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article imageMajor international wine trip in Dalmatia ahead of Zagreb Vinocom Special

By Paul Bradbury     Nov 26, 2014 in Food
Bol - Ahead of Zagreb Vinocom, some 30 wine journalists from 18 countries embark on a tour of the vineyards of Dalmatia, Croatia.
The rising potential of the wines of Dalmatia came under expert international scrutiny on November 24, 2014, with the first day of a major press trip ahead of this weekend's Zagreb Vinocom wine fair, a trip attended by Digital Journal.
The three-day tour of the major winemakers of the islands of Brac and Hvar, as well as the inland Dalmatian town of Imotski, includes journalists from Croatia, Germany, Poland, Austria, Finland, Switzerland, Hungary, Russia, Spain, Luxembourg, UK, Israel, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Serbia, Denmark, Macedonia and Indonesia, with Decanter Master of Wine Angela Muir MW perhaps the most high profile member of the group.
Magdalena and Sasa Senjkovic (centre  right) with journalist Ana Rogac. One of only three wineries o...
Magdalena and Sasa Senjkovic (centre, right) with journalist Ana Rogac. One of only three wineries on Brac, Senjkovic has established itself as one of Croatia's most exciting wineries in just five years.
Ana Rogac
The first port of call was the island of Brac, whose world-famous stone can be found in buildings such as The White House in Washington, and which is providing inspiration for the renaissance of the island's wine fortunes. Once literally covered in vineyards and exporting internationally before a devastating attack of phylloxera, today the island has just three professional winemakers.
Of these three, two are very new arrivals on the wine scene, and the group was introduced to the spectacular success of the young Senjkovic winery over a fine dinner at Konoba Kopacina in Dojni Humac, where Magdalena and Sasa presented their small but impressive range of wines from indigenous range, including their latest addition, a sparkling Kuc.
If a winery could wine an award for location  there would be few to beat the Jako Vino winery on the...
If a winery could wine an award for location, there would be few to beat the Jako Vino winery on the fabled waterfront in Bol on the island of Brac.
After an overnight stay in the tourist resort of Bol, most famous for its iconic beach, the party took a tour of the other new arrival on the Brac wine scene, Jako Vino and its range of Stina wines, which have also quickly become established as some of the premier wines in Dalmatia.
'Stina' is a traditional word for stone, and the winery's image is reflected in the rich stone tradition of Brac. The importance of stone and the harsh agricultural conditions were best reflected in the presentation of the Grabica vineyard, which has been transformed from barren wasteland of boulders and shrubbery into an impressive 50-hectare vineyard, the highest on the island, whose soil is completely covered by crushed stones. Prepared by the Jako Vino project, the vineyard is now in its fifth year and has yielded three harvests so far.
The first wine cooperative in Dalmatia in Bol has been transformed by the Stina project in the last ...
The first wine cooperative in Dalmatia in Bol has been transformed by the Stina project in the last five years.
The tour continued with a visit to the Stina winery, gorgeously located on the Bol waterfront and housed in the oldest cooperative in Dalmatia, founded in 1903. The beginning of the century was a golden era for Dalmatian wines, and the Bol cooperative was a symbol of that, as Brac wines were exported all over Europe, but the arrival of phylloxera not only destroyed the wine industry almost overnight, but led to mass emigration from the region due to the ensuing economic difficulties.
The award-winning Stina labels  which consist of a blank  stone canvas with embossed wine name.
The award-winning Stina labels, which consist of a blank, stone canvas with embossed wine name.
Ana Rogac
The efforts of Senjkovic and Jako Vino herald a new era in Brac winemaking, and the assembled international party were clearly impressed by the emerging range of wines, which were dominated by indigenous varieties such as the white varieties of Posip and Vugava, as well as Dalmatia's most important red variety, Plavac Mali.
In addition to awards for its wines, Jako Vino has enjoyed success with its unusual label, winning awards for its blank stone canvas and embossed wine name. See the video below.
A short catamaran ride from Bol brought the party to Jelsa on the island of Hvar, an island with a wine tradition dating back more than 2,400 years to the arrival of the Ancient Greeks, and the only island in the world with 4 UNESCO heritages. Legendary Hvar winemaker Andro Tomic welcomed the group in his imperious Romanesque cellars in Jelsa, before Hvar WIne Association President Ivana Krstulovic Caric guided the journalists through a comprehensive tour of the wines of the Hvar Wine Association, including Caric, PZ Svirce, Tomic, Zlatan Otok, Marijan, Pinjata and Vujnovic, before the evening concluded with dinner at Kod None in the wine village of Svirce.
Tomic  together with Hvar Wine Association President Ivana Krstulovic Caric  welcomed the group befo...
Tomic, together with Hvar Wine Association President Ivana Krstulovic Caric, welcomed the group before presenting a range of the association's wines.
The tour continues today with visits to Hvar winemakers in Vrboska, Svirce and Sveta Nedjelja, before a return to the mainland and the town of Imotski.
More about brac croatia, hvar, zagreb vinocom, dalmatia, hvar wine association
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