Belje Vina is one of the most recognized and largest wine producers in Croatia. With acres and acres of vast vineyards in Slavonia, Belje produces everything from Pinot Noir to the local favorite, Graševina. But, they don’t stop there – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and another local favorite, Frankish, are all offered. The winery has both a modern, glassy and metal production facility, as well as an ancient cellar (from 1526), located a stone’s throw from the vineyard. As a guest, you must see both.
I took a tour on a recent fall day, wearing a sweater with local Slavonian print weaved into it – blue and red for Croatia, of course. On that perfectly crisp day, I was able to walk down Belje’s road through their vineyard, watching the day’s last sun rays warm the grapes. Most had been picked by then, but some late bloomers lingered on the vine.
I was treated to a sampling of various wines from Belje, each more delicious than the next. I particularly liked their “Goldberg Frankovka”. As I sipped my glass in the vineyard, I realized that Croatia, and Slavonia in particular, really does love up to their motto – “Croatia Full of Life”. Why? Because of the diversity of experiences that can be had under one roof (per se). Belje certainly made my afternoon memorable.