Adriatic wine odyssey, part two: Southern Dalmatia
26. March, 2021
We would add – on a yacht in the middle of the Adriatic! We believe great food, wine, and company are at the heart of all good travel stories. When you book your yacht charter in Croatia, you get to choose the company, so let us introduce you to some of the great wines you can expect to find along your way. Sailing in Croatia allows you to visit numerous islands, and sailing past the coastline, it is impossible not to notice all of the vineyards. For lovers of wine, it seems only right to visit a few of these vineyards. Let’s set sail on a Wine Odyssey exploring southern Dalmatia; here are some of the more unique wines and winemaking locations.
Miloš Winery, Pelješac Peninsula
The Pelješac Peninsula is the largest peninsula in Dalmatia (2nd largest in Croatia) and spreads over 355 km2. The peninsula is rich in natural beauty, historical sites and you guessed it – vineyards! The south-facing slopes of the peninsula have the perfect conditions for vines which is probably why they are some of the largest wine-growing hills in Croatia. This area produces some of the highest quality red wines in Croatia and Plavac Mali is the king of these southward hills. Dingač and Postup were the first appellations (defined and legally protected area for winegrowing) in Croatia.
Sun, a cool sea breeze, sedimentary sandy soil and tradition creates the ideal conditions for Plavac Mali. The Miloš vineyards stretch between Prapratno cove and Ponikve village; this is where you will find a passionate family with a commitment to the art of viticulture. Anchor in the Prapatno bay and Miloš winery is only a 7 min drive. Become enamoured with their award-winning wines, particularly Stagnum.
Grgić Winery, Pelješac Peninsula
Grgić is a name synonymous with winemaking. Mike Grgich (Miljenko Grgić) is the legendary Napa Valley winemaker behind the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay; this is the wine which bested several white Burgundy wines in a blind tasting – which was later dubbed ‘The Judgement of Paris’. Mike Grgić is also an inductee to the Vitner’s Hall of Fame. In 1996, Miljenko moved back to Croatia and established Grgić wines; together with his daughter and nephew, they started producing fine wines from Dalmatian grapes. Grgić Pošip (white) and Grgić Plavac Mali (red) are known world-wide and feature on the wine list of many prestigious restaurants. Anchor in any of the coves surrounding Trstenik and sample wines from one of Croatia’s winemaking legends.
Matuško Winery, Pelješac
Matuško is another family-run winery above Trstenik. Matuško started as a small wine-tasting cellar but thanks to their incredible wines and presentation, Matuško quickly became one of the most well-known wines and wine tastings in Croatia. Matuško's most celebrated wine is Dingač (Plavac Mali) but they also grow indigenous white grapes – Rukatac and Pošip. Matuško also has a wine-tasting cellar in the heart of old town Dubrovnik.
Korta Katarina, Pelješac
As you can see, we are still on the Pelješac which should tell you there are excellent wines and wineries in this region. Perhaps take a full day to tour the peninsula and wineries. Villa Korta Katarina and Winery is unlike any other property in Croatia. Korta Katarina Villas are a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux; so, the property, service, and attention to detail are unparalleled. Newly opened in 2018, it already holds a special place among the hearts of wine lovers and luxury clientele. If you love fine wine, gourmet cuisine, spectacular scenery, luxury, and service, this winery is for you. Try award-winning Pošip, Plavac Mali and Rosé.
"Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures."
Bire Winery, Korčula island
A visit to Bire winery in Lumbarda (just outside of Korčula town) is almost a must for wine lovers. It is at Bire winery where guests can try Grk – an indigenous white grape variety that grows only in Lumbarda! Here, passion, family tradition and nutrient-rich sandy soil produce a unique white wine. A tasting here brings guests to a gorgeous winery set atop a hill, overlooking the Adriatic, surrounded by vineyards and gardens (tomatoes, beans, Mediterranean herbs). Tastings take place inside a quaint stone house and are accompanied by small bites – like homemade goat’s cheese and pršut. Wine tastings are only during certain hours, be sure to call and book a spot beforehand.
Krajančić Winery, Korčula island
Luka Krajančić is the owner and winemaker at Krajančić winery, located in the seaside village of Zavalatica on the south side of Korčula island. As a poet, Luka brings his art to winemaking – in fact, one probably inspires the other! Most of the top restaurants in Croatia have Krajančić wines on their list. Luka's Pošip is often called the best Pošip in the world, so it would be foolish not to anchor nearby and drop in.
Šarić Winery, Lastovo Island
Our southern sailing adventure wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Lastovo. The Lastovo Archipelago is one of the largest marine protected areas in Croatia, made up of 44 islands, islets, rocks and reefs – a sailor’s paradise. Lastovo is the largest of these islands and also the most remote Croatian island. Traditionally, Rukatac, Grk and Pošip (white varieties) were grown here, as well as Plavac Mali.
The Šarić family wine cellar is located in Lastovo town, while their vineyards are in the centre of the island. Guests can do a wine tasting and sample Plavac Mali, Rukatac and Rosé (made with Plavac Mali and Plavina). Lastovo is also known for its local cuisine and warm hospitality, so expect to be offered homemade cheeses, pršut, olives, salted anchovies, fish paté and other local delicacies – a genuine experience.
Adriatic Wine Odyssey in Southern Dalmatia
And there we have it; this is an idea of a wine sailing itinerary in southern Dalmatia, and this is only a small selection of the wineries in this region! If you haven’t already, be sure to check our Wine Odyssey in Central Dalmatia. Croatia has so much more to offer than the sun and sea, and we are excited for you to discover all this and more on your sailing holiday.
For more information, please feel free to contact our team.
Until then, Živjeli (cheers)!