Wine Tasting in Rovinj, Croatia: Wineries, Tasting Rooms, Bars and Shops by JetSettingFools.com

Wine Tasting in Rovinj, Croatia: Wineries and Tasting Rooms

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Wine in Croatia, like so much of Europe, is part of daily life. Croatia’s lengthy coastline along the Adriatic Sea provides favorable conditions for cultivating vines, which line the coastal hillsides. The Istrian peninsula is known for its spectacular wine-making and – as such – wine tasting in Rovinj is an absolute must-do.

Not only can visitors get a taste of the locally-produced wine in Rovinj, they can get it straight from the source. In addition to the shops and bars in Rovinj that sell local wine, there are two wineries and a winery tasting room that are within walking distance from the Rovinj Old Town. We linked the three wine tasting locations into a convenient Rovinj Wine Walk. 

 

Croatia’s Wine History

Croatia’s long wine history dates back to the Ancient Greeks in the 5th century BC, but has seen many changes in current times. When Croatia was part of Yugoslavia, producing wine from traditional family vineyards was discouraged. During the war, many of these vineyards were destroyed and, just recently, wild fires consumed a great number of vineyards along the Dalmatian Coast. However, locally-produced wines throughout the country are still flourishing and it’s quite evident…especially in Istria.

Istria Wine

In Istria, white wines triumph over reds. Istrian white wines tend to be dry and fruity. Although red wine is less prevalent in Istria, Teran is a big, jammy, spicy wine that is commonly produced in the area. 

Istiran Wine Grapes in Rovinj Croatia

 

Wine Tasting: Shops and Bars in Rovinj

Sampling the flavor of Istrian wine is fairly simple in the Rovinj Old Town. Every cafe and restaurant in Rovinj serves local wine. Additionally, the numerous wine shops and souvenir shops that line the streets sell wine, too (and offer free samples to tourists!)

Surprisingly, there are not that many dedicated wine bars in Old Town Rovinj…but there are a few! The charming Piassa Granda features a fantastic wine list of the area’s finest wines. The helpful waitstaff can make recommendations. 

However, visitors who are interested in learning more about the locally produced wine have the opportunity to visit Rovinj wineries. 

There are dedicated bars to Wine Tasting in Rovinj Croatia, like Piassa Granda

 

Rovinj Wineries

While the Old Town is a dense jumble of cobblestone lanes, there is spacious land – and numerous vineyards – just outside the city center. Visitors eager to taste Rovinj wine from wineries don’t have to go far. There are two wineries – and a winery tasting room – within walking distance from the Old Town. 

 

Wine Walk: Wine Tasting in Rovinj

Stoked to have found wineries so close to the Old Town, we created our own wine tasting route. The short walk – just 2.5km – can be made in a loop, beginning and ending in the Old Town. Using our directions, map and tips, visitors can follow in our footsteps for a fun afternoon of Rovinj wine tasting. 

Would you rather join a guided tour to nearby Rovinj wineries? Travel by air conditioned vehicle to three of the top wineries in the region on an Istria Wine Tour from Rovinj. Find out more!

 

#1 Villa Dobravac

{MAP} Leave the Old Town along the northern car park and follow it to the end. At the roundabout/traffic circle, take Giordana Pallage/Giordano Pallaga uphill to Carmelo/Karmelo. Turn right onto Carmelo/Karmelo and walk straight to Villa Dobravac.

Villa Dobravac is many things – a Bed and Breakfast, a restaurants, a bar….and a winery. Featuring six award-winning wines, Villa Doravac is a perfect place to begin tasting wine in Rovinj! 

In addition to the on-site wine-making and bottling facilities, the Dobravac family also makes their own olive oils. Visitors can sample the wines – and other agricultural offerings and food pairings – from the restaurant’s spacious patio. 

Wine tasting in Rovinj Croatia at Villa Dobravac

 

Dobravac Wines

Of the two red choices, I favored the Fuga, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. I liked that it was bold and had a bit of spice to it. Kris preferred the Toccata, a blend of Merlot, Teran, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which had a fuller fruit flavor and was slightly softer. The atmosphere at Dobravac is stylish, but laid-back. We savored each glass of wine while taking in the views of the Rovinj Old Town and Adriatic Sea in the distance. 

Views of Rovinj Croatia while wine tasting at Villa Dobravac

 

#2 Vivoda

{MAP} Continue on Carmelo/Karmelo (or cut through the park) to Vijenac Franje Glavinica/Circonvallazione Franjo Glavinic and turn right. On the corner at Cademia, is Vivoda.

