Whether you're visiting Dubrovnik for just a few days or longer, you should plan to visit the most famous wine region of Croatia - a beautiful peninsula of Peljesac. Explore the wine lands of Peljesac and visit its best wineries. In this one day trip we recommend to visit our favourite 6 wineries, have lunch at the vineyard and go for a scuba diving trip to visit an incredible underwater cellar.
Peljesac is a synonym for good wine. It is associated with Dingac and Postup both protected geographical locations. It is an area in which plavac mali reigns, but also all the other natural riches that hard-working hands transform into prosecco, liqueurs, rakija, and virgin olive oil. The name plavac mali refers to the small blue grapes that the vines produce. In Croatian plavo means blue, plavac refers to 'what is blue' and mali means small. The above average climatic conditions, supreme coastal locations and rocky and the well-drained hillsides is the perfect environment for the plavac mali grape and allows it to "suffer" slightly on the vine. It is this "suffering," combined with the abundance of olive trees, local fruits, flowers and wild herbs, that produce the beauty of local wines. The results are full-bodied, deeply colored wines that taste of dried cherries, hints of raspberries and other earthy characteristics.
Peljesac is also a synonym for the highest quality shellfish. Oysters and mussels from the Mali Ston bay are appreciated around the world, then there is the richness of fish and homemade products from family-owned agro tourism - all leading you to a unique gastronomic world.
If you are one of the adventurous wine lovers, you should leave from Dubrovnik early in the morning and start your day with a unique experience by visiting Edivo Wines underwater cellar. The story of Edivo wines started 12 years ago. When two friends decided to make something different. They wanted to make wine in Amphoras that they will submerge into the Adriatic Sea. On the sunny slopes of the Peljesac peninsula, premium wine Plavac Edivo is produced with a great deal of care and love. The wine ages in bottles for three months, and later on wines go into the amphora that is aged for two years under the sea. After it has been bottled and placed in a terracotta amphora, it is sunken under the sea to the depth of 18–25 meters. All of them are perfectly stored, laid on its cork and scattered in several locations of Peljesac aquatorium. The result is a perfect thermal condition, creating a beautiful layer of shells, corals and algae.
All dives are supervised and it's necessary to request this type of experience a little bit ahead as you can visit the cellar only with a prior appointment. Please, don’t miss a chance to taste local oyster, or two or a dozen when visiting this winery.
- Certified divers - one dive
- Uncertified divers - Discovery scuba dive - two dives, 1st dive a training dive, 2nd dive to the winery
- Scuba dive underwater cellar visit
- Tasting: Edivo Q, Edivo Dingac, grappa of your choice & tapas (prosciutto, cheese, olives, anchovies, shrimps and local oysters).
- Estimated tasting cost: €5 to €11
- Estimated cost of scuba diving: €70 to €105
Only about 10 min drive from Edivo winery, there is a famous winery Grgic Vina. Probably some of you heard of Grgich Hills, now it’s time to discover Grgic Vina. Every wine enthusiast on this planet knows of a famous Judgment of Paris in 1976 when a Chardonnay Chateau Montelena beat the very best wines in France in now famous blind tasting. For years, everybody in the world believed that only French soils could produce great wines, but this tasting shattered that myth. This event that stunned the wine world, catapulted the Napa Valley into the front ranks of the leading wine producing regions of the world. Well, did you know that Croat Mike Grgich (Croatian: Miljenko Grgic) crafted this winning Chardonnay for Chateau Monetelena? Mike actually comes from this region and in 1996 he established Grgic Vina Winery in Croatia together with his daughter and his nephew Ivo. Grgic Vina concentrates on crafting Croatia’s very best varietals plavac mali (red wine) and posip (white wine).
- Tasting: Plavac and Posip wines
- Estimated cost: €6 to €10
The Madirazza family has been making wine for the last 25 years. Ante Madirazza was the director of a large cooperative winery before he founded his own winery. The winery owns 11 hectares of local grape varieties - plavac mali, posip, rukatac and grk, producing now around 160.000 bottles of red, white and rose wines, specialized in red wines, especially the dingac wine. If you are lucky enough, you might catch up with the owner of this winery and enjoy his guitar playing.
- Tasting: Rukatac, Posip, Postup, Dingac
- Estimated cost: €4
Not far away from the Madirazza you should visit the Matusko Winery. Visiting the Matusko wine cellar definitely will be an everlasting memory, especially when paired with their great wines. This winery also produces cold pressed extra virgin Matusko Olive oil that is rich and full, slightly peppery taste. If olive oil fan don’t forget to grab a bottle or two.
- Tasting: Posip, Plavac, Prosek (dessert wine), Visnjevaca (liquor), Loza (grappa)
- Estimated cost: €3.5 to €9
Lunch at the winery Korta Katarina
Visiting a stunning winery Korta Katarina is a MUST. This place is a wine lovers dream. Korta Katarina was set up in 2006 by Mr. Lee R. Anderson, who fell in love with the Croatian coast. Korta Katarina is one of the highest rates local wineries. They make wines from the Dingac and Postup regions of the Peljesac peninsula. Korta Katarina produces wines that are rich in flavor and high in both alcohol and tannins.
