Vinarija Kozlović - Wine Estate in the Garden of Eden

by Bettina Bäck
Ein verstecktes Kleinod Istriens - Vinarija Kozlović

Few capture the picture-book perfection and authenticity of Istria better than the winegrowing estate of the Kozlović family. Located just behind the Slovenia/Croatia border, and not far from the Adriatic coast, the estate and its fascinating architecture hug the mountainside and blend in harmoniously with the surrounding landscapes. Across the valley sits the picturesque hillside village of Momjan, and just past it an impressive set of cliffs with the legendary ruins of a fortress by that same name. The Kozlović family of winegrowers has worked this stretch of earth for generations. And they love welcoming guests from near and far to discover the incredible joys of Istria.

The winegrowing estate of Gianfranco and Antonella Kozlović calls the northern part of the heart-shaped Croatian peninsula its home. Since 1904, the winegrowing family has lived in the picturesque valley of Vale.

Back in the 90s the vision of Gianfranco and three other winegrowers sparked a Malvazija revolution. They sought to re-interpret the indigenous grape variety and establish it as a flagship of Croatian wine culture. Thus, little wonder that the Kozlović name is tightly bound up with Croatia’s quality revolution in wine, and is hailed by experts far beyond the bounds of Croatia as an absolute pioneer in the field. Growing success implied the need for more space, and so in 2012 an architecturally ambitious cellar was constructed, featuring an expansive tasting room and a welcoming terrace for guests to explore the estate’s wines to the fullest. And thus the grand vision of Antonella and Gianfranco came to life.

Lovely discovery

The Kozlović family has carved out their own little paradise here in Vale, just below Momjan and surrounded by vineyards primarily planted with the indigenous grape variety Muskat Momjan. The atmosphere is simply magical in the shade of the large walnut tree in front of the estate. It’s easy to spend hours tasting through the fascinating wines paired with fine locally sourced Croatian antipasti. Antonella and her team enjoy bringing guests through the estate, and have plenty of tips ready for those looking to discover more. Excursions in the region, shaded hiking paths that pass right by the property, outstanding Istrian fine dining, bicycle rentals, overnight options, festivals and cultural events, the fish market on the coast, and farm stands in the next valley over. Whatever you’re looking for — Antonella knows where to find it.

The members of the Kozlović family love this place. They see themselves as proud representatives of the region, one of fascinating geographical and historical relevance, incredibly rich in natural, cultural, and culinary treasures. Antonella and Gianfranco have never seen their estate as an isolated entity. In their minds, it is much more a joyous portal to the colorful plenty of Istria. After all, anyone hoping to explore the hills around Momjan will discover that there are no tourist offices or even highly informative websites. You simply have to know who to ask. And there’s no better option than Antonella Kozlović.

Kozlović Wine Estate

Vale 78, Momjan, 52460 Buje,
Istria - Croatia

Opening hours:
Monday - Thursday: 11 am - 4 pm
Friday & Saturday: 11 am - 7 pm
Closed Sundays and bank holidays

+385 52 77 91 77

As a starting point to an Istrian culinary weekend, on the way back from a summer holiday, to enjoy a glass of Istrian wine and perhaps to buy a few bottles for home while catching the last warm rays of sun in late autumn — the Kozlović estate is the perfect choice.

Directions to the Estate

At 2,820 km2, Istria is the largest peninsula in the northern Adriatic. It lies between the Gulf of Trieste and the Kvarner Bay off of Rijeka. We recommend hiring a car from the airports in Trieste, Ljubljana, or Pula. Coming from Slovenia or Pula on the E751, take the exit for Kršete near the Slovenia/Croatia border onto the D300. Drive for 15 minutes past Buje to Momjan.

Projektmanagerin Bettina Beck
Bettina Bäck
Senior Project Manager

Bettina has been with Wine&Partners since 2002, with countless projects domestic and international under her belt. She currently manages sommelier world champion Marc Almert, the culinary think tank Koch.Campus, the Styrian wineries Weingut Muster.Gamlitz, Weingut Langmann and the STK wineries, the culinary concept store Kärntnerei and the Kozlović wine estate in Istria.


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