A Taste Of The Mediterranean – Croatia

22nd June 2023

A Taste Of The Mediterranean Croatia

The Mediterranean Sea is the lifeblood to a lot of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, it is one of the most desired locations to live, overlooking a gorgeous crystal blue sea with a shining sun, fresh food, outstanding sparkling wine and a vast array of people visiting from around the world.

In this feature, we visit and discover Croatia, one of the finest Sparkling Wine producing countries in the world, sharing similar terroir with the bordering wine loving country of Slovenia and the famous Prosecco, Trento DOC and Franciacorta producing country of Italy.

We don’t fully know when Croatia started making Wine, but we do believe it was no later than the 5th century BC, some 2,500 years ago, back before the Ancient Greek settlers.

The evidence for this comes in form of a coin, which featured a grape cluster on one side and an amphora, which can be used to keep them in on the other.

For anyone visiting Croatia, there is so much to explore, too much to detail in one article, from the history, the sights, the food, the sparkling wine, and the people, so that’s why in this feature we’ll focus on the Sparkling Wine side of the story.

The Mediterranean Touch

I reached out to Dr. Matthew Horkey (ExoticWineTravel) to ask him a question on Croatian Wine, he is the co-author of the number one best-selling book on Croatian wine, ‘Cracking Croatian Wine’.

Question – ‘Do you think that Croatian Wine (Especially Sparkling) has a big enough presence or do you think there is so much more to be discovered?’

Dr. Matthew Horkey’s Answer – “Croatian wine doesn’t have a huge presence on the export market for a variety of reasons. Almost all the producers in Croatia are small, artisanal wineries. Small production, a high volume of tourists and a voracious domestic market means there are not a lot of wines available for export. The best wines don’t make it outside the country.”

You can read more of his comments on the Croatian Wine Industry on Discover Croatia Sparkling Wines

Croatian Wine Terms

  • Vrhunsko Vino – Premium Quality Wine
  • Kvalitetno Vino – Quality Wine
  • Stolno Vino – Table Wine
  • Arhiv – Vintage
  • Suho – Dry
  • Polusuho – Semi-Dry
  • Slatko – Sweet
  • Bijelo – White
  • Crno – Red
  • Rosa – Rosé

In Croatia, there are 300 defined wine districts, 66 appellations, 16 sub-regions and 4 main regions: the Croatian Uplands; Slavonia and Podunavlje; Istria and Kvarner and the Dalmatian wine region. Their most planted grape variety is Graševina (Welschriesling) which covers around 1/4 of the vines planted in Croatia.

Their wine production is on the smaller side, focusing on quality rather than quantity, the Croatians also drink more of their wines than they export.

The Taste In The Glass

Let’s explore one of Croatia’s Winemaking families.

The Peršurić family is no stranger to making wine, they’ve been making wine for over 5 centuries, it’s their MISAL brand that takes on a younger history, it all started with Dr. sc. Đordan Peršurić, he and his father had been enjoying making good still wines, so in the late 1980s, Đordan decided to start learning how to make Sparkling Wine and by the early 1990s he had produced his first 100 bottles.

At first, this was just a hobby for Đordan, but in 1992 MISAL hit the market, in 1993 he raised the vineyards for MISAL, in 1994 he started the production of MISAL Prestige and MISAL Rosé and in 1998 their wine cellar was built. Throughout the years leading up to now, they continued to release new bottles of Sparkling Wine, buy more vineyards and reconstruct their tasting room.

After the passing of Đordan Peršurić in 2005, the winery is now run by his two daughters, Katarina and Ana, they started by managing the winemaking and marketing, but continued learning and picked up the same passion that their father had for the winery in producing Sparkling Wines.

Producing over 40,000 bottles a yearthey have a selection of 11 Sparkling Wines,

Misal – Rouge Demi Sec 2013

Aroma – “Blackberries, blackcurrant, raspberries, cherries, hints of strawberries, in pure freshly picked and tart/jammy form on the aroma, along with red apples.”

Flavour – “Sweet and delicious vibrant red fruits, freshly picked and in a homemade jam/tart form, notes of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and more on the palate.”

Dessert Trophy Winner at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2022

Misal – Royal Brut 2016

Aroma – “Red cherries, wild red berries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, plums with a fantastic display of freshly burnt oak, oak barrels and toasty notes on the aroma.”

Flavour – “Plum jam, blackberry tart, freshly picked blackberries, Christmas spices and notes of freshly toasted toast on the palate.”

Oaky & Toasty Trophy Winner at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2022

Misal – Prestige Extra Brut 2018

Aroma – “Golden fruits, toasty characters, toast crumbs, burnt toast, croissants, brioche, hints of dried honey, chalk and minerals on the aroma.”

Flavour – “A crisp character of toast, pastries, burnt pastry, yeasty, biscuits, shortbread, with dried honey and golden fruits on the palate.”

Gold Oaky & Toasty at the Glass of Bubbly Awards 2022

A Pairing Of Croatia

Food and Wine in Croatia go hand in hand, just like in Italy, France, and Greece, you should never enjoy a good meal without a glass of bubbly and you should never enjoy a glass of bubbly without a good meal, although that statement isn’t taken literally, it speaks to the importance of food and wine, not just the tasting experiences, but to the connection of those you’re enjoying it with.

Being one of the select few Mediterranean countries, you can imagine, by the coast, the love of seafood is spirited.

Pasta ‘0’ Sea

  • Mackerel
  • Pasta
  • Cooked Green Apple
  • Sliced Potato
  • Red Onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Buzzing Sponge Fingers

  • 3 Sponge Fingers
  • Ginger Biscuit Crumbs
  • Cream
  • A spoonful of mixed Ginger Syrup & Rum


  • Flapjack
  • Cooked Green Apple
  • Ginger Biscuit Crumbs

Madeleine Cake

  • Madeleine Cake
  • Ginger Biscuit Crumbs
  • Cereal

Sticks of the Sea

  • Fish Sticks
  • Lettuce
  • Gherkins
  • Cooked Green Apple
  • Mixed Seeds


Image Credit: CroatiaCroatian VineyardsMediterraneanRed Arrow

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.