- VIP tasting: guided tour of the winery, an explanation of production process, followed with a wine tasting of 4 KK premium wines (Pošip, Rose, Plavac Mali & Reuben's Private Reserve). Wines are served with local delicacies. Price per person - $300 Kunas / $46.00 US Dollars per person
- Gastro - a 5 course lunch or dinner paired with 5 KK premium wines (Sabion, Pošip, Rose, Plavac Mali & Reuben's Private Reserve). A complete overview of the wine making process and grape varieties. Gastro experience lasts about two hours.Price per person - $700 Kunas / $107.50 US Dollars
Saint Hills winery
The Saints Hills winery, a stunning estate is an old stone house in a little village of Oskorušno. This Estate actually used to be a winery, but its owners went on a quest for a better life over the ocean, leaving their winery to sleep for 80 years. The Saints Hills winery produces highly individual wines from a number of different localities, guided by an enterprising oenological team led by French specialist Michel Rolland.
Saints Hills’ wonderful dingac is aged in barrels for 18-24 months. Saints Hills’ Sveti Roko, a plavac made with grapes from vineyards at Komarna, just opposite Peljesac on the Dalmatian mainland, came fifth in Time Out’s ‘Battle of the Bottle’ annual wine-tasting weekend in 2013. Roko, a plavac made with grapes from vineyards at Komarna, just opposite Peljesac on the Dalmatian mainland, came fifth in Time Out’s ‘Battle of the Bottle’ annual wine-tasting weekend in 2013. They also make St Heels, a rosé made from the local plavac mali; and the white Nevina, a blend of malvasia and chardonnay that originates from Saints Hills’ vineyards at Radovani in Istria. Saints Hills’ brand-new wine cellar and tasting centre stands on the edge of an ancient-looking hill village in the heart of the Peljesac peninsula. Concrete and wooden barrels fill several halls at the bottom of the building; while the tasting rooms and restaurant on the top floor offer wonderful views of the Peljesac country side.
“Vinaria” is also a place to stay, with couple of luxury rooms made to meet high expectations of the guests, and to spoil them, fulfilling the experience of this old stone house with everything a modern person needs.
- Tasting four wines paired with tapas
- Estimated cost: €40 to €200
From here you have two great options:
- If you really enjoyed your stay in this wonderful wine region you can stay overnight in Trpanj, a small charming fishing village that is a perfect base to explore many wineries in this region. We can arrange your stay in a beautiful 250 year old stone house villa. Contact us for more info. In that case do not miss having a wonderful dinner at Tuna Bar, owned by a local charismatic fisherman and enjoy their tuna specialties.
- If you option to head back to Dubrovnik, our recommendation is to stop for a dinner at the restaurant Kapetanova Kuca and taste their amazing traditional black risotto and local oysters.
For your next visit to Croatia, if you are a wine lover, we highly recommend to do our Uncorked wine sailing adventure. Undoubtedly, there is no better way to enjoy the wine tasting than by sailing and hopping to a different island every day in Croatia.
Normally we set our sails from Split and enjoy the splendid beauty of a few different islands, including Hvar, Brac, Korcula and explore the most famous and our favourite Croatian wine region - Peljesac. The highlight of this trip is visiting a small boutique winery Vicelic and having a private lunch in the middle of the vineyard (top photo) hosted by the winery owner and his wife. Young Mateo Vicelic has dedicated himself to revitalising this stunning limestone vineyard site that slopes from 1800 feet down to the coast. Mateo’s great grandfather achieved acclaim for the full bodied red wine from the native plavac mali grape, a relative of zinfandel, but the war years and subsequent austerity made winemaking for anything other than personal use not viable. Now producing only 10,000 bottles from 3.5ha, but with plans to replant some of the additional 6ha in family ownership, there are just two wines produced, the early drinking, medium-bodied and aromatic red plavac, and the more serious and age worthy dingac. Mateo’s wines are also part of the selection of the oldest wine and spirit merchant in the UK - Berry Bross & Rudd. Mateo’s wine is powerfully smooth, with sweet dark cherry and plum flavours retaining the freshness breezing into the Adriatic hillsides.
Croatia has over 130 autochthon grape varieties, which puts Croatia near the top of the list of countries by the number of autochthon grape varieties. On this sailing trip, you will enjoy the many different wines and flavours that Croatia has to offer. Usually we sail during Croatia’s grape harvest season, which usually starts in late August and lasts until October. Keep an eye on our upcoming events to see our next available wine trip if you are travelling solo or team up with your friends and we can organize a private uncorked tour just for you.
Zivjeli! Cheers! (English pronouncion Zhee-ve-lee)