Dalmatia

Introduction

The origin of wine civilization on the territory of today’s Croatia is found in Dalmatia. The first island vineyards on Vis and Hvar were planted by Greek colonizers in the centuries before Christ. Croats settled this area in the 7th century and quickly adopted the rich wine tradition they found there.  Dalmatian vineyards resisted phylloxera longer than others. In the years when Europe suffered an incredible thirst for wine, virtually the whole of the island of Vis was turned into a vineyard, and the myth of powerful Dalmatian wines spread across the continent. But there is a reverse side of this story. Eventually the pest did devastate Dalmatian vineyards, causing a period of massive emigration unlike any this region had seen in its turbulent history.

malvazija

Debit

Debit is a white wine grape variety grown primarily along the Northern & Central Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. The fruit are medium-sized golden yellow color and in clusters of medium size or large.

Furthermore

The first top quality appellations were protected on Pelješac Peninsula in 1960s. First it was Dingač, then also Postup. Plavac Mali from these spectacular vineyards achieved a cult status, still on the rise with some of the most highly appreciated among Croatian wines. Similar prestige is enjoyed by vineyards on the southern slopes of Hvar and Brač. The story about turning rocky ground into vineyards won the protection of UNESCO to Primošten’s Babić. Along with the strong red wines, the story about white Dalmatians is getting more interesting. Malvasija Dubrovačka is not a close relative of Malvazija Istarska; even though their names differ only in letter S or Z, their aromatic differences are very clear. There is much less Malvasija Dubrovačka than the Istrian one, partly because during the Homeland War, in the 1990s, it almost disappeared.   Now it has been replanted and it is the main attraction of Konavle vineyards in Cavtat’s hinterland.

Dingač

Dingač is a wine growing region on the Pelješac Peninsula in the Dalmatian region of Croatia that is part of the larger, Coastal (Primorska) Region. Situated on the southwestern facing slope of the Zabrada mountains between the small villages of Trstenik and Podobuče, it is a highly regarded area for growing the autochthonous Croatian red wine grape, Plavac Mali.

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The most important and leading Dalmatian white grape variety in the new line-up is definitely Pošip, perfectly meeting the demand for easy drinking wines with the elegant hints of minerality. In general, Dalmatia leads in the number of native grape varieties, especially those that lead to both good and premium quality wines. Unfortunately, some of them are entirely limited to a small area, like the already mentioned Babić or Grk from Korčula, growing on recognizable sandy soils on the island. Modern vinification raised the standards and expectations in case of Debit and Maraština. Dalmatia, previously a cheap summer destination for mass tourism, nowadays stands for a top tourist and nautical destination which attracts the most demanding visitors in its most attractive part, those who seek much more than just the sea and nature. That kind of status cannot be achieved without a matching food and wine scene. Tasting rooms of certain wineries have grown into hangouts for high-class clients. From restaurants in the picturesque wilderness of Kornati Archipelago to upscale restaurants in the protected parts of historic old towns, the new Dalmatian cuisine introduces itself ranging from seafood minimalism to rhapsodies worthy of Michelin stars.

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Grk

Grk Bijeli or Grk is a white grape variety used for wine. It is in particularly found in the village of Lumbarda on the island of Korčula in Croatia, where it is used to make Grk wine. Literally, “grk” in Croatian language means bitter, but the wine is dry, high in acidity, somewhat aromatic, with hints of pine.