Best Croatia Wine Tour for Wine Lovers

This guide to the best Croatia wine tour focuses on the Dalmatian coast. More specifically, in the area surrounding Split, Croatia. This region of Dalmatia is known for Plavac Mali, the primary red wine found on just about every table in the country.

When visiting Split, Croatia you definitely want to take a wine tour. Driving through the area, you can’t help but notice that much of the landscape is laced with picturesque vineyards. Drawn in, wine lovers crave to immerse themselves in the surrounding wine culture.

Vineyards overlooking Split, Croatia.

Best Croatia Wine Tour

After living in Split for over two years, we can profess that visiting Croatia’s wine lands is challenging. Although the history of this wine region goes back thousands of years, wine tourism here is still slowly emerging.

Wine tours are not like visiting the main attractions, like going on a tour of Croatia’s Blue Lagoon, where there are tons of tour agencies battling for your business. In fact, it’s the exact opposite, which is why we were happy to find the best Croatia wine tour at the winery mentioned below.

Such a sexy bottle! This Zinfandel (Crljenak Kaštelanski) tastes as good as it looks.

Connecting with wineries is difficult and oftentimes, unsuccessful. It sometimes feels like the stars have to perfectly align to manage to get your foot in the door. The good news is, if you’re looking for an intimate and reputable wine experience in Croatia, we’ve found one at Putlaj Winery, just outside Split.

Expat Tip: If you have time for only one full-day excursion while in Split, make sure to book the Blue Cave and Hvar Tour – 5 Islands Tour from Split and Trogir. Stops include Blue Cave, the island of Vis, where Mamma Mia 2 was filmed, and the party island of Hvar—it’s an epic tour!

What Sets the Putalj Winery Tour Apart?

It’s the passion that this family has for wine and their desire to share it with tourists and guests. Additionally, communication with the winery was very prompt and we were warmly welcomed to join them for a pleasant afternoon visit to their family’s vineyard.

Putalj’s vineyard’s stunning location overlooks Marjan Hill and the Adriatic Sea.

Our visit began with Anton Kovač, the founder and winemaker, meeting us at our accommodation and driving us to his vineyard in Kaštela. As we walked among his vines, with a backdrop of gorgeous mountain views, he shared his personal story and educated us on the area’s wine history.

Wine aficionados will appreciate learning about Zinfandel’s roots, and how it was recently traced back to Croatia, and more importantly to Kaštela itself, the location of Putalj Winery

What a perfect vineyard view! One way faces Kozjak Mountain and the other the Adriatic Sea.

Highlights of Our Visit to Putalj Winery

The highlight of the tour was enjoying the outdoor patio overlooking the vineyard and the sea. Of course, a bottle of chilled Zinfandel rosé wine was accompanied by local cheeses. We spoke of wine, travel, family, and life, sitting together overlooking Split and the Adriatic Sea.

How often do you get to sit with the founder/winemaker enjoying his wine among his vineyards? As Anton proudly claims, “this experience is unique and one of a kind.”

The entrance to the fermentation room.

Next, we headed to the fermentation room and sampled wine directly from the tanks. If you’ve never done this before, it’s quite the experience. It’s wonderful to taste the wine during its early stages and compare it to the finished product.

Afterward, we headed to the cozy cellar where we enjoyed a bottle of 2014 Putalj Zinfandel. It was accompanied by fresh bread, Anton’s homemade olive oil, local cheeses, and Dalmatian prosciutto. Putalj refers to the name of a small church on the slopes of the mountain directly behind his vineyard.

Anton (founder) provides Harry with an explanation of the history of the vineyards.

If you are visiting the Split area and are hoping to have an authentic wine experience, we highly recommend booking a tour at Putalj Winery. In an elusive wine region that is quite hard to explore, they literally welcome you to their cellar door!

Below are a couple of other great tours for foodies and winos near Split, Croatia.

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4 thoughts on “Best Croatia Wine Tour for Wine Lovers
  1. Looks like you had an amazing experience in great company. What kind of cheeses were those? I’m curious what cheese is your favorite with wine! (Does it depends on the type of wine??)

    1. Hi Laura,
      Sometimes folks will pair specific cheeses to certain wines. But as you can guess, we’re not very fussy and pretty much enjoy all types of cheese (That is, except for the stinky, gross kind or goat cheese!) At Kovač Winery, we really enjoyed the feta with the local olive oil poured over it with bread! Delish!

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