The Vivoda family has been producing quality wines since 1952 using the region’s well-known grapes: Malvazia, Teran, Merlot and Muscat White. Their signature wine is St. Euphemia (named after the the Rovinj St. Euphemia Church) – a white wine that ages for 16 months in oak barrels. 

The Vivoda Winery is an inconspicuous complex housed in a neighborhood that can easily be missed. We passed right by it and had to double back around to find it…and we are certainly glad we made the effort! Unpolished and industrial, Vivoda Winery is, perhaps, less a tasting room and more a functional wine making facility. 

Wine tasting in Rovinj at Vivoda Winery

 

The Vivoda Winery Experience

When we arrived, we were unsure if they were even open until another patron walked in, approached the counter and unloaded several large empty water bottles. A man appeared from behind a cask and took the bottles to the back…only to return with them filled with wine. 

Completely baffled by this unpretentious method of buying wine direct from the winery, we asked to try a glass of the Vivoda Teran, which he offered to us free of charge. There was only one table (a converted barrel) in the front of the room with two chairs, so we somewhat awkwardly took a seat. As we sipped the full-flavored wine, we watched more people come in, all with their empty bottles to be filled.

We consulted the price list and were astonished to find each filled bottle only cost around 20 kuna – that’s about $3 USD. Noting the bin of used plastic bottles next to the counter, we fished out a clean one and asked for it to be filled with Teran and drank it later at sunset

Vivoda Winery in Rovinj Croatia sells liters of wine at inexpensive prices

 

#3 San Tommaso

{MAP} Continuing along Vijenac Franje Glavinica/Circonvallazione Franjo Glavinic, we walked back toward the old town. We turned right on Mazzinia/Mazzini and strolled down to the harbor to Obala Alda Rismonda/Riva Aldo Rismondo #19, the San Tommaso Wine Bar.

Not actually a winery (the San Tommaso Winery is actually located on a 150-year-old estate 15km outside of Rovinj in the town of Bale), the San Tommaso Vinoteka is a lovely tasting room. Located directly on the Rovinj fishing harbor and offering outdoor seating with views of the Old Town, San Tommaso is a fabulous last stop on a Rovinj Wine Tasting Walk. 

They pour their own wine, as well as products from other Istrian wineries and have knowledgeable staff on hand for questions. We recommend taking a waterfront table and enjoying the sunset, with a glass of San Tommaso wine in hand, of course.

Wine Tasting in Rovinj Croatia at San Tommaso Wine Bar

 

Top Tips for your Rovinj Wine Tasting Walk

  • Allow about 2 hours to complete the Wine Walk, including stops for tastes at each place.
  • During our visit in the autumn, the Villa Dobravac bar opened at 2:00pm and Vivoda opened at 3:00pm. San Tommaso and the other wine bars and shops had longer opening hours. Verification of open hours during your visit is suggested.
  • Street signs are in Croatian and/or Italian, so we’ve listed both.
  • Visitors could also complete our Wine Route via bicycle. Read our tips for Biking in Rovinj
  • If heading to Vivoda, don’t forget to bring an empty liter water bottle! Bring along some plastic cups as well and find your own spot to enjoy the wine with a view.

 

Things To Know about Drinking Wine in Rovinj

  • Most wine pours in Rovinj are 100 ml (often listed as .1l), which is quite a bit less than a standard pour in an American bar or restaurant. We actually thought it was nice because we were able to sample several types of wine that way.
  • Like most wine, prices range by quality. A glass of the local boutique wine costs about 20 to 30 kuna. At the wine bars, more expensive varieties are offered. However, at local cafes, a glass of table wine can cost as little as 10 kuna.

 

Rovinj Wine Walk Map

Use this link to Google Maps for an online map and walking directions. 

Wine Tasting in Rovinj Wine Walk Map

 

We want to know: Have you been wine tasting in Rovinj, Croatia? Did you use our Rovinj Wine Walk Route? Give us your best tips and advice for Rovinj wine tastings in the comments below!

 

Start planning your trip to Istria, Croatia! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!

 

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4 thoughts on “Wine Tasting in Rovinj, Croatia: Wineries and Tasting Rooms

  1. Marco

    Thank you for sharing your nice vine experiences with us… we are from Germany and will be for two weeks in Rovinj this autumn. Of course we have to visit all these interesting places.

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