Large Production at Dubrovački Podrumi

Over a summer, two travelers drink their way through the wines of Mediterranean Europe. The Konavle region is at the most southern point of Croatia, even further south than Dubrovnik, bordering Montenegro. Historically, it was the region that produced all of the food for what was the Ragusan Republic and is present-day Dubrovnik. These days, the fields are covered with a great many grapevines and a lot of that feeds in to Dubrovački Podrumi, which is a very large wine producer in Gruda, a small town at the southern end of Konavle. Upon first glance, the building is anything but welcoming. The concrete construction that echoes the “aesthetic” of Socialist construction is menacing. There is no business name out front and we had to look for the tell-tale signs of new bottles on palettes to know we were in the right place. With some rather awkward Croatian, we talked to a worker who was leaving for lunch and were guided around to the other side of the building where they’ve built a very pleasant tasting room, but without any signs pointing you there. Upon entering, we could see why the signs were scarce, since it was very apparent that they … Continue reading Large Production at Dubrovački Podrumi

Three Blind Hungarians

Prof. Dr. Tim P. says: One of the hazards of wine writing is watching bottles pile up all over the house waiting to be tasted. (Somebody has to do it.) Since I firmly believe that multiple opinions are always better than one, I periodically pull together an informal panel to work through the backlog. I recently did a miscellaneous session—some wines I needed to write about, some I might mention somewhere, some I just felt duty-bound to sample because they had shown up at my door. My two tablemates were a serious student of wine somewhere on the trail of a Master of Wine certificate and the co-author of a forthcoming book on pairing desserts and desert wines. All the bottles were wrapped in brown paper bags (showing what a high-class event this was). The whites were a particularly odd quartet: two Hungarian whites from indigenous grapes (the Woodsman’s White and Carpenter’s White in the Craftsman series) and two barrel-fermented California Chardonnays. Trying to be helpful, I noted that the four wines were really two and two. “We noticed!” my pals chimed in unison; the contrast between the pale straw of two glasses and the golden oak tones of the … Continue reading Three Blind Hungarians