Written by Adela Gizdić & Adela Visković
The Imotski area is becoming a more established tourism destination which, along with natural sights, offers a lines of indigenous local products, one of them being local wines. The Imotski viticulture region is most known by the Kujundžuša variety, cultivated on 90 percent of all surfaces, giving fresh, light and flaunting wines.
It is interesting that lately the trend is to produce red wines similar in freshness and elegance to Bordeaux and Istrian red wines than Dalmatian. The desire for new experiences and travel recently brought a group of WOW members to this area. Destination: wineries Grabovac and Šimunović. Grabovac vineyards are found all over the Imotski area, but the newest and probably the most beautiful is the one on Vučje Drage location at 440 metres above sea level, with an astounding view of the Imotski valley. The experience in production of grapes and wine has been handed down for two hundred years, witnessed by a recognition from 1812 they received for their wines from the Napoleonic French authorities. A new beginning of the family tradition dates to 1992, among the pioneers of Croatian winemaking. Today Grabovac is the largest wine name of this area, but also the larger area of middle Dalmatia. They own a modern winery with a modern tasting room offering 16 respectable labels, wines from many varieties such as : Kujundžuša, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Žilavka, Pinot Gris, Trnjak, Vranac, Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah… with the most renowned being a red wine named Modro Jezero (Blue Lake).
Besides the listed still wines, the Grabovac family was the first in Dalmatia to begin producing sparkling wines – white and rosé. Believe it or not, but with tasty bites of Dalmatian slow food – prosciutto and cheese, the hosts offered to WOW members a tasting of 13 different wines. It was hard to choose a favourite as all of them, starting with the sparkling, to fresh whites, rosé and aged reds – left an exceptional impression whether in scent or taste. Father Ante Grabovac and sons, one of them a young agronomist, the other an economist, once again confirm the fact that a harmonious and hardworking family is the best foundation of a successful private business.
Full of impressions, the WOW girls toured the town and unavoidable lakes: Red and Blue. The road led them to Glavina Donja and the Šimunović winery. The hosts welcomed their guests outside the building – Tihomir Šimunović and his spokesperson, wife Nada. The Šimunović family are young winemakers, planting their own vineyards in 2005. On an area of 1.5 hectares, they have vines of Kujundžuša, Vranac, Merlot, Trnjak and Cabernet Sauvignon. The mentioned varieties are complemented by Chardonnay, Žilavka, Pošip and Syrah. They have built a cellar with a tasting room where they promote their wines with Dalmatian food baked under a bell and other delicacies.
Various wines were enjoyed, from a refreshing Kujundžuša, harmonious Bili Vuk – coupage of Chardonnay and Žilavka, Šimun rosé, to a red Šimun (coupage of Trnjak, Vranac, Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah). Kujundžuša and red Šimun are superior, often awarded wines both locally and beyond. The Šimunović family certainly has a successful future, especially when their four sons come of age and help their parents in their wine journey. It was a glorious and generous day for the WOW girls. They enjoyed both the extraordinary tastes of wine and wonderful homemade food and the sunny and warm weather, heading home happy and satisfied.
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