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The Wine Kingdom of the Dubrovnik Region

Ana Strazicic Rodriguez, right

Ana Strazicic Rodriguez, a member of the Croatian World Congress USA, during her stay in Croatia, among other things, visited the wineries of the Dubrovnik region.

In Croatia, and especially in Dalmatia, we find a large number of indigenous grape varieties. There is evidence that the noble lineage of Vitis vinifera in Dalmatia was significant even before Christ. It was first brought by the Phoenicians and later by the Greeks who inhabited the eastern Adriatic coast and islands: Mljet – Ogija, Korcula – Korkyra, Vis – Issa, Hvar – Pharmacy, Trogir, Cavtat – Epidaurus.

That during the Greeks viticulture was developed is evidenced by many archaeological finds and documents: wine glasses and jugs and coins with a printed grape from the 6th century BC, as well as many amphora sites in the South Adriatic, especially Mljet. This testifies that winemaking was a strong economic branch until the fall of the Roman Empire in 476.

With the arrival of Barbarians, vineyards and many grape varieties were destroyed. Parts of Southern Dalmatia, and especially the islands, were spared, and newly arrived Croats began to get used to the cultivation of vines as an economic culture, especially after the baptism from the 7th to the 9th century. Since then, significant wine production has begun, new varieties have emerged, but foreign vine varieties are also being brought in the midst of well-developed ties with the world.

With the arrival of the Turks in the middle of the 15th century, many vineyards in Dalmatia were destroyed. Only the islands and the territory of the Republic of Dubrovnik were spared due to good diplomatic and trade relations with the Turks. Thus, in the area of the Republic of Dubrovnik, vineyards and autochthonous vine varieties have been preserved, which reached their peak at the end of the 19th century.

About 80 varieties of vines are known in Dalmatia.

The most famous wines in Southern Dalmatia are Plavac Mali, Plavac, Postup, Grk, Pošip and by far the most famous Dubrovnik Malvasia, which was not available to everyone in the Republic of Dubrovnik but was only available for diplomacy.

During the Homeland War, many vineyards were destroyed and burned by the Yugoslav National Army, Serb Chetniks, and Montenegrin terrorists, including the vineyards of Dubrovnik Malvasia.

Thanks to the persistence, knowledge, and vision of Nika and Anita Karaman, after the liberation of Konavle, the variety of the autochthonous Dubrovnik Malvasia was renewed, which is now produced by all Konavle winemakers.

The second most famous autochthonous variety Plavac Mali is mentioned in the book Der Weinbau des Oesterreichischen Kaiserthumus (Viticulture of the Austrian Empire) in 1821 published in Vienna by Franz Ritter von Heintl.

Among several Dalmatian white and black grape varieties, “Plavaz mali czerni” is mentioned and the German translation of the name – “kleine schwarze Kerntraube” is mentioned. Palvanz Mali was mentioned in 1841 as a valuable grape variety of the Austrian Empire. The Zinfandel variety developed from Plavac Mali.

One of the most famous Plavac Mali producers is the only woman among winemakers in the South of Croatia, on Peljesac Marija Mrgudić who with her brother Niko Bura, produces top wines, and among them the most famous PLAVAC MALI -BURA and POSTUP MARE, which are drunk in the best restaurants in New York and across America, and their PROŠEK will soon be on offer.

One of the most famous winemakers in Konavle, Andro Crvik, who owns Crvik Vineyards and Wineries with his family, proudly says that Crvik, Karaman, Miljas wines, Dubrovnik cellar, etc. mean nothing if Konavle and Konavle Vineyards (Cellars) are not mentioned. Crvik Vineyards and Wineries with top Konavle autochthonous wines; Dubrovnik Malvasia, Plavac, Plavac Mali-POMET, which is the champion of red wines in 2015, organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (the first national evaluation of wine at the Croatian level).

Returning in 1993 to the liberated but burned and destroyed Konavle, the Crvik family created a real wine empire with a lot of effort, love and enthusiasm. TEZORO, BLASIUS-Crvik -Malvazija Dubrovačka, PILIGRIN-Crvik-Malvazija Dubrovačka-Maraština, FIORA-Crvik-Syrah-Rosè, BASTION-Crvik -Merlot-Plavac Mali, NEGROMANT-Crvik-Merlot, SATIR-Crvik -Cabernet SaUvignon, Crvik -Plavac Mali, FAIRY DANCE-Crvik-Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Plavac.

Andro Crvik is proud of the Wine Festival which is held in Komaj on Trg Kotarskih Velikana, where a bottle of the best Konavle wine is placed on the wine monument: Young Wine Festival – St. Martin on November 11; Wine Festival, St. Vinko January 22; Wine Festival-Our Lady of Luncijata March 25.

During his visit to Miljas Viticulture and Enology, Zvonko Miljas proudly said that even during Austro-Hungary, winemaking and Konavle Field and wine varieties were mentioned – Maraština, Grka, Malvazija, Rosè and Plavac.

Miljas Maraština and Miljas Plavac won silver and bronze at the gathering of Dalmatian winemakers in 1995, and in 2010 Miljas Grk and Miljas Malvazija won a gold medal. Zvonko Miljas with his family with a lot of effort, knowledge and great enthusiasm realized their dream and with their top Miljas wines became part of the Konavle wine empire.

Dubrovnik Cellars is the leading wine house in the Konavle Vineyards in terms of both scope and quality, with a long tradition that began in 1876 with the founding of the famous Podrum company Pero Kolić in the wine world. Gruda Winery was built in 1963 with vineyards in Konavle Field.

Božo Martinović, remembers the sad days of the Homeland War when Dubrovnik Cellars as well as the whole of Konavle were looted, burned and destroyed. Within the Gruda winery in 2002, the most modern technology for stabilization, filtration and filling line with a capacity of 2000 bottles per hour is being arranged and installed.

Dubrovnik Malvasia, whose variety has great historical values thanks to the care and effort of Dubrovnik Cellars experts, revived the same companies in Vinogorje that suffered great damage during the war and who invested all their love, work and knowledge and great effort to make this top wine from Konavle Božo Martinović, a great patriot, proudly says that exceptional values have been returned to the Croatian and world markets.

Wines Dubrovnik Cellars: Dubrovnik Malvasia; Crljenak – red wine Zinfandel; Rosè Crljenak-Zifandel: Trajectum-Cabernet Siuvignon, Parac-Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon can safely be classified as top wines of the Dubrovnik region and which are available not only in Croatia but also in America and Europe.

Winery and Vineyards TERRA MADRE in Komarna opposite Pelješac, which is certainly best known for the indigenous variety PLAVAC MALI. Davor Martinović and wine specialist Marko Šuman (40 years of experience) took Ana and her friends, Maja and Stanko, through the process of wine production through modern plants and showed us the beautiful vineyards that were created in the rocky peninsula to the sea.

Also nearby are Rizman Winery and Volarevic Winery. TERRA MADRE wines: POSIP TERRA MADRE Premium; ROSÈ TERRA MADRE; PLAVAC MALI Barrique and PLAVAC MALI Premium are certainly top wines that belong to the Great Wine Empire of the Dubrovnik Region.

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