From appetizers to desserts in Krapina-Zagorje County

The county of 7 cities with up to 10,000 inhabitants, which has 4 protected indigenous products, over 10 varieties of wine, countless capacities, but also barriers in the development of the agricultural sector, is an insufficient description of Krapina-Zagorje County. Discover why in our new blog post.

There are 7 cities in Krapina-Zagorje County, none of which has more than 10,000 inhabitants, while the rest is a rural area where the population is mainly engaged in the production of primary agricultural products, their processing and related activities through family farms.

Despite a number of limiting factors encountered by farmers in this county (hilly terrain, uneven groundwater and surface water regime, smallholdings with fragmented plots, ageing agricultural population,), agricultural production is the backbone for retaining and maintaining the rural population in this area.

While in 2020 the number of agricultural holdings in Krapina-Zagorje County was 8,973, data for 2021 are still pending.

A large part of family farms use agricultural products for their own needs, and surplus products or processed products are sold at markets, fairs, on the doorstep and through online sales, which reached their peak during the pandemic.

The ageing of the agricultural population is one of the main problems that this county is facing because the work experience of family farm holders is nearing its end and the fruits of their work should be passed on to young forces that are difficult to attract to the agricultural sector. Namely, a large number of family farm owners are older than 51, and most of them are older than 65, which is an extremely worrying fact.

Enabling young people to invest in expanding agricultural production, from the consolidation of agricultural holdings to modernization of primary agricultural production and processing and additional activities on family farms through support systems and more favourable lending, etc., is a recipe for attracting them to the agricultural sector, said headmistress Sanja Mihovilić. Furthermore, fostering innovation and the availability of educational programs, and focusing on improving infrastructure in rural areas where young families remain, is an added ace up their sleeve.

The first address that young people can turn to is the Entrepreneurial Center of Krapina-Zagorje County, which with its advisory services encourages and directs producers interested in applying for National programs such as the one to help the wine sector for the period from 2019 to 2023. For those who already have an elaborated idea and concept of the project, the Center offers the possibility of preparing project documentation, assistance in obtaining funds and project implementation services.

Due to its special geographical position, rich culture and tradition, Krapina-Zagorje County have a large number of indigenous food products that are recognizable in Croatia and Europe for their quality and uniqueness and are an integral part of Zagorje’s gastronomic offer.

So if you stop at a restaurant or bar on the hills of Zagorje, you will come across indispensable specialities such as Zagorski štruklji and turkey with mlinci.

Apart from being the first association with Zagorje, “Zagorje turkey”, “Zagorski mlinci” and “Zagorski štrukli/Zagorski štruklji” are products with a protected geographical indication, while “Zagorje acacia honey” is the holder of Protected Designation of Origin (Croatian ZOI).

Zagorje acacia honey

The association for the protection, preservation and promotion of traditional zagorje products “Tradicija Zagorja” is creditable for the protection of Zagorske štrukle/Zagorske štruklje and “Zagorski mlinci”. PZ Puran zagorskih brega is the holder of the certification of “Zagorje turkey”, and the Association of Beekeepers of Krapina-Zagorje County is the holder of the certification of “Zagorje acacia honey”. The Entrepreneurial Center, the Zagorje Development Agency and other associations and institutions are actively helping these certification bodies to protect Zagorje specialities so that their identity is not lost and to prevent their misuse or unauthorized use.

Along with them, we can also highlight the famous Zagorje dairy products, so when visiting the beautiful Zagorje, we recommend:

  • Appetizer – a mix of Zagorje cheeses
  • Main course – “Purica s mlincima”
  • Dessert – “Zagorski štruklji with honey”

To round off this rich gastronomic experience, treat your palate to one of the high quality and award-winning wines for which this region is widely known.

Krapina-Zagorje County

Namely, according to the division of wine-growing areas, Krapina-Zagorje County belongs to the Zagorje-Međimurje subregion and the County area is considered to be extremely wine-growing with a centuries-old tradition of grapevine cultivation. The most common varieties in the vineyards are Graševina, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Traminer. High-quality red wines are used to produce Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as quality red wines Frankovka, Portugizac and Zweigelt. Winemakers whose wines are adorned with the VeeMee QR code can be found here.

Recognizing the importance of preserving indigenous grape varieties, the County, in cooperation with the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb, in the fall of 2006 began implementing and financing the scientific-professional project „Zaštita i revitalizacija autohtonih sorti vinove loze (Vitis vinifera L.) Hrvatskog zagorja”. The project is implemented in 3 phases.

The 3rd phase of the project, which lasts until the spring of 2022, is currently being implemented, and its goal is to gain a comprehensive
insight into the economic and technological characteristics of found and saved varieties with special attention to those most interesting to the economy. Indigenous varieties obtained in the 1st and 2nd phase of the project was planted in the parent plantation Trgocentar d.o.o. in the Komor Začretski, but also in other vineyards at various micro-locations in the County.

Wines, dairy products, flowers, fruits, vegetables, mlinci, štruklji…, but also great hosts that make this the area really worth visiting and who will surely receive you and introduce you to their production can be found on our website.

A sad.. pozdravljamo vas u nadi da će mladi prepoznati kapacitete koje im rodna gruda pruža te ljepotu ostanka i rada na istoj!

Until the next reading,

Your VeeMee Advisor