On the picturesque hills above Petrčane and Punta Skala the vineyards were erected in the extreme conditions, on the rocky soil with an optimum slope towards southwest and with constant circulation of the air, from the sea and as well from Velebit.
Top quality grapes from the stone vineyards and excellent taste of wines are the results of a special microclimate, its position by the sea and a full day of direct sun exposure, on average 2600 hours per year.
Petrčane is in unique harmony with nature, with impressive landscape colours of green vineyards, with blue sky, hot sun and clear blue sea. The view from the vineyards is overlooking the city of Zadar, the islands of the Zadar archipelago and Velebit.
The vineyard stretches 1km in width, 8m above the sea and up to 43m above sea level altitude. Growing vines on the slopes of 700m with inclination of 30 ° allows continuous flow of the air from the sea as well as cold and fresh air from Velebit which descends from the height of 1600 m (bura) and dries soil.
The historical story of Kraljevski Vinogradi (Royal Vineyards), an impressive vineyard with 300,000 grapevines, one of the largest in Croatia, is exciting and spans almost nine centuries. It begins with a donation by Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV to the Benedictine Monastery of St. Mary in Zadar, which included a large tract of land on the slopes above Petrčane near Zadar.
The monastery was founded by Abbess Čika (Chicca), a unique, significant, and influential figure of her time in Zadar and beyond. She built a new monastery on the foundations of an old church. Because she was a noblewoman from an influential family, even of royal blood, on Christmas Day 1066, King Petar Krešimir IV gave her fertile land on which vineyards were cultivated for centuries.
The Zadar Benedictine nuns, the guardians of Zadar's priceless Gold and Silver, diligently took care of their vineyards until the middle of the last century when the government, implementing the so-called agrarian reform, confiscated their ownership. The Republic of Croatia returned the property to them only in 2009, without vineyards and, over time, devastated, without grapevines and fertile land, with lots of stones, scrub, and neglected small vegetation.
In 2011, wine and vineyard enthusiasts, and current owners, planted 23 hectares of new vineyards on the site of the old ones. Heavy machinery crushed all the rocks on the ground, so young vines were planted in gravel in a resounding 90.0% stone substrate. It turned out to be a great move: on such a substrate, in extreme conditions and a specific terroir, on a gently sloping and constantly sunny southern slope, today the vines produce fewer grapes but of excellent quality, and the wines are highly fresh, mineral, and fruity.
Based on the historical fact that these vineyards were conceived after a donation by one of the essential Croatian kings, the new vineyard complex was given today's name - Kraljevski Vinogradi Winery and continued the tradition of grape cultivation for 870 years.
The well-known autochthonous Dalmatian grape varieties - Pošip, Plavac, and Crljenak (Zinfandel) - comprise 80% of our assortment. A smaller portion of our vineyard is dedicated to introduced grape varieties, including black Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Plavina, white Chardonnay, Žilavka, Sauvignon, and Yellow Muscat. Today, we produce wines in two branded lines from the grapes grown in the Royal Vineyards.
The first line of premium wines is named Punta Skala after the nearby cape west of Petrcane. This line includes three types of the main stars of the Royal Vineyards: Pošip, followed by Rosé, Crljenak, Plavac Mali, as well as Muscat, Žilavka, and Chardonnay.
After only a few years of planting and initial production, the wines of the Royal Vineyards began to win awards at regional wine competitions and, soon after, at the most prestigious international competitions such as Mundus Vini, Decanter in London, etc. In 2018, the Rose "Punta Skala" received a world award at the Japanese Oyster Wine Contest in Tokyo and was rated the best rosé wine that pairs with oysters.
Although all of the wines from the Royal Vineyards, both red and white, have won over wine lovers, the Pošip grape variety from this winery charms true wine connoisseurs the most. This variety is widespread throughout Dalmatia, and it is a dry wine with a unique taste and aromas of apricot, fig, and a liquid image of the Mediterranean and Dalmatia, which has gained a new face in the Royal Vineyards. It is an ideal accompaniment to fish dishes, white, lighter meat, and cheeses.
The wines of the Royal Vineyards are sought after and highly esteemed, and they can easily be found and tasted in many restaurants in Zadar. However, it is undoubtedly best to enjoy them in the place where they come from - in the vineyards themselves. The large and spacious winery complex is complemented by a tasting room and tavern on an extensive plateau beside the vineyards. The table is adorned with authentic Mediterranean plants such as lavender, ancient olive trees, and guests can enjoy several separate terraces, gazebos, and winter gardens that, when arranged in such a way, can guarantee the intimacy and peace of every group of guests, including each visitor. The culinary team of the Royal Vineyards is always ready to offer authentic Dalmatian cuisine, such as dishes cooked under the "peak," roasted on the spit or grilled. Or perhaps some premium Pag cheese and Dalmatian prosciutto.
The Royal Vineyards Winery (Tavern) is an ideal place for family gatherings, various celebrations, and parties, as well as for afternoon rest, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries (graduations, bachelorette parties, First Communions, Confirmations, etc.), business gatherings, team building, engagements, and weddings. With our friendly staff, you will experience the magic of wines from grapes grown in the Royal Vineyards.
What is most fascinating in combination with the exquisite wines at the Royal Vineyards is the breathtaking view that unfolds from this space designed for relaxation, created for hedonists. Before the guests, there is a large canvas with a range of colors, long green rows of vineyards that seem to merge with the blueness of the Zadar Channel sea over the picturesque town of Petrčane. The view extends from the entire "Zadar Sea," and just three to four miles away, across the Zadar Channel, the blue changes back to green on the slopes of the island of Ugljan, which is part of the almost uninterrupted chain of islands in the Zadar archipelago. This is one of the most beautiful locations of vineyards in northern Dalmatia, from which you can see 22 islands of the stunning Zadar archipelago.
Therefore, it would be a great mistake to come to Zadar and Petrčane without visiting the Royal Vineyards. And to witness how these hardworking people have infused passion and love into every drop of wine squeezed from the stone and warm Mediterranean climate. And to enjoy the fascinating vista, where the setting sun is just one of many ornaments.
We also have online wine shop for all those who cannot visit us or crave the taste of the wines they tried in our winery.
Are you looking for a different organization of your special events?
In the wine tasting room & in the tavern we offer possibilities to organize your special events for the groups.
Maybe you want to organize events in the wine style!