Babić of Primošten

Babić is almost a synonym for Primošten and there is hardly a person traveling south of Primošten that does not notice the remarkable vineyards at Bucavac near Kremik Marina. This lace of stone walls and patches of soil is one of the most memorable images of Dalmatia and stands as a symbol of our hard work and the life in Dalmatia in general.

I had a great honor and privilege to be invited by my friend Marko Pavlak of Primošten (Manager for Korta Katarina wines) to visit this wonderful region and to see how to create a Wine tour of Babic that can be offered to wine aficionados visiting Šibenik, Zadar and Split region.

Bucavac

We started the journey at the Bucavac hill just above the Kremik marina. This, now mythical landscape is the way how it should be: olive trees are getting pulled out and wine is re-claiming its old positions. The soil is hard to get to here as almost everything is rock! That’s why the wine growers created this net of small patches of soil surrounded by the low stone walls. Another benefit of this way of building vineyards is that the stone walls get heated during the day and preserve the heat for most of the night.

Bucavac is now under a special protection and all 50 or so owners of vineyards there are following a strict procedure to preserve this treasure under the scientific supervision and even the government is helping out as much as they can. The brand of Bucavac Babic will soon be a very specific brand of Babic from Primosten as one of the top wines in Dalmatia.

Origins of Babić are now known and it has been confirmed that it is a clone of Dobričić grape but the story goes that it got it’s name after an old lady (baba in Croatian) who was first to plant it. Well known authority on Dalmatian wines. Mr. Stjepan Bulić was long puzzled by the origins of this wine but never got any specific answers. He also found that Babić was grown in Sali on Dugi Otok under the name babina or babinka and around Biograd and Betina it was called babica. And that was back in 1925. It was planted as south as Korcula after the great “phylloxera plague” in the late 19th century.

Stipe Gašperov vineyard

And then we headed inland to see where the true and authentic Dalmatia still lives!

Only several people are now commercially producing Babic and we visited the most important ones. After Gašperov, we headed to Primošten to meet Mr. Žuvan who was just finishing some works in his vineyard.

Mr. Žuvan at his property

Mr. Žuvan only produces one wine: Babić Žuki.
But what a wine! This is great wine that has everything a great wine should have! I do think that there is room for improvement but this is simply one powerful wine with certain grace to it that keeps me puzzled.
With limited production and distribution, this wine is very hard to find!

Žuki at the table

The last stop was at probably the most serious local winemaker – Leo Gracin. Leo was not at home but his father, a walking encyclopedia of knowledge of Babic, was there to show us the cellar and to tell us the story of their wine but Babic wine in general.
Gracin family produces Babic and Opol (or Rose) which are both traditionally produced in this region.

Gracin Babić and Opol

We ended the tour at a local restaurant “Kamenar” in downtown Primošten run by friends of Marko. Opening Žuki and enjoying some hard cheese and olives was a great ending to this great and amazing day!

The story of Babic is yet to be told. These are just shy attempts to keep the awareness and this special wine that is definitely going to make a strong appearance in the future as it was an important wine decades back… The first step would be to bring it back to the tables in all the local restaurants and to have it as a major souvenir from this region.

For visiting the vineyards of Babć, contact us at info@secretdalmatia.com

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