Spring is nudging into Croatia, clearing the sky, painting it blue, much like the sea. The season is still a few months away. Soon these shores will fill up with human clutter, but for now it’s just us, the lapping waves and the fat gulls. I am here to explore the Istrian wine trail, along with a few friends, and I’m parched.
The first drop of wine presents itself at 11:00am, and that’s only because the silly GPS insisted we take the long route, across vineyards, past shiny new stone mansions, and over dirt roads. But we are are finally here, at a small upcoming winery in Poreč.
Istrian families have a long and rich wine making history. While most make a few liters of their own wine, a few have turned it into successful businesses, converting their farms and family names into well known brands, best enjoyed with bit of cheese.
A glass of wine. And then another. A sip, a splash, a gulp. One for the road, and then one more. And then one more because it all tastes so good. Wine the colour of floating roses, the colour of blood red rubies, white with swirling flecks of gold, and a white that tastes like a liquid orchard. I drink them all.
We move from one wine to another, quicker than I can keep up. At one point I stop taking notes; I can’t be bothered with any distractions when there’s wine to polish off. Every few minutes we raise our glasses to the chorus of živjeli, and then we begin all over again.