Bruno Trapan and his eclectic new tasting room- more wine from Croatia

May 27, 11 Bruno Trapan and his eclectic new tasting room- more wine from Croatia

Posted by in Croatia

One of the young turks of Istrian winemaking is Bruno Trapan. Dynamic, innovative and a passionate winemaker, Bruno started  studying winemaking at the University of Porec and quickly realized he wanted to have his own vineyard. He set about to plant his own vines covering 5 hectares on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia and now has malvasia, chardonnay, syrah and cabernet sauvignon thriving in the Mediterranean sun. Bruno and his family recently opened their new winery (Nov 2010) and it was in full swing the day that I stopped by with Trevor and Judith of Pacta Connect, my Istrian wine guides. The winery is modern and shiny and the tasting room can only be described as eclectic. Bruno used the Croatian company Fabrika to design the room and the architect was Zeljko Burik. The room was sunken into the ground so that the windows were all along the upperhalf of the building, creating a very warm and sunny space. The most striking thing was the “bunch” for lack of a better word, of tubes that were sticking out of the ceiling. I asked Bruno what exactly there were supposed to be and he replied that it was a “bunch of grapes”. Ah, I get it now, very post modern, I think. Another interesting quirk was the clock that was fastened to the shorter of on of  the longer tubes. You could only see it if you were directly below it and  looking up. Bruno explained that was so that you would know what time it was if you happened to be laying on the floor. Why you might be laying on the floor was unsaid but I think it might have something to do with drinking all night and waking up in the tasting room (wink,wink). Bruno is thinking globally and has the name of his winery in both English and an Asian language. He says that he does get a fair number of Asian visitors, though there were none there the day we...

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Drinking in Rovinj,Croatia – Piassa Granda wine bar

May 12, 11 Drinking in Rovinj,Croatia – Piassa Granda wine bar

Posted by in Croatia

There aren’t many wine bars in Croatia and to find one in the ancient city of Rovinj, you have to be lucky. Sure there are lots of cocktail bars lining the cliffs along the seaside but a proper wine bar with a full list of some of the best wines that Croatia has to offer as well as a few foreign ones for the locals is well neigh impossible to find. That is, unless you know of Piassa Granda, a cool little bar tucked in amongst the winding streets of old Rovijn. Piassa Granda is at the end of side street in the old city of Rovinj and may take a little searching to find but once you do, it’s a great little bar to  hang out in. One of the first and probably only fully dedicated wine bars of Croatia, Helena and her sister Dragana run the joint and are extremely welcoming as well as speaking very good English which is a handy when you’re trying to navigate their extensive wine list. They have over 250 wines of the region on their list, mainly focusing on the native varietals with the major and best producers on the list. They also helpfully line the walls of the bar with their wines so you can just pick one off the shelf if it catches your fancy. Along with an extensive selection of Istrian wines, they also feature local produce. We had a generous portion of cheeses and meats to go along with the wines. We wanted to try local so Helena brought us a red and a white. The white was from the producer Franko Radovan, a well regarded winemaker, his 2009 malvazijalstarska ( Croatian for malvasia) was a delight. Fresh and full of tropical fruit on the nose and palate with a nice weighty feel to it, a great wine to while away the afternoon. His labels are famous as well, having all the animal symbols of Croatia playfully scattered about the front of...

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Istrian merlot from Moreno Coronica

May 04, 11 Istrian merlot from Moreno Coronica

Posted by in Croatia

Croatia and its wines seem to be on my radar lately. It all started late last year right before I went to Argentina. I was given a sample of two to try and although I wasn’t able to try them until 3 months later, I thought, hmmm, interesting and not bad at all. Forward to a week and a half ago and I’m visiting a friend in a small spa town near Padua tweeting about hanging out and wondering out loud what wine I would find here. A tweet from @pc_wines tells me I should come to Istria as I’m very close. How close? About 1.5 hrs by train close. So off to the train station to buy a ticket to Trieste from which the wonderful folks of Pacta Connect Wines (Trevor and Judith) would pick me up and drive the last 30 minutes to Umag, their base in Istria. Trevor and Judith are huge fans of Croatian wines, having come across the wines of the region over 6 years ago, they were smitten and ever since then have been scouting  out the best wines of the region and importing them to the UK. They’re not interested in cheap or mass produced wine, they’re looking for quality wines from producers who care about their wines and which are hopefully good value for money. They like to work with small producers and one of the first ones we visited was Moreno Coronica. We drove out to visit his vineyards in the village of Koreniki, his family have been in the area so long that they even have their very own village. I later found out that that is quite common but still, you’re own village! Istria was part of the Venetian empire until the early 19th century and between the world wars, Istria was considered part of Italy which explains why Moreno’s 84 yr old father prefers to speak  Italian. The area around the winery was a hive of construction. Moreno is busy building a...

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