Podrumi Andrija Expands on the Classics

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

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Andrija’s family sharing wine, meat, and cheese

Our first stop along the Vinska Cesta of Herzegovina was at Podrumi Andrija. Like most wine makers in the area, the family has a tradition of wine that formed the foundation of the company. They were a bit different, though, as they actually started making wine to sell in 1971, which was not allowed under the Communist government. Apparently, family and friends worked to hide their wine making operation. Proving that they were a crafty group, they were able to continue growing during the war with their wine being routed through other countries with some fantastic scheme that we think we were better off not knowing about.

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Andrija’s Žilavka Barrique

But now, in the 21st century, the winery is a full-fledged operation, producing from four hectares of their own and buying from 400 other people who grow on an additional 80 hectares. This allows them to have a well-appointed tasting room where they treated us to an extensitve tasting of their wines as well as some locally made pršut (smoked ham), which we always accept gladly.

We started with the 2004 Žilavka. It is a light white wine at 12% alcohol. There are mineral tones to the nose and body and a slight grapefruit to it as well. Citrus flavors come out in the body as it opens up and these continue in to the finish.

From there, we moved in to the 2005 Blatina. This was a very nice sample of this local varietal. There were cherries and berries in the nose and a tad bit of syrupy fruit to it. It wasn’t sweet though and gave a nice, pleasing balance of aromas. The body presented much more earthy flavors that presented the wine as bold and enjoyable. The finish was clean and overall, it was a solid wine.

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Andrija’s wines in his shop

To close, we had the 2004 Blatina Barrique. The nose had both mineral and earthy notes to it as well as being fresh and dewy. All of this we liked a great deal. The best part was that all these aromas carried directly in to the body, which made for great drinking. There was a little spark to the finish that sticks with you and makes the wine a real winner and as it gets more air, it gets more complex, presenting some sour cherry in the finish.

Andrija was a great start to the Vinska Cesta that made us happy and very excited to move on and taste more.