The tiny Ilok (population: 6,800), once Cuccium, a Roman cavalry fort on the Danube, is connected with the Serbian town of Bačka Palanka via the 825-metre long bridge across the Danube.In the medieval heart of Ilok, a brand new wine tourist centre Ilok-Sirmium in the Baroque Curia Brnjaković offers various wine tasting and guided tours.
Ilok’s Srijem vineyards are a paradise for white wine aficionados. Wine growing in Ilok dates back to Roman Emperor Probus (3rd century AD). In 1699, Emperor Leopold I gave Ilok and the lands in Srijem to Livio Odescalchi, an Italian nobleman. His family lived here until 1945, inventing new wine-making technologies through the decades.
The number one attraction is Stari podrum (Old Cellar), at Iločki Podrumi winery, a wine and tourist complex, dating back to 1450. Today Iločki Podrumi produces around 5 mil litres of wine per year. The wines from this winery have received more awards than any other in Croatia. Try also Traminer, or Graševina (Welschriesling or Italian Riesling). You can choose between 17 small and large family wineries that are part of Ilok Wine Route. Visit a small, family-run winery: Vinarija Stipetić, which has two cellars, one of them buried in a hill and has been used since 1890. Relax there with a glass of Riesling (Graševina 2012) or one of the red blends (Cabernet-Sauvignon, Blue Frankish/Frankovka). The vineyard road train tour will take you to Ladanjsko Imanje Principovac, a countryside residence of the Odescalchi family built in 1864. You will find a bar, a restaurant, apartments, event hall and even a golf school and practice course here, and you can admire the unique panoramic view of Srijem and Bačka landscape. Visit the Town Museum in the Odescalchi Castle, reopened in 2010. Come to Ilok during its annual Grape Harvest festival, and taste wines from wineries: Trs, Čobanković, Buhač, Knezović, Dolić-Kraljević, Vino Ilok and other.