The winery of the Grbac family has had its place in the Istrian wine-making tradition for 150 years. Their wine-making story begins in 1876, with the arrival of a young priest who recognized the hidden potential of the grapes growing in the vineyards of Vrh and encouraged the locals to start producing sparkling wines.
The century’s worth of practice have brought out the best in the wine-making of the Grbac family and today their winery produces fantastic sparkling wines, including a white one, a rose one, and a red sparkling wine made from the Istrian Teran wine. While the wine-making techniques have changed in the last hundred years, the Grbac family has given their methods only those updates that ensure the quality and aroma of their wines. Their production is still based on the traditional ‘champenoise’ method, with the removal of the wine residue.
The family vineyards are located on the hillsides near Butoniga Lake, at the height of about 400 meters above sea level. Their two grape sorts, malvasia and teran, grow under the Mediterannean sunlight and a constant breeze. The Grbac family wine-making is closely tied to the local community and its ways of life, based on personal use of wine instead of mass production. The most famous of their sparkling wines is Butilija. If you’re visiting Vrh or its vicinity you can pop to their wine cellars, located near the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You’ll have to book your wine tasting tour in advance but you will be rewarded with a genuinely local and traditional experience and taste of the best Istrian sparkling wines.