COLUMN Top 4 Indigenous Varieties You Must Try
Your counassier path might have crossed a Plavac Mali, but did you ever try a Grk? Are you wondering what Pošip tastes like and is Malvasija Dubrovačka for you just a tongue breaker? Don´t worry, here is a small overwiev of our most popular indigenous varieties. These are the must try local varieties when in Dubrovnik.
Situated north of Dubrovnik, Peljesac peninsula is where Croatias King of reds rules - Plavac Mali. Dingac and Postup are famous appelations for Plavac Mali and protected by law since the mid 60´s, while Mili apelation is less known but easyly matches up in quality. The steep south orientated sloaps of Dingac offer breathtaking views, high insolation and up to 60° of inclination. The "little blue" variety delivers full body, firm and bold red wines along with beautiful red fruit flavour, very worth aging (and drinking!).
While Peljesac is known for it´s red wines, the island of Korcula, just across Peljesac peninsula, is famous for it´s white varieties. Posip is one of them. There are two appelations which stand out: Smokvica and Čara. In fact, Posip from Cara area was the first Croatian white wine protected by law. It often shows typical aromas from white flowers and yellow stone fruit up to dried apricot and figs, orange peel or even herbal notes. If you are looking for an oaked white wine your best chances are with Posip.
The word ‘Grk’ sounds like a grumpy shout, but Grk in Croatian means bitter and its tartiness is what gave the variety its name. Posip is being more and more planted outside of Korcula, but Grk is not a wine which you will find outside of the island and definately not in a supermarket. There are two reasons. One is the variable yield since Grk is a female flower and it needs a pollinator to grow grapes. The other is the fact that it is grown in the very limited area of Lumbarda. All produced quantities are usually quickly sold out. If you have the chance to try one you can expect an elegant citrusy, applish white wine with an interesting herbal twist and tart finish.
After islands and peninsulas we now reach Konavle Valley, south of Dubrovnik and home to another white variety - Malvasija dubrovacka. Or simply Malvasija. Don´t mix it up with the Istrian malvazija! These varieties just share a similar name but are not related. Malvasija wine has always been considered noble and it was the Rector’s gift of protocol to guests of the Republic of Ragusa. Back then it was produced as a sweet wine. And it was so popular that Ottomans even claimed it medicine in order to drink it. But enough history. Nowdays most producers produce it dry and fresh. Malvasija is very fragrant and easy recoginzable by scents of honey, Meditearanean herbs and white stone fruit. With unoaked Malvasija wines look out for the newest vintages.
Try them all. Chances are high you might find your new favorite.
Cheers from Dubrovnik