Stipan Cebalo of Lumbarda

Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe

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Stipan CebaloOne of the last wineries we visited on the island of Korčula was that of Stpian Cebalo in Lumbarda. This is on the far southeast side of the island and is a place where tourists usually just go for the beaches. But it is here where Stipan has two hectares of land and is one of the few producers of the white wine, Grk. The man knows what he is doing and has a family tradition of wine making that dates back an amazing 500 years!

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Grk and Plavac

Grk is a well-balanced white that doesn’t really push you one way or the other, but makes for pleasant drinking and is considerably different from Pošip, the other main white of Korčula. His 2005 ‘vrhunsko’ or high quality Grk has nice fruit aromas to the top and bottom of the nose. It is a bit dry, but not terribly so and has a nice finish. Stipan does not age this in oak at all and told us that he preferred not to have the oaky aromas to the wine, which seemed to be a good plan to us in the end as they would most likely muddy things up. We also tried his Plavac which has a touch of cinnamon to the nose which makes it a bit different than the other Plavacs we’ve tasted previously. It is 13% alcohol and that makes it rather strong for this region, yet it has a light body to it, making for easy drinking. The finish had some sweet, dry bread textures that were also quite pleasant.

Producing 6,000 liters a year certainly doesn’t make Cebalo one of the heavy-hitters of Korčula like Čara or Blato, but he is making good wines in his little spot on the island, on his terms, from just his grapes.