North Dalmatia: The land of dry-stone walls

North Dalmatia: The land of dry-stone walls

Efforts of many generations put into producing precious drops of wine

One of the most recognisable vineyard-covered landscapes that you will see while sailing the Adriatic is certainly the grid formed by dry-stone walls enclosing the vines of the Babić grape variety near the town of Primošten. This image has circled the globe, attesting to the effort of many generations that went into producing precious drops of wine in this part of Croatia.

In addition to the beautiful visual experience, you can also taste the rich wine offer of the Primošten area by docking in the safe ports and coves of its indented coastline. Make sure you try the unique-tasting local varieties Babić and Debit, grown on the sun-bathed slopes.

 

Routes that lead to Primošten usually face north. To reach the town of Skradin, one of the Adriatic’s hidden gems, you have to go deeper inland, by sailing along the Channel of St Anthony and the fascinating city of Šibenik. Take our word for it, each mile you cover will be worth it, because the beauty of Skradin lies in its oenological and gastronomical specificities.

Restoran Visovac Skradin / TZ Skradin

Even Anthony Bourdain was surprised with what he saw, revealing to the entire world the best-kept secret of this historical place. One of its more open secrets is definitely the Skradin risotto, a delicacy whose preparation is a marathon affair that takes hours of slow cooking, and only the most patient cooks live to tell the tale.

Naturally, the best way to do so is with a little help from local wines, something which even the famous chef and travel writer happily embraced. The dazzling, high-quality wine, refined to perfection in nearby vineyards and wine cellars, is the best companion for any gastronomy marathon that also includes local cheeses and world-renowned prosciutto.

 

Although winemakers in the area proudly grow traditional varieties of Plavina and Lasina, this is still the domain of the strong red Babić and white Debit varieties. The latter were once not as popular, but nowadays represent the perfect basis for experimentation and creativity, such as maceration and ageing in oak barrels. 

Ivo Biočina

It seems the experiment was a success, as these wines have been accepted by many restaurants around the world that included them on their wine lists.

Ivo Biočina

Take your time in Skradin, because you’ll find traces of vine cultivation in the area that date back to ancient times. Combine your sailing trip with a visit to the Krka National Park and its magnificent waterfalls.

On your way back, you’ll notice that the old vineyards are experiencing a rebirth with new groves in the vast labyrinth of stone parapets in the village of Srima.

 

Further north, you will reach the city of Zadar. It has no indigenous grape varieties, but does have a first-rate wine production, as there are excellent new groves and wine cellars in its vicinity. Therefore, we recommend tasting some of the Zadar wine labels in the restaurants in the area. These are some of the best varieties in Croatia, which is evidenced by the fact that some of these can now be found on other continents as well.