This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Croatian White over £15 went to Belje, Goldberg Graševina, Continental 2006 (13.1%)

Tasted against:

  • No other Golds in this category

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When Prince Eugene of Savoy returned from wreaking havoc against the Turks in the late 17th century, he was rewarded for his troubles by being gifted the land where Belje stands today. he promptly built a castle and a farm, and merged the surrounding villages to create one singular agricultural estate. it is then that he came across a vast wine cellar from the early 15th century (and still remaining today), which had also been used as a horse stable, powder magazine and prison. Encouraged by his discovery, he built an irrigation system and planted his first vines.

Since 2006 Belje has been owned by the Agrokor Group which, in 2011, built a new winery (with a capacity of eight million litres) among its vines. Marijan Knezevic has been head winemaker since 2000.

Knezevic only makes the Goldberg Graševina in fine years, and the grapes for this Trophy-winner come from vines that are between 30 and 40 years old and grown at 210m to 245m altitude. The fruit was picked over a 10-day period in October and November 2006, the harvest being delayed due to a cold spring and cool summer. But the health and quality of the grapes were very good, and their full maturity resulted in a wine of richness and complexity, with a touch of botrytis.

Written by Decanter