One thing is certain wherever you travel in Croatia - there will be a glass of rakija or wine offered shortly after arrival with your host. Croatia has an outstandingly diverse wine scene, with a reported 130 indigenous varieties, in addition to many well known international sorts. What makes the Croatian wine story all the more interesting is the sheer diversity from region to region, and interestingly, some regions not so famous for their wine tradition, are among the most organised.
One of those is Varazdin County, whose countryside a short drive from the capital Zagreb boats no less than four wine roads, one of which is combined with one of the region's top spa attractions, Varaždinske Toplice. With no less than 12 grape varieties to choose from to compliment a relaxing wellness holiday in this ancient spa town, the Toplice Wine Road is a delightful addition to this intriguing region which is - just like its wines - often overlooked by tourists. It is their loss. The official introduction of the Toplice Wine Roads:
Varaždinske Toplice (The Varaždin Spa) is the largest and the oldest spa town in Croatia. The centre of the town is located on travertine terraces near the southern slopes of the Toplički Hill, towards the Bednja River valley. The natural gift of this area – an abundant spring of thermal water – has determined the settlement’s location and name, and enabled it to keep the tradition of medical treatments through all the various cultural epochs. The water temperature at the spring is 58 degrees centigrade.
In the third century B.C., there was the first mention of the name of local inhabitants. They were called the Pannonian Iasi, which was the reason why the Romans called this settlement Aquae Iasae. The modern spa was founded in 1820. By the beginning of the 20th century, Varaždinske Toplice was already one of the more prominent Central-European spas and medical tourism destinations – which is the town’s main goal today as well. The spa, the Minerva Hotel and other hospitality facilities of Varaždinske Toplice offer to their guests numerous activities, from swimming in pools with water attractions (“mushroom”, waterfalls, rapids, aquagan), to touring numerous cultural and historical locations, and exploring rich cuisine... Afterwards, we recommend a relaxed hike on the hills around Varaždinske Toplice, including the especially attractive Toplice Wine Road.
The Wine Road area is located north of Varaždinske Toplice, on peaceful hills called Banjščina and Martinkovec. The hilly landscape with a lot of good winemaking locations and typical continental climate is well-suited for good winegrowing. Together with a long tradition of winemaking, the introduction of modern wine varieties enables the production of wines of exceptional quality. Typical wines of this area usually contain between 10 and 12 percent of alcohol, they are quite aromatic, and due to a somewhat higher content of acids have a very nice freshness.
The vineyards, cellars and tasting rooms on the Wine Road can be toured accompanied by friendly hosts. The Toplice Wine Road offers you the opportunity to spend some time in wonderful nature, and at the same time to enjoy exceptional wines and old traditional specialties of the Hrvatsko Zagorje cuisine.
Strengthen your body and delight your spirit. Try our wines: Graševina, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Green Sylvaner, Yellow Muscat, Pinot Noir, and other wine varieties of the Varaždinske Toplice area.
Come to the Toplice Wine Road and see for yourself why a song says: “...Nobody is having better time than us, Hope it will be like this every day...”
To learn more about the wine roads of the Varazdin region, visit the official website.