PZ Podšpilje: The Uncollective Collective

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

roki
Roki Srećko shows us the steel casks.

bottle
The Vugava

PZ Podšpilje is one of those anomalies from the former Communist period in Former Yugoslavia. Despite being a central collective for the grapes in this area of Vis since 1924, it was never actually a state-owned collective like others that we’ve visited. Even though is was free from Communist oversight, it still maintains the rather heavy Socialist look to the building that makes it none too welcoming, although the people who work there are very friendly and were happy to see us. This is not surprising given the almost complete isolation that Vis lived under for decades.

Showing us around and giving an introduction to the wines was Roki Srećko, the general manager. He also happened to be the enolog, which gave him a bit more character than the standard managers that we have often talked to. While they produce 300,000 liters a year from the 60 hectares that they source from, he only has about six people to manage all of this. We quickly got down to the business of wine and tasted their offerings.

barrels

First was the 2005 Plavac. It’s quite a light wine and has slight berry aromas to the nose. The body is rather dry and typical of a standard Plavac that way, but even still the wine carries a great deal of freshness to it that is pleasing. Form there, we moved to the 2006 Plavac, which was less dry and had more fruit. The body was a bit more meaty and had a smoother finish. These two growing years were rather similar, so a good deal of these differences were probably from one wine being younger and the 2006 will probably shift more to the 2005 characteristics with time.

We also tried their 2005 white called, Vugava. The nose is best described as wooden. Despite this, the body is light and easy to drink. As the wine gets more air in it, a soft, fuzzy fruit develops in to the nose that then grows in the body as well. All of this cleans up with a nice clean finish.

Their strongest wines were definitely the Plavacs and given that about 80% of their production is based in that, we think they’re on track to produce some good wines that more people will know about in time.