Grapes of North Dalmatia – Debit and Babic

Talking about wine, we usually focus on the bottled stuff, labels, prices…but rarely anyone talks or shows the grapes that are the source of this precious liquid. Although we all know that Babic is red and Debit is white, I am sure that very few would be able to recognize them in the vineyard.

So, last week in Grabovci, hinterland of Vodice, I went to the vineyard with my cousin to see the grapes before the harvest. Although I have been there many times as a kid, I never paid attention to the actual sorts of grapes. I only knew that marastina grows berries very densely and that was it.

DEBIT

After searching all over, I still know very little of the debit grapes… Most I know comes from what Alen Bibic told me: local grape that got it’s name after the Croatians opted to pay Napoleon’s taxes with a certain wine grape. So, the debt became Debit
No one knows exactly what it was called before then, but ever since, the grape and the wine made from it, have been known as Debit.

Debit grapes
Debit grapes
Debit grapes
Debit grapes

As you can see, it is the time of the harvest and the locals are clearing the leaves to make grapes receive all the sun possible…

Nearby, the Babic is grown as well…

Typical Northern Dalmatian vineyard
Typical Northern Dalmatian vineyard

BABIC

Another very important indigenous variety is famous Babic. Although the best Babic grows on the rocky slopes of Bucavac hill near Primosten, this grape is known and grows well in other areas of Šibenik region. The land in Grabaovac is fertile and “thick” compared to only patches of soil on Bucavac so Babic is quite different here…

Babic
Babic

Babic is probably the best known grape variety North of Split area. There are 54 grape sorts in Croatia producing 620 types of different wines. Babic is on of the best known along with Malvasia and Plavac Mali. Many others have disappeared or can be found only by extensive research in oldest vineyards.

Babic
Babic

Situation in wine producing is not the brightest and my cousin has trouble selling Debit at 5 Kn per kilo although it is under the standard 7 Kn.
He also considers leaving wine making for good as this is more of a pleasure than an extra income but he does not need problems with selling the grapes after the hard work… So, there may be another almond post or fig post in the next few years from this same location.

Wine tours in Croatia

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