Baranja – the land of wine

‘The land of wine’ stretches throughout Baranja, like its name, suggests ‘mother of wine’, because in Hungarian, ‘bor’ means wine, and ‘anya’ is a mother. It seems like a sea- although not in color reminiscent of the sea.

The Gere vinery, Hungarian Baranja, photo by croatia2go.com
The Gere winery, Hungarian Baranja, photo by croatia2go.com

The green color of the Pannonian sea

In fact, there used to be a sea, the Pannonian Sea, as evidenced by geological research, but here is a fascinating island… Aršanj, as the Croats call it, is recognizable by its extraordinary flora and limestone soil.  

The southern slopes of Aršanj, Hungarian Baranja, photo by croatia2go.com
The southern slopes of Aršanj, Hungarian Baranja, photo by croatia2go.com

On its southern slopes of Aršanj is a Mediterranean climate, with over 20% of the flora of Mediterranean species!?! The territory is part of the Danube-Drava National Park. The region is part of the Danube-Drava National Park. This so-called island is also known as the Villány Mountains, a relatively low mountain (442 meters in height) located west of the town of Villány, in Baranya county, in Southern Hungary. This ‘sea’ is in all shades of green, where only the light brown soil breaks through the vineyards. 

Sauska vineyards, Hungarian Baranja, photo by croatia2go.com
Sauska vineyards, Hungarian Baranja, photo by croatia2go.com

The vineyards, wine cellars, and wine

The wine is the main protagonist of this story, or even better – vineyards, wine cellars, and wine.

Croatian Baranja is indeed a land of wine but still not recognized as the eno-gastro destination as in Hungary. A small village Villany, not far from the Croatian border, is home to ‘wine’. 

The Belje vineyards, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com
The Belje vineyards, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com

Numerous wineries of this wine-growing region have already been included on the wine roads and have become unavoidable tourist attractions.

There are some excellent like SAUSKA48, then BOCK, GERE, and many others. The uniqueness of the wine, brilliantly cultivated vineyards, winemaking tradition, and the specific oenological knowledge, skills, and even tricks available today have raised this fantastic region to the top of European winemakers, emphasizing the blue Frankovka.

The Brzica wine cellar view, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com
The Brzica wine cellar view, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com

Frankovka in this area has become a base for extraordinary blends and rose wines. Apart from the really excellent ‘red’ varieties, this region also boasts excellent white wines, mainly from Graševina.

The lunch in the Erdut cellar vineyard, Erdut, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com
The lunch in the Erdut cellar vineyard, Erdut, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com

The land of wine

The Croatian part of the ‘land of wine’, although territorially only a third of Baranja is better known for its white wines, Graševina.

These excellent white wines, fascinating smaller or larger wineries, and traditional wine production that was recently upgraded with modern trends are becoming a magnet for true connoisseurs. In addition to really fertile soil, on the Croatian side of Baranja are small hills, and the Danube, mighty, ubiquitous winding waterway marked this wine region with its course.

Josić - restaurant and vinery, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com,
Josić – restaurant and winery, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com,

You must take the opportunity and find those who will show you the best of Baranja and Erdut.

Go visit some wineries. Some have a small restaurant attached to taste some of the best Slavonian-Baranja specialties and a completely different approach to the traditional flavors.

Baranja, Belje vineyards, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com
Baranja, Belje vineyards, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com

Baranja and Erdut – eno gastro destination

Some small, family-owned hotels or lodges will surprise you with unique culinary achievements, whereas true connoisseurs, sommeliers, will offer you pairing wine for the served dish.

Finger food made by Tomica Đukić, the chef of Croatian national football team, photo by croatia2go.com
Finger food made by Tomica Đukić, the chef of Croatian national football team, photo by croatia2go.com

Baranja and Erdud are still less known as an eno gastro destination than they objectively deserve to be.

You will rarely have the opportunity to meet that many winemakers, walk and smell their old cellars, sometimes even gators, and taste such excellent wines. The quality of these wines, their unique flavors were determined by the hundred-year production. Still, the specific soil, proximity of the Danube, and the amount of moisture and sun made an absolute miracle.

Sterlet, kečiga, restaurant Baranjka kuća, Karanac, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com
Sterlet, kečiga, restaurant Baranjska kuća, Karanac, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com

Enjoy in Josić winery and its gators. Taste the Kalazić wines, but make sure you don’t miss the view from the Brzica wine cellar over the Danube and Vojvodina on the other side of the river. Enjoy the taste of Pinot Griggio in the Gertsmajer wine cellar or wines rich in the flavors of the Kolar winery in Zmajevac. If you visit the Jasna Antunović vinery, a female vintner, you’ll  end in the embrace of the Danube, the grapevine, and the woman 🙂

Baranja house, Karanac, Baranja, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com
Baranja house, Karanac, Baranja, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com

Headoneast

Headoneast, Osijek-Baranja County campaign best describes all the reasons for your mandatory arrival in the land of wine.

But this area, a rich Baranja is not just a land of wine; it is a travel, not a destination. You can’t stop here… there is no beginning or end. There is so much around you, so much diversity, from the Danube to the beautiful medieval Osijek, or the famous, border Karanac which has become a real tourist gem, with its Baranja house, museum and restaurant you will surely remember. Taste the famous Baranja delicacies such as kulen, ‘his sister’, but also sweets you might have forgotten, such as dumplings with plums or apricots….

Gertsmajer vinery, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com
The Gertsmajer winery, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com

There are also excellent river fish dishes prepared in many different ways that go along with the story of a catfish of 7 meters in length that reigned in the beautiful Kopački rit, a nature park, and the largest European wetland. Don’t miss it!

Hedonist or Headoneast? The road always takes you to Baranja….

Our reliable ‘partner in hedonism’ travel agency Croatian Attractions will be happy to tailor the best hedonistic tour of Slavonia and Baranja for you.

See you 😊

Andreja Pruša Horvatić

The giant barrel, Erdut wine cellar, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com
The giant barrel, Erdut wine cellar, Croatia, photo by croatia2go.com

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