Located in Slavonia, this county has been growing grapes from its fertile plains and producing quality wines for thousands of years and continues to do so today.
This cooler climate wine region is spectacularly beautiful, and the wine roads are well developed with ancient cellars dotting the landscape where you can stop by tasting rooms and sample delightful wine while nibbling on the local charcuterie the region is so famous for.
The county has four distinct micro wine growing districts, Baranja, Djakovo, Erdut and Feričanci, where they grow Graševina (Welschrielsling), Riesling, Traminer, Pinot, Chardonnay, Frankovka, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon, and Pinot Gris to mention a few. White grape varieties dominate the landscape in this cooler climate with Graševina reigning supreme due to it being perfectly matched to the local terroir.
People have admired the wines from Baranja for centuries and over that time, local producers have developed their wine making skills adopting new technologies while maintaining their traditions and keeping what makes their wines unique. Located in the north of the county, Baranja wines are cultivated on the Banska Kosa, which is a hill in Baranja ideal for viticulture. Interestingly the hill was named Mons Aureas (Golden Hill), by the Romans who also recognised Banska Kosa as an excellent wine growing location.
Within the district, there are four wine roads well worth visiting, Branjin Vrh, Zmajevac, Suza, and Kneževi Vinogradi (Princes Vineyards). Also, Baranja along with Erdut are both on the Vintour – Wine Roads of the European Union which is a project funded by the EU for the development of rural tourism.
There are a number of great wineries worth visiting in the Baranja, some of which include Kalazić, Josić, Kolar and the world famous Belje Winery where you can take a tour of their vineyards, cellar and finish in the tasting room where you’ll be expertly guided through their range of wines in a stunning tasting room which is steeped in history.
If you head east from the shores of the Danube, you’ll come to Djakovo, where wine making really kicked off after the liberation from the Turkish. At that time the wine growing areas of Trneva and Mandičeva where cultivated and today that wine production is still going strong. Around 60% of Sjakovo’s production is Traminer with the remainder of production primarily Graševina and Chardonnay. The fantastic wine roads of Zlatarevac are definitely worth a drive where you’ll find seven of Djakovo’s best wineries including Misna, Lukačević, Pavlović, Vračević along with a few others.
This picturesque wine region is famous for great white wines and a Guinness World Record: a 75,000 litre, 150-year-old oak wine barrel. It’s really is worth a wine holiday even just to see the barrel. Located on the gentle slopes of the Dalj mountains overlooking the Danube river this micro wine region is truly unique. Leading the Erdut wine charge is Vina Erdut, who produce some fantastic riesling, chardonnay, merlot and gewurztraminer in their 460-hectare Erdut estate.
Lastly, we have the little micro wine growing region of Feračanci, who can thank the monks of the Cistercian order for the development of wine production in the area. Located in the West of the Osijek-Baranja County, Feračanci has a long history in agriculture and wine production actually commenced in the 13th century thanks to those monks. It would be remiss of us not to mention Feravino, one of Croatia’s best wine producers who is located in Feričani. They produce some outstanding wines on their 160-hectare property where you can visit their cellar and try them for yourself. Be sure to try their Frankovka, Graševina and Zweigelt (a cross breed between Frankovka and Lovrijenac).
For more information about wine in the Osijek-Baranja County head to their website.