Our wine cruise portion of our Croatia tours started yesterday under glorious skies. Our 100′ vessel stayed close to the coastline for some spectacular viewing from the sun deck. We met the crew and enjoyed our lunch and looked forward to our first winery visits. We docked on time in the small village of Trstenik, (100+ inhabitants) and walked 10 minutes to the Grgich Winery where the winemaker and his wife gave us a tour and tasting of the only 2 wines they produce: a prosip, a very fragrant dry white ( I bought a bottle for my shared tasting when I return) and their well known plavec mali, the grape that is supposedly the relative of our zinfandel.
Then our 2 mini vans showed up on schedule and took us on the 10 minute drive (uphill) to the Matuska winery. While Grgich only produces 50,000 bottles a year, Matuska is much larger, but I personally didn’t think their quality matched the Grgich wines. After a light dinner we returned to our ship and had a very peaceful evening as we overnighted in the harbor. We left at 8am for Vela Luca on the island of Korcula and arrived about 1pm. After a delicious lunch of red fish, and popping the corks of some sparkling wine to celebrate the wedding anniversary of the Birminghams, faithful repeat travelers, we were free to explore this ‘bustling’ community of 4000 people until dinner tonight at a harborside restaurant. I’m looking forward to the restaurant owner’s homemade wines, olive oil and bread to accompany our meal.
Tomorrow morning we leave on our odyssey to find the best wines in Croatia. I thank tour alumnus Len Gulino for sending me a link about Italian protests over the Croatian wine Prosek, claiming it too closely ressembles the spelling of prosecco. Having already tried 2 proseks, I can attest to the Croatian arguments that the wine has absolutely nothing in common with prosecco and has been in production far longer than Italy’s wine. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as Croatia plans to join the EU soon.