Volta Gin & Wine Bar, Oprtalj

Volta Gin & Wine Bar, Oprtalj

Anyone who’s been to stay with us, will know that, as beautiful as Oprtalj is, it could be described as a “sleepy” little town. We have a restaurant, a gorgeous loggia, numerous festivals throughout the year, a mini-market, a post office, a cash point, a gift/interiors shop, an antique shop, a primary school and a boutique hotel. Plus, views to die for, across to the Adriatic. But, it’s definitely not Party Central. We did have a second restaurant and pre-Covid, a wine bar was just beginning to establish itself. The second restaurant is no longer and the original wine bar closed, as the owners decided to focus on their expanding olive oil business. So, when I spotted on Instagram a new account, describing itself as a Gin & Wine bar – in Oprtalj, no less – they got an immediate follow! Contact was established with the owner, and it was confirmed that this new venture would be opening where the original wine bar used to be located. Countdown was on to summer opening…

The owners, a couple from Zagreb, clearly have a long term plan. They know that everything won’t happen overnight, especially as they have only opened towards the end of the summer season. But with apartments they now run, above the bar, already fully booked for the remainder of the summer, they’ve clearly decided not to put all of their eggs in one basket. We recently visited quite late after eating in the local restaurant, but could see that they had had a steady stream of customers, which was a good sign. Food – probably along the lines of the traditional Istrian charcuterie boards – will be added at a later date, but the drinks menu was extensive, and with some unusual offerings, included a range of beers and ales from an independent craft brewery  – BruMan – in nearby Buzet. Wines ranged from the extremely reasonable to quite expensive, if you wanted to push out the boat, and a good range of cocktails are also available.

By a twist of fate, the bar is called Volta. For those of you familiar with West Didsbury, you’ll know we have a huge fondness for a bar of the very same name, run by our old friends, Luke & Justin, from way back when we were at Manchester Polytechnic and flat sharing. So, Volta in Oprtalj was always going to be a winner for us…