Ilok wine cellars
Wine growing and production have had an uninterrupted tradition of almost 1,800 years in the region of Ilok. In the 3rd century, after the Roman Emperor Probus abolished prohibitions that had been in force on wine growing and production in the Pannonian regions and introduced new quality varieties, the wine-growing hills of Ilok received an impetus for development. The Odescalchi dukes reaffirmed the position of Ilok as an important wine-growing region. In the 17th century, they built unique cellars underneath the Odescalchi castle, planted even more quality varieties and started bottling wine. These old cellars are used to the present day and represent one of the most interesting attractions of Ilok. In 1899, the Royal School of Viticulture was founded in Ilok, which later developed into the Agricultural School and today’s High School for wine growers, wine makers and fruit growers. The wines produced by the company Iločki podrumi d.d., Traminac, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Rein Riesling and Chardonnay are world-class wines, and the company itself has been among the strongest Croatian companies for a long time now. In addition, there is an increasing number of small and quality private wineries which focus on wine growing and wine tourism. Every visitor can choose to visit one of the typical cellars of Srijem in the hills or under the houses or experience modern wineries. Wherever you choose to go, you will be able to learn about the process of wine production and enjoy a cordial family atmosphere.
The Odescalchi castle
The Odescalchi Castle is the central building situated in the medieval town of Ilok, housing the famous old Ilok cellars and the Museum of the Town of Ilok.
The Odescalchi Castle is an impressive building built on the foundations of the castle of King Nikola Iločki from the 15th century. Nikola's medieval castle with the entire Ilok estate, which at the time occupied the greater part of Srijem, were given by Emperor Leopold to Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi and his family as a reward for their help in liberating Ilok from the Turks. The Pope's nephews, aristocrats from Italy, expanded the castle and changed its style. The castle was eventually rebuilt in the Baroque-Classicist style. They developed at the time very modern wine cellars beneath the castle and gave impetus to the growth of viticulture and wine production. After 1945, the Odescalchi left their Ilok estate, and their descendants remain a part of the Italian nobility, living near Rome.
Old wine cellars
We started our Ilok tour with a tour of the old wine cellar. The cellar is over 100 m long. It was first built under the castle and enlarged with time. The present day entrance is at the oposite other end, not from the castle.
The wooden barrels currently serve no purpose other than as attraction for visitors. Normally, they would contain wine, but sadly when Serb forces occupied Ilok and drank all the wine, they did not clean the barrels. Liberation came too late for the barrels. Since most barrels are very old the attempt was made to try and save them, but study showed that they were damaged beyond repair. New barrels will replace these one sin 2005.
- Wine Tasting
This is the main entrance to Ilocki podrumi but it's not used by tour groups because buses park by the castle. The castle is called simply Dvorac (castle). I was quite surprised that it does not have a proper name other than Dvorac.
- Wine Tasting