Lonely Planet Writer

Cheers to the upcoming super-modern winery in the Croatian peninsula of Istria

As of next year, the Croatian peninsula of Istria is bound to draw in wine enthusiasts with yet another attraction: a super-modern wine-devoted complex set 70% underground. Roxanich winery, known for their decisively natural approach to making wines, is returning to their origins big time.

View across vineyards to the town with atmospheric clouds, Motovun, Montona, Mirna Valley, Istria, Croatia. Image by Peter Giovannini/Getty Images

Roxanich headquarters are currently set in Nova Vas, some 30 minutes from the town of Motovun, where their original winery once was. The charming, fortified hilltop town of Motovun has remained on their radar ever since, and the winemakers have kept an eye out for interesting real-estate in the area. As a former wine-cooperative building became available for investment, the availability of EU structural funds certainly made the decision easier and Roxanich has now joined forces with renowned architect Idis Turato to breathe in a new life to this historic location.

It was the location, in fact, which called for an expansion of the initial winery project. Situated at a top of a slope, right between a sea of vineyards and the fertile valley of river Mirna, the idyllic setting provided a chance to showcase wine as a style of living, instead of just a drink. So once the wine-cellar, the tasting rooms, service areas and guest garage were all placed sub-terrain, the entire building could be used for new content: a hotel, restaurant, lounge, as well as a multi-purpose hall.

Looking to provide a fertile middle-ground between local traditions and inevitable future, the winery hopes to become a place of interaction for all wine aficionados, travellers, locals and anyone else keen on simply enjoying a beautiful moment. The works are now under way, and Roxanich Motovun is planned to open next summer, so until then – živjeli (cheers)!