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Interview with Albert Benvenuti, Croatia

2 min read

Interview met Albert Benvenuti, Kroatië

That the Benvenuti winery from Istria is already present for the eighth time in a row at Wine Professional is, thinksAlbert Benvenuti not surprised. "The Netherlands is an important market for our wines," he says.

text Louis Janssen, tasting notes Ivo Ivanis

Manypeople still don't realize it, but on the Istrian peninsula near Motovun, they make excellent wines from malvazija istarska, teran and muscat. Albert: "This is a tricky one for all of Istria. Far too often in other countries I hear: Oh, does Croatia also make wine? We have to communicate a lot as Istria.

If I look only at ourselves, there is also another problem. Every year there is more demand than we can supply. We do our best to increase the number of hectares, for example, by taking over vineyards from older farmers. Only: everything takes a lot of time here. What can be done now comes ten years too late. Istria escaped the civil war, but everyone was afraid to invest. Almost all the land belongs to the state. The new law to regulate rent or lease for periods of 40 to 50 years was amended in 2018.' The plan for a completely new domain has now been implemented.

The time factor is not the only brake on the desired expansion of the domain. Many people no longer want to work in viticulture. In this, by the way, Istria is not alone. Even in Burgundy, it barely manages to arrange enough pickers (from 15 euros/hour). Benvenuti: "The main cause is the tourist season, which here runs from April to November. And on top of that, very many Croats are working in Germany these days. A few hours' drive and you're there. At those salaries we can't compete with that.'

Brothers Albert and Nikola Benvenuti

Tasting notes

Tasted at Wine Professional. Two wines were accompanied by a dish prepared by the team at Daalder restaurant in Amsterdam.


Malvazija, Benvenuti, Istria, Croatia 2019
Malvazija istarska. Bright yellow color, floral, white fruit and citrus, on the palate pure Malvazija, nice fruit, lively acidity and a fresh finish. € 16,50

Wine and food: Raw langoustine, sorbet of celery, white grape and oscite caviar
Fresh salty with slight oiliness from the langoustine. Good successful match, the wine picks up the dish well in combination with the caviar (8)


Anno Domini Malvazija, Benvenuti, Istria, Croatia 2015
Malvazija istarska, short maceration. Lots of color, ripe aromatic and spicy aroma with oriental touch, lots of flavor, spiciness comes back on the palate, lots of length and substance, round and fresh finish. € 32,95


Anno Domini Teran, Benvenuti, Istria, Croatia 2016
Teran. Lots of color, typical teran aroma, earthy notes, cherry fruit and soft vanilla, the attack is fresh and juicy with lots of cherry fruit, round tannins and due to lively acidity a fresh finish.

Wine and food: Deer back, tree ears, parsnips, Brussels sprouts and gravy of venison
The dish is powerful in flavor, slight creaminess and greasiness from the ravioli and gravy. The sauce is the bridge to the wine and makes the combination successful (8)