Wine Regions

Unveiling the Hidden Gems: Exploring Eastern European Wine Regions

Lesser-known but culturally rich and diverse

The wine regions of Eastern Europe offer a captivating journey through history, culture, and exceptional wines. While countries like Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia may not be the first to come to mind when thinking of European wine, they are now producing a remarkable array of high-quality wines that are gaining recognition on the international stage. These nations, once at the heart of the Eastern Bloc, have a winemaking history dating back thousands of years.

Kreinbacher Estate - Somlo - Hungary - Lake Balaton - Wine Hotel - The Good Gourmet
Kreinbacher Estate - Somlo - Hungary

From the lush vineyards of Serbia to the historic wine cellars of Hungary, Eastern Europe’s wine regions are characterized by their unique terroir, which contributes to the distinct flavors and aromas of the wines.

The region’s winemaking traditions have been shaped by a blend of influences, including ancient Roman viticulture, medieval monastic practices, and modern winemaking techniques, resulting in a fascinating tapestry of wine styles.

Whether it’s the robust reds of Bulgaria, the aromatic whites of Slovenia, or the sweet Tokaji from Hungary, each country offers a diverse selection of wines waiting to be discovered and savored.

Wine tasting experiences

Crama Varvara - Banat - Romania - Wine Tour - The Good Gourmet

Varvara Winery

We are an artisanal winery, making natural wines without interfering in the process happening in the cellar. Our wines are made from local grapes like...

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Plavinici - Wine Tourism - Serbia - Belgrade - The Good Gourmet

Plavinci Organic Winery

Plavinci Organic Winery is the first and one of only four certified organic wine producers in Serbia. We are part of the City of Belgrade,...

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Krystal Modus - Vineyard Tours - Dalmatia - Croatia - The Good Gourmet

Krystal Modus

The winery that Franić family built is based on a 100 years old tradition of wine-growing and wine-making. Tradition poured a need to make it...

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The region’s prolonged history of winemaking significantly enriched the cultural and economic tapestry of ancient societies, giving rise to numerous legends and beliefs intertwined with its consumption in the Mediterranean and Near East.

The history of winemaking in Eastern Europe dates back at least 7,000 years, making it the cradle of wine. Many of the ancient indigenous grape varieties are still grown and vinified today, contributing to the region’s unique and diverse wine styles. The Thracians, who saw wine as a favorite drink and a way of connecting to their ancestors, are credited with starting the Bulgarian winemaking tradition. 

Before the fall of communism in the 1980s, many of these countries had a winemaking history dating back thousands of years. However, under the Soviet Mandate, many wineries located behind the Iron Curtain were replaced with co-operatives as the emphasis shifted to lesser-quality, bulk production.

In the years that followed the end of Communist rule, producers in Eastern Europe have worked hard to reclaim their fine-winemaking heritage by crafting excellent wines from international grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Merlot. Others are making their mark using indigenous grapes with tongue-tying names to create some delicious, idiosyncratic wines.

Over the last decade, these countries have been regaining their footing, adapting modern winemaking techniques and reclaiming their fine-winemaking heritage. 

Wine tasting experiences

Vinarte - Romania - Super Premium Wines - Wine Tasting - The Good Gourmet


The Founding Fathers of the Super-Premium Romanian Wine The year was 1998, less than a decade after the fall of communism. Two special plots of...

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Ferdinand Winery - Slovenia - Wine Tourism - The Good Gourmet

Ferdinand Winery

Wine is a fusion of man’s creative efforts in unique combination with nature. But the wine’s style is born in the heart and perfected with...

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Villa Vinea - Targu Mures - Romania - Wine Tourism - The Good Gourmet

Villa Vinea

Villa Vinea estate is located on a gentle hill at 330-350 m above sea level, with generous exposition to the south, right above Tarnava Mica...

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Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Czechia are already making a name from themselves in the competitive world of fine wines.

Croatia, for example, has a long history of winemaking and is known for its sunny weather and friendly locals. The country’s vineyards scale the Dalmatian Coast and its islands up to Istria in the north and inland near the capital, Zagreb. Notably, Zinfandel was recently discovered to be native to Croatia, where it is known as Crljenak Kastelanški. 

