How many of you know where Vivodina is ?! First of all, thanks to top wines, and then to extremely hospitable hosts and local enthusiasts such as Krešo Rogoz - a great lover of nature, this place together with the surrounding area will very quickly be profiled and established on the tourist oeno-gastro map of continental Croatia. And totally deserved!
Only half an hour's drive from Karlovac, on the southern slopes of the Žumberak mountains along the Kupa valley, in the length of about thirty kilometres, over picturesque hills and cultivated vineyards, passes the Ozalj-Vivodina wine road. As I meandered through the same, wet from the rain and covered with autumn leaves, my view was nourished by the gentle nature, orchards and meadows, wooded hills and streams below them, arable land and picturesque villages of which there are as many as 26. The fairytale environment led me straight to the top one of the hills on which the church of Sv. Lovre - the most valuable monument of Baroque architecture of the Ozalj region. And right next to it, the most representative catering - wine - accommodation facility in Vivodina and its surroundings - the farm FRLAN.
The family tradition, which has lasted for more than a hundred years, has recently culminated in newly built accommodation facilities - refined rooms at the level of a five-star hotel. Their Pag and Krk lamb, prepared according to a hundred-year-old recipe, is widely talked about, as well as homemade strudels and desserts that will shake even the strongest character. Numerous gold and silver medals that they won at fairs in the country and abroad for their top wines very much accompany the entire catering offer. Graševina, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Frankovka, Portuguese, and according to my choice, top-quality Pinot Noir, will be the final touch that will delight yourself and everyone you come to OPG FRLAN with.
The IVAN FRLAN wine cellar was just one of a total of eight winemakers from the Vivodina region who joined forces through an interesting and well-organized Vivodina Wine and Walk event to present themselves, their wines and local gastronomic delicacies prepared for us. On the nine-kilometre-long wine route, followed by the watchful eye of the organizer Krešo Rogoz and his agency Croatia Open Land tours DMC, a crowd of wine and recreation enthusiasts took a firm and safe step:
- wine cellar IVAN VIKTOROVSKI where, among other things, we tasted sparkling wine made by the French method Pet Nat in a way that the dew was placed in a bottle halfway through fermentation and allowed to ferment until the end, which gave it an interesting sparkling and fruitiness
- FERKO wine cellar located in the village of Belošići, secluded with a beautiful view of the vineyard and built of stone 200 years ago
- wine cellar ŠTUBLJAR, which presented its excellent wines in Hodinci, and its cellar is located in Kamanj. Stubljar's wine hopes paired perfectly with homemade beans and venison stew
- wine cellar LEŠĆANEC where we were greeted with a smile by two ladies who have the main say here - Ljiljana and Andrea. We only had the opportunity to taste Kerner here
- DARKO VRBANEK wine cellar as the largest winemaker in the Vivodina region in terms of capacity, which also served us top-quality chardonnay
- JOSIP VRBANEK wine cellar, which welcomed us in an imposing large cellar next to the Kupa. The only one that produces red wine is Lovrijenac, and it also has the largest production of apple cider vinegar in Croatia, which we tasted implemented in phenomenal marinated and salted anchovies.
- MIRKO VRBANEK wine cellar, which treated us to its flagships in the cellar from the 18th century - top quality Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Traminer
What especially thrilled me in this wine gastro tour is the excellent quality of the wine we had the opportunity to taste, which is not the rule at some famous wine events. The hosts, in full accordance with the saying "viribus unitis", decided to draw the quality of the offer, first of all wines, and then local, autochthonous gastronomic delicacies, to draw the public's attention to their traditionally woven wine-growing region and promote its beauties. The sincere welcome and great and warm hospitality of all the actors in this story definitely goes to their advantage.
Above the Kupa valley, on the lookout point near the church of Sv. The inscription on the cross reads: "Whoever was not on Lović Prekriški, did not see the Croatian beauty!" Do not believe but come and see for yourself! Cheers to you!