My journey to Croatia to speak at the International Wine Tourism Conference was a lovely first trip to this Balkan land. Seeing the old Hapsburg-influenced capital in snow was among the memories I treasure, as was staying in the Regent Esplanade Zagreb, a historic luxury hotel built solely to provide
But one treat that I didn't have enough of was drinking the local wines. IWINETC is truly an international event, and there were wines from around the world to enjoy. A snowstorm shut down our scheduled winery visit, so I left the country feeling like I wanted to learn - and taste - more of this land's vinous creations.
Luckily, I came home with a bottle of white Croatian wine - the 2012 De Gotho Grasevina. Grasevina is the most planted white grape variety in Croatia. It is the Croatian name for the same grape called Welschriesling in central Europe.
As soon as I pulled the cork, fruit aromas came wafting out of the neck when I lowered my nose to it. In the glass, the aromas of tropical fruits, including lychee and pineapple, were abundant. The wine is a lovely light gold color, and the mouthfeel is medium weight. I really enjoyed that - despite the plush tropical and citrus fruit on the palate - the wine has a zippy acidity. This is a spunky wine that is enjoyable with many foods or on its own. It paired perfectly with a chicken in a lemon parsley sauce that I picked up for dinner.
Next year's IWINETC is in Georgia, whose wines I already know offer many delights and surprises. As for me, I'll look for the opportunities to taste more Croatian wines here at home, as my bottle of Grasevina is almost gone.