Croatian Winemakers: Ivan Čobanković in Ilok

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The eastern-most region in Croatia is called Srijem, and is the part of the Vukovar Srijem County. There, on the slopes of Fruška gora (Fruška hill) a lot of families have been making wine for as long as they remember, and so has the Čobanković family. Today, there are three wineries with that name in Ilok, and we will talk about the winery with the full name Ivan Čobanković. Two Čobanković brothers each have their own wineries; one labels its wine just “Čobanković”, while the other labels them “Ivan Čobanković”, after the brother’s father. One of the brothers is Petar Čobanković, former Croatian agriculture Minister, and him and his family (including three sons) are working in the family’s winemaking business. The family has had vineyards since the early 20th century, and during the occupation in the Croatian war for independence those were severely neglected, and needed a lot of work done on them in order to grow high quality grapes and make good wines.

These days they have almost 100 hectares of vineyards on the premium positions on the slopes of Fruška gora, and have started producing and selling more significant amounts of high-quality wines in 2002. Since then, their production has grown to staggering 800,000 litres of wine per year – and is sometimes called “the biggest small winery in Croatia”. Large portion of their wine is sold in the bag-in-box in Croatian supermarkets, and they are considered by many experts to be among the best value-for-money wines on our market. However, they also make a premium line of bottled wines, and those are of excellent quality, and some are even sometimes said to be among the best white wines in the country.

These days Ivan Čobanković winery produces cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, frankovka, graševina, pinot grigio, zeleni silvanac and traminac as varietal wines, their sparkling wine “Č” is made from traminac, pinot blanc and chardonnay, and they are especially proud of their predicate wine made from the select berries from the late harvest of graševina. The premium line wines are graševina, pinot grigio, traminac, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, as well as the predicate wine that has received many awards and gold medals since they’ve been making it. And, if you need another nudge to visit Čobanković family winery in Ilok, it is often mentioned as one of the most beautiful wineries in continental Croatia!


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