Sunday Snapshot: BIBICh Lučica Vineyard, Skradin

High in the stoney hills above Skradin in northern Dalmatia and just off the road to BIBICh winery in Plastovo village, there is a rustic tractor path that snakes through a scrubby patch of grey oak and olive trees overgrown with nettles, spiny broom, and juniper bushes. If you trudge down this unassuming path, you will emerge into an open area and be rewarded with a tantalizing and exciting sight: the gnarly vines of Lučica.

Lučica is one of winemaker Alen Bibic’s most interesting and unique vineyards. Here about 3,500 Debit vines – most of which are about 50 years old and were planted by Alen’s grandfather – struggle in the summer heat to each produce only a cluster or two of wine grapes, enough fruit for just 150-200 cases of wine a year.

This rare treat is fermented and aged in American oak barrels and the result is an intriguing white – almost orange – wine with a slightly tannic grip and lovely dried apricot, honey, and vanilla notes that finishes with a Sherry-like sea salt savoriness. A distinctive and delicious expression of Debit, one of Dalmatia’s many fascinating native grape varieties! 🙂

BIBICh Lučica vineyard (Copyright © Cliff Rames)
BIBICh Lučica vineyard (Copyright © Cliff Rames)

Sunday Snapshot: Postup

Located on the Pelješac peninsula along the Adriatic Sea in Dalmatia, Postup is Croatia’s second oldest geographically protected wine-growing appellation (granted in 1963), lying just northwest of its more famous sister region, Dingač.

Like Dingač, Postup is home to the Plavac Mali grape and produces bold, powerful, sometimes off-dry to slightly sweet wines such as the benchmark Postup Mare from Bura-Mrgudić.

Behold the beauty of this terroir: Postup!

(Photo: Copyright © Cliff Rames)
(Photo: Copyright © Cliff Rames)

Sunday Snapshot: Pickin’ Pošip

A freshly-picked cluster of Pošip grapes.

(Photo: Copyright © Cliff Rames)
(Photo: Copyright © Cliff Rames)

Pošip is the signature native white variety from Korčula island, although it is also cultivated in other areas of Dalmatia along the Adriatic coast of Croatia.

Pošip is distinguished by large, elongated bunches with oval, egg-shaped berries with relatively thin skins. Wines produced from Pošip can be full bodied with medium to medium-high alcohol; a viscous, oily texture; and notes of pear, fig, stone fruits, Mediterranean herb, wild flowers and honey.

Key producers of Pošip wines include: BIBICh; Grgić; Jako Vina-Stina; Korta Katarina; Krajančić; Kunjas; PZ Pošip-Čara; Toreta; and Zlatan Otok.

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Sunday Snapshot: The Road to Dingač

Accessible through a dark, single-lane, 400 meter-long  tunnel and curvy, mountain-hugging road (in photo), Dingač is Croatia’s oldest geographically protected wine-growing appellation – since 1961.

(Photo: Copyright © Cliff Rames)
(Photo: Copyright © Cliff Rames)

On the steep, southwest-facing slopes on the Pelješac peninsula, Plavac Mali grapes ripen in the blazing sun and are usually harvested between late September and early October.

Wines labeled “Dingač” may only be made from Plavac Mali grapes grown on these slopes along the Adriatic Sea. They are bold, dark wines with expressions of sun baked black fruit, cherries, dried fig and cranberries, roasted Mediterranean herb, coffee, and sometimes salty minerality.

Leading producers of Dingač wines are Bartulović, Bura, Kiridžija, Madirazza, Matuško, Miličić, Radović, Saints Hills, Skaramuča, and Vinarija Dingač.

Borak is one of two villages on the Pelješac peninsula near Dingač. The other is Potomje.

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