A Hill near the Sea
Brtonigla has always lived with and from agriculture, but this area, known far beyond the local borders for its fertile soil, offers beautiful landscapes to those who love relaxation, unforgettable walks and the beauties of the Istrian sea. The sea is only 5 km away from San Rocco and can be easily reached by bike.
In fact, just a little bit outside the centre of Brtonigla, when approaching the “Cavalier” vineyard area – the view rolls down the gentle valley towards green olive groves and the sea. At the very end it meets the blue sea of Karigador and Punta, where peasants from Brtonigla used to come with their oxen and bring their whole families for big celebrations, to spend a well-deserved day off, exhausted from a stressful and difficult, but fulfilling, peasant life.
Another feature of Brtonigla is its strategic location, which allows you to reach all the most famous Istrian beaches and coves in a very short time: Novigrad in 10 minutes, Rovinj and Pula in a half-an-hour drive. San Rocco will provide you with the possibility to visit all these beautiful seaside towns and enjoy their magical evenings and then return to the peaceful rural setting and cosy embrace of San Rocco.
Gastro & Eno
It seems that grape wine was brought to Istria as early as in ancient times by the Phoenicians and the Greeks. The native settlers, Histri, successfully mastered the skills of growing this noble plant, as well as producing wine. In support of this there is s legend according to which the Argonauts, famous Greek seafarers, while searching for the Golden Fleece exclaimed kalavojna, which loosely translated means good wine in Greek. Where exactly did this happen? Along the eastern coast of Istria, in a place near Raša Bay, which bears this name even today.
To what does Istria owe its becoming synonymous with good wine? Human effort, of course, but above all the natural features that guarantee high quality grapes. These are the location, soil, climate and terrain, each contributing to the charms of good wine in their own right.
There are two dominant types of soil suitable for growing vines on the Istrian peninsula: red soil (terra rossa) and marl or flysch, known as white soil. Experts say that red soil is ideal for growing high-quality red grape varieties (which give stronger structured, serious wines), while flysch soils are suitable for white varieties, where wines retain their freshness along with fine fragrances, aromas and softness. The hilly terrain with gentle slopes, abundant in Istria, are very favourable for growing grapes, especially the areas with more sun. In addition, high oscillations in day and night temperature further accentuate the scent of the wine. Among the polychromous wine varieties found in this area, the most important one is white Istrian Malvasia. It is grown all over Istria and is an integral part of the region’s identity. The wine has a straw yellow colour, pleasant aroma of a locust flower, it’s harmonious, moderately fresh and has sufficient structure. Another wine typical of Istria is Teran. Its colour is purple to ruby-red, with lively fruit aromas, it is very fresh and fragile and less structured. These two varieties are followed by Borgonja Crna (red burgundy), Hrvatica Crna and several less known varieties. A number of world famous high quality varieties are grown here, such as Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Merlot, Refosco and Cabernet Sauvignon. Two varieties of a peculiar aroma attract the attention of wine lovers: Momjan Muscat and Muscat Rose of Poreč.
Olive Oil Roads
Since ancient times Istria has always been defined by olives. The first written accounts related to our peninsula have to do precisely with olives, i.e. olive oil, and date back to ancient Greeks and Romans.
Nothing can match its fluidity, it is an absolutely unparalleled symbol of the Mediterranean, health, gastronomic delight and peaceful old age. Its flavour is unusually bitter, its aroma is exceptional and it blends excellently with the best of dishes. It is also the most valuable fat in human diet, a body care product, a cure for various ailments. On top of all, it is regarded by many as the elixir of life, a divine fruit, liquid gold.
Find out more about olive oils in Istria at: www.istria-gourmet.com
An unseemly tuber of an unattractive form and an intense aroma – the truffle! This rare and expensive fungus that grows in the fertile Istrian soil is a real culinary treat. For more on its Majesty, the Truffle, click here.
Sports and Activities
You can get on two wheels from the hilly north to the coast, from the east to the west coast of Istria, riding along as many as 3.000 kilometres of hundreds of mapped bike trails. Some of them more or less developed, some of them still unmapped, they cover the entire Istrian peninsula like a spider web.Find out more about individual trails and download the map link.
Mild Istrian climate, fresh air and crystal clear sea provide the possibility of an active holiday all year round, both indoors and outdoors. These amenities have been recognized and used by many famous athletes who regularly come to the Istrian coast to work on their techniques while having a break from the competitions. The hotels have all the necessary sports facilities – tennis courts and soccer fields, mini golf courses and athletic courts, as well as other grounds for team sports that provide top athletes with quality preparation.
Istria has numerous jogging and cross-country running routes through untouched nature, as well as bike trails, horseback riding tracks and other paths for “land” sports. Higher category hotels have fitness centres, indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and massage rooms.
For the ones who dare...
The range of extreme sports in Istria will satisfy the “hunger” for adrenaline even of the most demanding individuals – paragliding and hang gliding, free climbing or professional rock climbing, hill running and mountain-bike rides on difficult trails, exploring caves, parachuting…