In Istria (Croatia) we are doubly blessed: with a diversity of soils and locations to suit different grapes, indigenous and internationally known; and by a perfect climate born of Istria’s geographical position where Alpine and Mediterranean climates converge. Across Istria’s different terroirs, Vina Laguna vineyards have been selected and cultivated, with major capital investment, to extract the best from this natural inheritance.
Red soil (terra rossa) is found closer to the coast and white soil (terre bianche), rich in calcareous clay emerges as we move inland to higher ground. Ancient indigenous grapes like Teran and Malvasia grow side by side with international classics like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Bianco – it has taken generations to determine which plot of land is best for which style of wine, whatever the grape. Coastal sites with good drainage are ideal for Merlot, for instance, whilst the indigenous Malvasia Istriana grape variety creates wines of different characters according to soil and elevation – part of Istria’s fascination lies in exploring these distinctions.
Wherever the vines are grown, whatever the micro-climate of each plot, all of Istria bathes in a warm yet temperate climate. Opposite Venice at the north of the Adriatic sea, Istria avoids the excessive temperatures that make for big strong wines further south. Its spring showers aid bud growth, it’s cool breezes air the soil, and its long summers empower viticulturists to harvest each grape variety at the perfect moment for ripeness and balance.
Yet Istria’s vineyards benefit from more than their location and climate, as do their wines. These are also the result of “Man’s hand upon the land”. For over a millennium, Istria’s visitors, by land and sea, have stayed to make wine and so this unique peninsula has benefited from many winemaking cultures and centuries of viticultural progress: from Rome, Byzantium, Veneto and Austria, winemaking has developed in a way that only time can afford, by trial and error. So that now, with the application of scientific advances to age-old experience, our vineyards in Istria have their day.