|The Pelješac peninsula dramatically dropping into the Adriatic Sea just a few miles from the famous medieval city of Dubrovnik is on the southern tip of Croatia. The terroir of this particular location is characterized by an abundance of sunshine and the minerals imparted by the rocky soil.
Motorized vehicles cannot access the slopes of many of the vineyard. As it has been the case traditionally for ages the only help for the laborious harvest are donkeys. That’s why the cute donkey has become the local mascot and is featured prominently in the logo of the Dingac Winery which is the name of the estate where both wines are made. The Dingac Winery is one of the largest in this region and produces a series of beautiful red wines, all made from the Plavac Mali grape. This wine has been fermented in stainless steel tanks and then matured for one year in the traditional large oak casks before bottling.
Plavac Mali grape translates to “Little Blue” grape. This grape is usually simply called “Plavac” and is the cousin of the Californian Zinfandel. Recently, researchers from UC Davis School of Viticulture have found the ancestor of the Zinfandel – the Crljenak kastelanski – in vineyards on the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. The researchers proved with modern analysis technologies that this ancient Croatian grape has indeed the same DNA structure as the Zinfandel. The Plavac itself is a hybrid of the Crljenak kastelanski so it is a direct –if not identical- relative of the Zinfandel.
The relationship of the two grape varietals can be tasted: both are fairly rustic wines with lots of spicy flavors. Yet, they are also quite different, making the taste of Plavac Mali a very unique experience.
Peljesac Peninsula (Croatia)
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