Originally published by Marija Mrgudić on Facebook. Republished here with permission. Marija Mrgudić is a distinguished wine maker in Orebić on the Pelješac peninsula in Croatia. The Bura-Mrgudić family winery makes internationally renowned wines in the premier cru vineyards Dingač and Postup. English translation courtesy of Zdravko Podolski.
52 Years of the Dingač Brand
Fifty two years ago, on May 13th 1964, the name ‘Dingač’ was first registered. The Dingač Cooperative in Potomje on the Pelješac peninsula, received its certificate from the International Bureaux for the Protection of Industrial, Literary, and Artistic Property (Bureaux Internationaux reunis pour la protection da la propriete industrielle, litteraire et artistique Geneve – now subsumed into the World International Property Organisation). Dingač thus became the very first internationally protected wine from the former Yugoslavia.
It was protected and listed as top quality wine, based on a study for the determination of properties of top quality red wines from the Dingač area. The study was prepared by experts from the Split Institute for Adriatic Culture, according to the Geneva Convention on Intellectual Property. The whole process was started by the renowned Marcel Jelaska, and it was the first such effort by the Institute. 1961 was the first harvest covered by the certificate from Geneva.
Istravino personnel, headed by Ivan Sokolić, also registered the wine in the Patent office in Belgrade. Istravino was then the distributor for the Dingač cooperative.
Dingač is the name for a steep slope on the south side of Pelješac peninsula, from Trstenik to Podobuc (or from Žitković strana at the East end, to Začelinska uvala at the West end). Only seven kilometers, or just over four miles, of steeply sloped Plavac Mali vineyards, some as steep as 50 degrees. Because of the abundance of potassium in the soil, the grapes and fruit in general growing on the Dingač slopes has a special taste and is very sought after.
The plots of land have been owned by families from the small settlements of Potomje, PijavičIna, Prizdrina and Zakamenja ever since the fall of the Dubrovnik Republic. The whole harvest would be carried from the steep slopes on the backs of donkeys to Potomje and from there to the harbors along the Pelješac coastline. That is the reason for the famous donkey on the Dingač wine label.
Dingač was one of the best recognized four brands in former Yugoslavia, standing with the City of Dubrovnik, Gavrilović and Vegeta, and at a similar level to Coca Cola or Peugeot. With the international registration, the trademark would be protected worldwide.
Today there are 19 producers of Dingač on Pelješac. Amongst wine lovers it is common to have debates about whose Dingač is best, and everyone has their favorite, but even after 52 years the Dingač brand has not faded.