Central Istria has many excellent winemakers, located in many villages continuing the tradition of winemaking in the region. One of those villages is called Radovani, and the winemaker this article is focusing on is called Franko Radovan, owner of the Radovan Family Farm and winery. Although probably not as famous as some other Central Istrian winemakers, his red and white wines are well known among the winelovers in Croatia. He is the fourth generation winemaker in the family and has been making wines commercially for almost 25 years.
His vineyards are located on the red Istrian soil near Poreč, and he has inherited and revitalized around 10 hectares of vineyards, mostly growing malvazija (almost half of all vineyard area) and the only other white variety is chardonnay. Red varieties are teran, refošk, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. All of the wines Radovan markets are varietal, and he has not yet created a blend to offer his customers (but plans to do so!)
Radovan white wines are usually put on the market quite fresh, after the fermentation in stainless steel barrels and freshness is their main characteristic, which is a key malvazija trait treasured in Istria. The red wines also go through the stainless steel fermentation; however they are allowed to age in oak barrels for at least a year and are put on the market after 2.5 years of aging. His red wines are all wonderfully coloured, rich in flavour and fruity in aroma. Many of Radovan’s wines have been winning awards at various wine competitions, and most of those were taken by malvazija and cabernet sauvignon.
The wine cellar is located in the family house, and next to the cellar they have made a lovely tasting room, ready to entertain 20 people. The room is decorated in the Istrian rustic style, with a traditional fire-place, and it’s open for tastings during the tourist season even without the appointment.