Plavac Mali is one of Croatia’s best known grapes. Plavac Mali, is actually a cross between Crljenak Kastelanski (an ancestral Zinfandel) and Dobričić grapes, and it is the most popular red wine grape grown along the coast of Dalmatia in Croatia. Plavac grows and gives best results on the southern slopes of Hvar Island and especially on the fields of Zavala, Ivan-Dolac i Sveta Nedjelja. The images bellow are courtesy of my friend Ante Lacman from Hvar.
Archaeological finds show that the grapes were grown on Hvar 2500 years ago and even the Greek colonizers of Hvar, who brought the grapes to Croatia, enjoyed the wines of ancient Pharos colony
Hvar was always famous for good wine but it was considered even a crime not to put water in wine while drinking! The story goes that the people ridiculed drunks and it was considered very inappropriate to be seen drunk in public.
People of Hvar always lived of their fields and vineyards were particularly important. The steep slopes of southern side of Hvar are positioned in such manner that the grape gets the most sunshine. Some vineyards are as high as 626m above the sea level and special techniques for working in these conditions as well as a special type of mattock were developed. Hard work but producing grapes of superb quality!
Today, Plavac is famous due to several local producers who are really bringing the best out of it so pick up a bottle of Plenković, Tomić, Duboković…or any other plavac you find to enjoy a bit of Dalmatian sunshine from these wonderful fields.