Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe.
Čilipi is a small town in Croatia near Dubrovnik and it’s not known to many foreigners as being anything other than home to the airport for Dubrovnik. But, just over a hill or two, in a village of Čilipi called, Komaji is the family winery of Crvik.
It’s a nice, out of the way setting that is very much off the beaten path and takes some searching to find. There, in a little vale, Crvik grows their two hectares of vines amongst a very forested area that is a sharp contrast to the rugged grey rocks that are a dominant part of the Damatian Coast of Croatia. Like most wineries, they also source grapes from the Konavle region as well to meet their 100,000 liter a year production. All of this is barrel-aged in oak from Slavonia, the top, eastern-most region of Croatia.
Like most wineries in the region, the breakup of Yugoslavia was very tragic for them. They lost all their old vines because they were unable to tend to them and had to replant everything again upon returning home after the war. Thus, all of their wines are from new vines, but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in any depth. The Plavac that we tasted had a bit of chocolate to the nose with a strawberry finish. It also wasn’t as dry as a typical Plavac. Their two white wines, Maraština (also called Rukatac in other regions) and Malvasija both had great fruit and sweetness to them. The Maraština was bright and crisp, with a hint of grapefruit that led in to a fruity finish. The Malvasija was a quite a bit more fruity and had a deep body, which was to be expected given that it was just a semi-dry wine.
In addition to these, they also have a Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which we unfortunately couldn’t taste. But, given the backdrop of having to start from the ground up just 10 years ago, this small group is turning out some good wines.