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Korak Winery
by
Terry Sullivan

Korak WinerySummary: Amongst the rolling hills west of Zagreb, a family owned and run winery, for several generations, continues to produce wines with international and indigenous grapes. The tasting room is relaxing and reminiscent of family.

As one drives through the rolling hills about 40 kilometers west of Zagreb, there are numerous wineyards flowing with the contours of the land. The drive is short as it only takes about 30 minutes from the airport. Winery signage points in the direction of the wineyard. Korak Winery is in the town of Plešivica. The tasting room is to the right of the building. Look for an antique hand pump near the tasting room door.

We met Josip Korak who enjoys working in the wineyards and cellar. His father Velimir started the winery. Velimir grew up in a winemaking family. He worked at a large winery in Croatia and decided to create his own winery.

Vineyards

The five hectares (over 12 acres) of vineyards include Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Portugizac. The Riesling is the most widely planted grape in the Plešivica region. Josip noted that some of the vines in the wineyard are very old. In mid-March the vines were still dormant for the winter allowing one to observe the ups and downs of the landscape. This beautiful area is dotted with farms and vineyards.

Korak Winery     

Korak WineryWinery

Josip led us on a short trip through the winery noting the crush area, tank room and cellar. The cellar room had rows of barriques and much larger oak barrels used for aging wines. The larger barrels date back to 1938 and 1941 and are still used today. Although modern winemaking knowledge is used to make the wines, little modern technology is used. The winemakers use traditional winemaking techniques in order to let the grapes express themselves.

Tasting Room

The tasting room with two rooms, resembles a small restaurant. There are several tables and you sit at a table to taste the wines and/or enjoy lunch. The walls are adorned with artifacts and photos of the family relating the farming activities through the generations. The floor is constructed of ceramic tile. The tasting room offers a very homey atmosphere where you feel immediately welcome.

Wines

We tasted several wines with Josip. The 2011 Rajnski Rizling (Riesling) was a light yellow color with a floral aroma. There were floral notes on the taste; however, the predominant taste was yellow stone fruit. There were minerals on the aftertaste and a hint of fresh bread. The wine was fermented and aged in neutral oak on its lees. The 2009 Chardonnay Sur Lee spent one year in barrique and one year in a large oak barrel. The wine was fermented with natural yeast. It was a dark yellow color and presented many layers of aromas and flavors including apple, bread dough, and vanilla. There was a slight perceived sweetness and a touch of mild tannins. The 2009 Pinot Crni (Pinot Noir) was a light ruby color. The wine was aged in neutral oak. The aroma and taste was reminiscent of light berry fruit including red raspberries and strawberries. Mild tannins were on the fruity finish.

Visit Korak Winery just 30 minutes west of Zagreb. Experience this wonderful countryside with it rolling hills of vineyards. Taste wines that have been made by generations of winemakers in a homey tasting room. If you like Chardonnay, try the Chardonnay to see how the terroir of this place expresses the grape.

Korak Winery
Plešivica ulica 34
10450, Plešivica, Croatia

GPS: N45º 43.301’ E015º 39.473’

Article written March 2013


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