Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe
Korčulanka fresh off the production lineWhen it comes to former Communist cooperatives on Korčula that transitioned in to successful private companies, there are none bigger than Blato 1902. Named after the town that they are located in, Blato produces a massive 1,000,000 liters a year and even has the capacity to produce more. But, they don’t make only wine. The produce rakija, aniseta, travarica, smokovača, rogačica, and komovica, as well as olive oil and vinegar. All told, there are about 30 wines and products that they make. Not bad for a company that was started by the local wine growers of the area in 1902.
It was a little tricky to find, being that the main building is located behind a school of all things. Once we found it, our attempts at speaking Croatian with the employees was helped up and greatly improved upon by Sanja Protić and Ante Šeparović (one of the enologists) who spoke English and gave us the history and a tasting. We tried the 2005 Korčulanka which is at 12.5% alcohol and has a light fruit to the nose. This carries in to the body makes the wine easy and pleasing to drink. While not mind-blowing, it’s a pleasant wine that would go well with fish, chicken, and other light meats. Then we tried the 2005 Plavac Blato, which is 12.6% alcohol. It is also a solid wine that is very easy to drink. There is a basic Plavac Mali nose to it and a typical dry body. Much like the Korčulanka, it’s a basic wine, but also a good wine for meals.
The one wine that we didn’t get to try, but really wanted to was the Cetinka. It’s a native varietal to Korčula, Vis, and Lastovo, so you’ll only find it on the islands of Croatia. The described it as light, fresh, with a slightly acidic middle to it. Maybe we’ll see it further on in our trips, or maybe just the next time we’re in Croatia…