A Wine Heaven in Slavonia and Baranja

In Slavonia and Baranja, you will find the largest wine cellar, largest vineyard, giant barrel, top boutique wineries, and unforgettable sights and aromas. What should you do?

You should ‘Head on East’, to the head-on-East-ic Wine Heaven of Croatia.

24. Vino s Dunava, photo by Marko Banić, photo credit by TB of Slavonia and Baranja
24. Vino s Dunava, photo by Marko Banić, photo credit by TB of Slavonia and Baranja

Get a diploma of a vigorous hedonist

Even the Square of the Holy Trinity in Osijek was called The Wine Square! In the Habsburg Monarchy, later known as the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, wine from Baranja was delivered here to the innkeepers and the soldiers twice a week. Today, right next to Tvrđa’s watergate, the last out of four gates built at the beginning of the 18th century, you will find the Regional Wine Store. It’s a perfect place where you can try wines from the vineyards of Slavonia and Baranja and get a diploma of a vigorous hedonist

The majority of prominent Croatian winemakers are here, and wine lovers will find their heaven, where history and wine culture meet the lifestyle of modern people. 

Four vineyards dominate the region: western or the vineyards of Feričanci, southern or the vineyards of Đakovo, northern or the vineyards of Baranja, and the eastern or the vineyards of Erdut. Due to their unique location next to the Danube River, the last two are called the homeland of “Danube wines.” 

Wine road Belje,Croatia, photo by Nenad Milić, photo credit by TB of Slavonia and Baranja
Wine road Belje,Croatia, photo by Nenad Milić, photo credit by TB of Slavonia and Baranja

Boranya is a mother of wine

“Bor “which means “of wine “and “anya “which means “mother “are Hungarian words that coin the name of the Baranja region – the mother of wine. The wine culture is a part of Baranja’s identity, and it is apparent at almost every corner. Like a true hedonist, take your time, enjoy; the viewpoint on Bansko Hill, one of the most beautiful Croatian wine roads and the most extensive wine cellar in Croatia, in Kneževi Vinogradi.

A beautiful picturesque village Suza (a teardrop in Croatian), will bring tears to your eyes, a virtue of true hedonist! Zmajevac, a village on the Danube River in Baranja known for its wine. There you’ll find “gators “, wine cellars located in small and narrow canyons created by water, also known as “surduk “. 

The Gator Fest is held each year at the beginning of June in Kneževi Vinogradi, Suza, and Zmajevac! It is a festival of fine wine, good living, and exciting activities. The festival organizers consider the well-being of its visitors to participate in a relaxing Wine & Walk Tour every year. In these cellars, the Mother of Wine will reveal all the secrets of its white and red charms: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Traminer, Chardonnay, Rhein Riesling, Sauvignon as well as Frankovka, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. Along the way, you might even find out about the Red Martha, known as the evil mistress of the vineyards and the godmother of Zmajevac (the Hungarian name of the village is Vörösmart or The Red Martha).

Baranja gatori, Croatia, photo by Nenad Milić, photo credit by Osijek and Baranja TB
Baranja gatori, Croatia, photo by Nenad Milić, photo credit by Osijek and Baranja TB

The tradition of vineyards in Đakovo dates back to the Middle Ages to preserve its flavor excellence to this day. Right next to the Đakovo Cathedral is the Archbishop’s Palace and the wine cellar of the Đakovo – Osijek Archdiocese with famous altar wines from Đakovo that make every Eucharistic celebration even more divine. Đakovo vineyards are famous for white wine varieties Riesling and Traminer. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Silvaner, and Rhein Riesling can also be found here, and red wines; Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.

30th nights of Wine and art, Osijek, Croatia, photo by Marko Banić, photo credit by TB of Slavonia and Baranja
30th nights of Wine and art, Osijek, Croatia, photo by Marko Banić, photo credit by TB of Slavonia and Baranja

The scenery of the Danube

The scenery of the Danube meander in the area of the Erdut District is a protected landscape famous for rich flavors and aromas of wines of the Riesling, Traminer, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Muscat Ottonel, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Rhein Riesling. Out of red here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Zweigelt.

The grapevine cultivation dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. “Erdut – the city of wine “attracts with its medieval fair taking place each May, during which medieval heritage and wine culture.

Wine&Bike Tour Erdut, photo by Marko Banić, photo credit by TB of Slavonia and Baranja
Wine&Bike Tour Erdut, photo by Marko Banić, photo credit by TB of Slavonia and Baranja

One of the biggest European wooden barrels is carefully stored and still used in the Erdut wine cellar. It is as large as a one-bedroom apartment and can store 75,000 liters of Riesling!

Feričanci is also known for the winemaking tradition, at the slopes of the Krndija Mountain, since the 13th century. In the vineyards of Feričanci, the ratio of red to white grape varieties is almost equal with its famous Frankovka, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris and some red wine varieties, again like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir.

All countries of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy were linked by Frankovka, originated from a white grape variety Weisser Heunisch (in Croatia also known as Belina Velika). It is a red wine variety and the best red wine in continental Croatia.

Erdut vineyards, Croatia, photo credit by TB Osijek and Baranja county
Erdut vineyards, Croatia, photo credit by TB Osijek and Baranja county

The traditional wine celebrations like the most famous Vinkovo in January show a growing number of modern wine manifestations that unite hedonism, art, and active vacation like Osijek’s WineOsWine and Art Nights, Wine & Bike Tour Erdut, Wine Bor Marathon in Zmajevac and Frankovka Festival in Feričanci stand out.

And where do you stand now? At the very beginning of this article…

What should you do?

You should ‘Head on East’, to the Wine Heaven of Croatia.

The confluence of the Drava and the Danube, photo by Denis Despot, photo credit by Tb Osijek sand baranja county
The confluence of the Drava and the Danube, photo by Denis Despot, photo credit by Tb Osijek sand Baranja county

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