23 August, 2019
Yachts & Wine
For this type of sailing, you do not need special knowledge on oenology, simply follow your primeval thirst and passion for revealing the Croatian heritage and its ‘Zen’ places
Yachts pages usually offer navigation along the Adriatic gastro-oases reaching the haven-like-spots, that provide not only food and drinks extravagance, but also possess the ‘Zen’ spirit feeding the yachts enthusiasts’ thirsty soul. For this summer edition, we wish to take you on a sea-oeno-quest, meaning berths at a stone’s throw from the wineries offering unique toast-to-life-sights. Numerous captains’ houses resemble monuments testifying of the famous shipping history of Orebić, a small town on Pelješac famous for the mighty wine sort Plavac Mali deriving from the protected areas of Postup and Dingač. So today, this small city, represents a destination point for the wine pursuers. Small port and waterfront located in the centre offer enough berths for one-day-trip visitors, however, if you stay longer on Pelješac you will find yourself at a great risk of falling in love, not only in wine but the entire peninsula. Magnificent structure at the city entrance – Kota Katarina Winery, stands out as a temple of top-quality wines, now extended through a boutique hotel surrounded by the Zinfandel plantation – the American cousin of the Plavac Mali. Owners, the Anderson couple, with a lot of love, have created a Mediterranean oasis that provides prime meals and one of the first-class Adriatic terroir wines. The awarded Rosé (2016) is the perfect ticket to the Katarina’s world, so even though they have started with the first series of the sparkling wine – Sabion, above all, we recommend the one rewarded at Decanter.
The Plavci sorts from this plantation are of intense and aromatic flavour, so you’d rather pair these with a gala meat or fish dish. For special occasions ask for limited edition Decent (2009) or the winemaker’s selection, and as icing on the cake, go for the Reuben’s private reserve – the pride and joy of this winery. If you are sailing south, head for Trstenik and one of the world’s famous winemakers. The famous 1976 Chardonnay that launched Miljenko Grgić to the top of the world winery is no longer to be found there, however, wines signed by this Chardonnay and Zinfandel champion, are definitely the reason to drop an anchor in front of this impressive structure by the sea. Simply tie your boat close by the waterfront and take a walk towards the winery. Nobody will resent you for choosing Chardonnay Grgich Hills Estate (2013) over Plavac on a dry and muggy afternoon. The floral scent and the sort taste will round up the Mediterranean ambience experience. Do not miss out Pošip by Grgić, even though this wine presents the autochthonous Korčula wine sort, Mr. Grgić is the one who has started the transformation of this truly special white wine into a cult wine of worship. The Grk wine sort counts as an indigeneous wine sort that has been cultivated for two centuries on the Lumbarda area in vineyards almost touching the sea, and thus giving birth to the most aromatic grapes and dry gold-green wine of the distinctive taste. Since the Grk sort grows on sandy soil on the micro-location of Lumbarda, the best way to reach it would be by anchoring on the east side of the beach in Lumbarda, a serene and safe zone.
The successful formula lies in tradition and modern vinification blend
These beautiful beaches feature a family character. One of the pioneers and promoters of these sorts is Frane Milina-Bire. His 2017 Grk Bire won a silver medal on Decanter 2019. Nevertheless, we still treasure the memory of his Defora Grk, cultivated on eco-reconstructed stone terraces with lots of love. After experiencing their family wine tasting place with guided degustation, take a peek in the agricultural estate of the Batistić-Zure family, who also won a medal for their 2018 Grk or explore the bubbly Grk edition – Quinta Essentia. The Cebalo family produces mostly four hundred cases of wine, and when such wine wins silver on the IWC competition (Cebalo Grk 2017), you should hurry to get your bottle of the dry and airy golden nectar. The island of Brač wears the title of the favourite nature-, culture- and gastro-enthusiasts’ spot, but on the wine chart of the Adriatic, as if it has never existed. Some ten years ago the winery Stina located on the reconstructed big-yachts-welcoming Bol waterfront, started a revolution. Stina’s recognizable visual identity matches perfectly to the content, character and exceptional wines, so the cult of worshiping the Stina wines was born. The successful formula leading towards world rewards lies in tradition and modern vinification blend. Pošip Majstor does not require a special place or time, its gusto fresco and aromatic flavour meet requirements of any occasion. Many dislike pairing food and wine, while others are very careful about this match, yet we suggest a light Dalmatian brunch in order to prepare your body for the Majstor Plavac Mali (2013). The best position and the best harvest year, transform this autochthonous sort into sophisticated pedigree sort worthy its name.
The Paklinski islands in front of Hvar have been for decades one of the most desirable anchoring spots for yachtsmen, yet the Vlaka Bay seems to stay faithful to its genuine rhythm right in the middle of the most popular nautical waters on the Adriatic. St. Klement hosts some of the vineyards of the Colnago Plavac Mali and Maraština – a fresh white wine that delivers a summer relaxation to your body. Shoulder to shoulder with Mike Grgich, signor AndroTomić stands as an icon of the Croatian winery, and the respectable labels are in high demand. Should you tie your boat on the Jelsa waterfront, you are only a few minutes walking distance from the Tomić Winery. In case you are arriving on a bigger yacht, seek for the berth on the north part of the port, so your stroll to the magnificent intimate space where one ‘drinks wine by the hour, not by litres’ lasts a few minutes longer offering you the opportunity to get acquainted with every bit of this small Adriatic town. The vineyards on the south slopes of Hvar are the wine production aces offering a unique chance to taste the island’s terroir in one bottle. The last magical product of the Tomić Winery is Caplar – Cabernet and Plavac coupage swimming in a perfect balance – Plavac is adorned with freshness respecting its character and a final touch of French note. Just like with Plavac Mali, it is the barrique barrels that ennoble the final product. However, expand your wine horizons, let the experienced guides lead you, try Pošip, excellent Opolo as they call rosé on Hvar and as memento, take Hektorović Prosecco home with you, one of the best dessert wines on this area and a perfect trigger to connect you with your Gita Oenographica Adriatica.
Text Filip Bubalo Photos Korta Katarina, Grgić, Stina, Tomić & Archives