experience going back more than twenty years. We are invited as speakers at wine tourism and culinary touring conferences.
We choose our tour destinations and winery visits with great care. Not because a winery happens to be carrying a “famous name” but because they will give our guests — you! — a unique and special experience. You may be looking for a short wine week-end holiday or a longer wine vacation; in all cases you can be confident that you will get a top quality tour, an experience of a lifetime. Or at least one that will last you until the next time you come on a wine tour with BKWine. Many of our travellers are returning clients.
A wine and food tour with BKWine is always guided by a knowledgeable and experienced BKWine guide and tour manager, someone who knows the ins and outs of wine, of the local gastronomy, of the culture and who speaks the language.
Some accolades we at BKWine and our wine and food tours have received:
- “World’s Top Wine Tours” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
- “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
- “Recommended Wine Tours” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year” in Sweden 2010 for the book The Creation of a Wine
- “Best wine book for Professionals” again in 2012 in Sweden, as well as silver, runner-up, as “World’s Best Educational Wine Book” for the book Wine and the Environment
- “Wine Personality of the Year” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- On the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International Magazine (Britt, 2012)
Read more on why to choose BKWine for a wine and food tour.
Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.
Our groups are always small. The group size may vary, sometimes maximum 8, sometimes 20, but always of a modest size (we do not do “minimum 20, maximum 45”). Check the details in each program. This is important since it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.
BKWine is a Swedish registered travel organiser. BKWine has a bonded travel guarantee deposit so that you can feel safe when booking with us. We fully comply with European and Swedish travel guarantee regulations. British travellers may be familiar with the ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) protection scheme which is a similar model. BKWine follows the code of conduct and financial safeguards defined by the Swedish Consumer Agency and The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (“Kammarkollegiet”, with a history dating back to 1539). Read more about this in our Booking Terms and Conditions.
Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!
You organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours but on location we take care of everything.
For more inspiration
Read our wine travel blog. And also:
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- There are thousands of pictures from previous trips on BKWine Photography
Newsletter on wine
Subscribe to our free wine and travel newsletter, the BKWine Brief. Each month it gives you news from the world of wine, restaurant recommendations, tips on our favourite wine producers and much more. And keeps you updated on upcoming wine and food tours.
We also do custom wine and food tours if you want to choose different dates or if you want something different than what we currently offer on our scheduled tours – for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.