Grasevina is Croatia’s most planted variety and while its local name might not mean much to you, its international name – Welschriesling – is a bit more familiar with international wine lovers. This variety is one of the old varieties of Central Europe. It is unrelated to the more famous Rhine Riesling. It is said Croatian Welschriesling vineyards in the north-eastern region of Slavonia produce some of the highest quality grapes of its kind in Europe. Brought over by the ancient Romans, its history in this area of today’s Croatia is so long that locals consider it our national variety.
Grasevina grapes are quite resilient and give good yields which makes them popular with vintners. They can produce refreshing wines with high acidity as well as top quality ample-bodied whites. It is produced in a variety of styles and it is most popular in country’s continental areas. High acidity in many Grasevina wines makes it a good sparkling wine variety, but don’t be surprised to find it in some wonderful late harvest sweet wines or even ice wines as well. Grasevina can produce wines in a wide array of quality levels with lower quality Grasevina wines being notoriously acidic.
Majority of Grasevinas are fresh wines characterised by fruity, mineral, and floral aromas. You will often identify fresh apple and pear aromas on the nose and the palate. White flowers are also typical. Sweeter aromas like hints of exotic fruits, cantaloupe, quince and honey are not unusual. This is especially true with medium bodied examples.
As it’s usually made into lighter bodied refreshing wines, Grasevina is a go-to variety for many Croatians when it comes to food pairing. It is popular with lighter seafood based dishes. However, more ample bodied examples allow for more adventurous pairings with dishes like chicken, pork, creamy pastas and risottos and a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes.