Croatia’s wine industry was grown initially by Greek traders and subsequently within the Roman empire. The wines were prized by both empires, particularly those from the islands. Benevolent conditions continued in the medieval period, but the increasing influence of the Ottoman empire from the 15th century put a brake on development that was not released until Croatia came into the sphere of influence of the Hapsburg empire
In the 20th century the Croatian wine industry overcame the ravages of phylloxera without losing the indigenous grape varieties, and survived the state control of Yugoslavia where quality was sacrificed for quantity to emerge, stronger than ever, with new investment and technology.
Ranked just outside the top 20 wine producing countries by volume, Croatia produces more white than red, with a series of well-defined regions of production from Istria, inland Dalmatia and the coast and islands. The wines feature some wonderful indigenous grape varieties that are virtually unknown elsewhere.
One of the highest-regarded varieties is Plavac Mali (related to Zifandel) that forms the core of some of the best examples of Dalmatian Coast red wines, such as Postup, Dingač and Zlatan Plavac.