#WineWednesday Spotlight #137: Monastery Tvrdoš Vranac

Monastery Tvrdos Vranac
Monastery Tvrdos Vranac

The Serbian Orthodox Monastery Tvrdoš is located in southeastern Herzegovina, 2.5 miles west of the old town of Trebinje and less than 20 miles from the Adriatic Sea. Dedicated to The Dominion of the Mother of God, it was built in the late 13th century above the right bank of the Trebisnica river on the foundations of a 4th century Roman church.

The region’s wine­growing tradition dates back to the first hellenic colonies on the Adriatic Coast. The climate is sub­mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters. The Herzegovinian karst soil is shallow, mixed with white crushed stones. These warm and dry conditions are particularly well suited to the native grape varieties Žilavka and Vranac.

Vranac was introduced to South Herzegovina during the Austro­Hungarian Empire. The name “Vranac”, which means “black horse”, highlights the grape’s dark color as well as its strength and power. When grown on the rocky grounds of Tvrdoš created by a washout of the soil from the surrounding hills, Vranac shows distinctive acids and intense fruity aromas.

Aged for 24 months in old monastic oak barrels, the Monastery Tvrdoš Vranac exhibits a purple red color and savory, earthy aromas on the nose. The palate has a good structure with some tannins and a lively acidity with notes of crushed cassis and blueberry and a nice finish. Try it with grilled lamb chops.