The Danube Kindom of Wine
Ilok and Srijem, the easternmost town and winegrowing region in Croatia are situated on the right bank of the river Danube where the west slopes of Fruska Gora hill falling gently to the coast. The Srijem winegrowing region is one of the largest wine-growing regions in Croatia, with a long viticulture tradition. Climatic characteristics, determined by cold winters, cool springs, hot summers and moderate autumnal seasons, make this lovely region an ideal place for the cultivation of various varieties. Constant gentle breezes and a position at the appropriate height above sea level, such as in the case of the Ilok vineyards, make this region healthy and ideal for major viticulture achievements.
Considering wine tradition, Srijem had a very turbulent past. Archaeological findings are indicating that viticulture was introduced to the area at the time of the Ancient Romans. Their renowned tradition was continuously developed through the Middle Ages, which was disturbed under the Turkish siege of the area. When the Turks left the region, during the late Middle Ages, new lords, the noble family of Odelschalchi, reestablished old viticulture traditions which have been flourishing in the area ever since.
Characteristic varietals of the region are Traminac (Traminer) and Grasevina (Welschriesling), although the latter is far more popular today. However, one hundred years ago the situation was very much different, with Traminac having been a leading regional varietal. In this region, Traminac is produced as a dry or semi-dry wine. This quality makes Croatian Traminac quite special.
Grasevina, on the other hand, is a very popular varietal on the Croatian market, showing tremendous potential in the area. With a significant reduction in cropping and timely harvesting, Grasevina is distinguished by flowery and fruity scent with a defined, tangy, juicy and refreshing flavor.
This region proved itself as a welcoming place for all Burgundy varietals, Silvaner, Cabernet Sauvignon, Blaufrankisch and other sorts. The slopes of Fruska Gora are used for the cultivation of special wines. Ice Wines, which are successful on a regular basis, together with dry wines are awarded gold medals at many prestigious competitions worldwide.
Fortified city walls, castle of Odeschalchi counts with the meticulously maintained renaissance garden, church and monastery of St.John Capistran, centuries old wine cellars and rare remains of the Ottoman architecture are part of old, urban city core, one of the best preserved and most interesting in this part of Croatia. Here you will discover the story of Nicolas of Ilok, grand duke, governor and king, of St.Capistran, apostle of the Christian Europe, etc.
Visitors can sightseeing the picturesque, preserved, magnificently restful landscape, visit numerous wine cellars around wine road route in town, which offer quality wine tasting and enjoy domestic atmosphere and various gastronomic choice.
Visit our Danube's kingdom of wine in January, when on St. Vincent Day we bless vineyards. In the cellars of Ilok winemakers you'll find good wine, home-made food and the sound of tamburitza.