Slovenia, on the other hand, has emerged as a wine country and has established winemaking regions such as Primorska, Podravje, and Posavje, with production being predominantly white, including native grapes like Zelen and Pinela. 

Hungary, with 22 wine regions, is home to well-known regions like Tokaj, Villány, and Eger, and is known for its unique grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, Müller Thurgau, and Sankt Laurent. 

Romania and Bulgaria are picturesque landscapes filled with forests, mountains, and vineyards, with Romania having a long history of winemaking and Bulgaria regaining its position in the wine industry over the last decade. 

Czechia is known for its rich winemaking history and unique wine styles. The country’s main wine regions are Moravia and Bohemia, known for their aromatic white wines and full-bodied reds. It cultivates grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, Müller Thurgau, Pinot Gris, Sankt Laurent, and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

These countries offer a diverse range of wines and are becoming increasingly popular among wine enthusiasts

Wine tasting experiences

Edi Simcic Winery - Slovenia - Wine Tasting - The Good Gourmet

Edi Simčič Wine Estate

The family of Edi Simčič owns 12 hectares of vineyards in the winegrowing region of Goriška Brda, close to the Italian border. Their vineyards are...

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Dives Winery - Wine Producer - Bulgaria - Black Sea - The Good Gourmet

Dives Winery

Discover the exquisite taste of DiVes Estate Winery – one of the freshest and most dynamic wineries in Bulgaria, dedicated to crafting premium-quality wines. At...

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Traditional Eastern European dishes often showcase the region’s rich culinary heritage and can be expertly paired with the local wines. Some notable dishes and their wine pairings include:

Stuffed cabbage rolls: A popular dish in Eastern Europe, stuffed cabbage rolls can be paired with a variety of wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, which can complement the dish’s flavors and enhance the overall dining experience.

Goulash: A traditional Hungarian dish, goulash can be served with a variety of wines, including robust reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Blaufränkisch, which can balance the flavors of the hearty meat and vegetable stew

Vegetarian dishes: Eastern European cuisine offers a range of delicious vegetarian and dairy-based dishes like creamy soups, which can be paired with lighter, more acidic wines like Riesling or Grüner Veltliner.

Seafood: With access to fresh seafood, Eastern European countries like Croatia and Slovenia offer a variety of fish and shellfish dishes that can be paired with white wines like Malvasia or Sauvignon Blanc, or even more robust reds like Cabernet Sauvignon.

Dessert wines: Eastern Europe is known for its unique dessert wines, such as Tokaji-Aszu from Hungary or the various dessert wines of Croatia and Slovenia These sweet wines can be enjoyed as aperitifs or with light desserts, offering a delightful way to end a meal.


Wine tasting experiences

Patricius Borhaz - Tokaj - Hungary - Wine Tasting - The Good Gourmet

Patricius Borház

Patricius Winery is a modern winery in the Tokaj wine region, Hungary established in 2000. The winery has 68,5 ha of vines in cultivation, growing...

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Rejiji Wines - Vilany Hungary - Wine Tasting - The Good Gourmet

Rejiji Wines Villany

Rejiji Wines is small organic winemaker in Villany, Hungary. We are producing Premium quality wines for demanding customers and restaurants. We export around 50% of...

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Kreinbacher Estate - Somlo - Hungary - Lake Balaton - Wine Hotel - The Good Gourmet

Kreinbacher Estate

To the north of Lake Balaton, right at the foot of Somló Hill, the estate awaits guests with a stylish bistro and wine bar, quiet...

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Eastern Europe’s wine regions offer a unique and enriching experience for wine enthusiasts and travelers alike.

With a rich history of winemaking dating back thousands of years, these countries have adapted modern winemaking techniques while reclaiming their fine-winemaking heritage.

From the robust reds of Bulgaria to the sweet Tokaji of Hungary, each country offers a diverse selection of wines waiting to be discovered and savored.

As these wines continue to gain recognition for their quality and value, Eastern Europe’s wine regions are poised to captivate the palates of wine enthusiasts around the world.

With affordable prices, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural traditions, Eastern Europe’s wine regions have a bright future in the wine industry.

As the world continues to discover the hidden gems of this culturally rich and historically significant winemaking landscape, it is clear that Eastern Europe’s wine regions are here to stay.