Croatian Wine on the Rise
The southernmost wine region in Croatia, Dalmatia is bordered to the west by the Adriatic Sea, the east by Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the south by Montenegro. It encompasses the towns of Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik and Zadar.
The warm, sunny climate is ideal for the cultivation of rich and fruity white wines made from Pošip, Debit and Maraština grapes. Red wine varieties include Babić and Plavac Mali. Some of the most important appellations are the Pelješac peninsula and the subregions of Dingač and Postup.
Notable producers include Grgić Vina Winery, owned by Dalmatian-born winemaker Mike Grgich. After immigrating to California, Grgich rose to stardom in 1976 when his Chateau Montelena Chardonnay won first prize at the “Judgment of Paris.”
Americans Lee & Penny Anderson founded Korta Katarina Winery after visiting war-ravaged Dalmatia to help rebuild schools and infrastructure. The winery is named for their daughter Katharine and the Croatian word for garden.
Ernest Tolj founded Saints Hills Winery in 2006 and enlisted consultant Michel Rolland to make wine from Croatian and European grape varieties in an international style.
Suha Punta and Pilizota are known for their wines made from red Babić grapes, and Bibich is known for producing excellent wines from European varieties. Zlatan, on the island of Hvar, makes crisp, clean whites and full-bodied Plavac Mali reds.