Croatian Winemakers: Poletti in Višnjan

Total Croatia News

The region around the old Istrian town of Višnjan, mostly known for its observatory and popular-science programmes for the school kids, is also very well known for the wines grown on the reddest of the red Istrian soil. There are at least a dozen winemakers in the 2 km region around the town, several kilometres inland from Poreč, the major tourist centre on the Istrian coast.

The red Istrian soil is where the Poletti family has been making wine for the past 6 generations, since 1842. These days the family winery is run by Peter Polleti, who took the business over in 1993, and now he has 16,000 vines in their 6 hectare vineyard. Those are several indigenous Istrian wines that thrive on the excellent positions of the vineyards, malvazija, teran and muškat ruža, and several international varieties cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay. Peter Poletti is still very proud of the fact that he is still working in the vineyard himself (with some help of course), and his decision is to make the best possible varietal wines, not blends.

His malvazija is very fresh while young, as it should be, and he’s confident that it’s better than the internationally famed chardonnay. For teran he says that it’s difficult to make a great wine on a bad year, but on the good years it’s an excellent wine. Muškat ruža (red rose moscatto) is a tender and intriguing semi-sweet rose wine, very rare and with low production (both in Poletti vineyards and in general in Istria), so it’s almost always a surprise when you taste it. Cabernet is aged in barrique a bit more then teran, because Peter personally likes it that way, and he doesn’t want to make the wines to please others, rather makes them so that he enjoys them most.

The Poletti’s also produce olive oil, offer accommodation in their wonderful villa, and you’re welcome to visit their cellar if you announce that you’re coming in advance, where Peter will show you what they’re doing and explain all about their wines.


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