Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Croatia Wines Sweep International Awards

                               Korcula Island boasts two of Europe's highest scoring wines

Wine-Knows' leasing of a private yacht in Croatia next year couldn’t be more perfectly timed.   Decanter Magazine (the European equivalent of Wine Spectator) has released its annual World Wine Awards, the globe’s largest and one of the most influential wine competitions.  Decanter has a rigorous analysis process where wines are judged by panels of hundreds of experts including wine critics, retailers and winemakers.  Croatia’s wines were some of the highest-scoring wines of the entire competition.

                         We'll board our yacht next September--- only 1 or 2 spaces are available

I’ve got even better news for the “hottie yachties” with confirmed spots on the Croatian yacht:   the stars of Decanters awards were all coastal wines from Croatia.   But, the story keeps getting better:  two of the three wines with nearly perfect scores (97 out of 100) are from an island that Wine-Knows will be visiting on the yacht, Korcula.   Another winner’s circle Decanter wine is from Hvar island…which Wine-Knows will also be visiting. 

                                             This producer's GRK stole the show

It isn’t by chance that Wine-Knows’ itinerary includes both of these islands.  Korcula has long been known for production of under-the-radar but world-class wines.   The island’s stunning wines remain basically unknown for a mixture of reasons.  First, production is small.  Second, the wines are made from native grape varietals that are only grown on Korcula.  Third, who would buy a wine made from a grape they can’t even pronounce such as “Grk?”   Wine-Knows would!  We love the complex white wine made from this unknown grape!

                                 Like Grk, Posip is a grape varietal only grown in Croatia

Korcula, however, isn’t a one-trick wine pony.  Another 97 point Decanter wine is made from the Posip grape, an indigenous varietal to coastal Croatia. The white wine made from Posip can be rich and exotic.  On the reconnaissance trip to select the yacht, a Posip wine from Korcula really rocked my world.  While it wasn’t on Decanter’s final list, it still remains indelibly etched in my wine memory bank.

                         One of Croatia's 10 Michelin star restaurants is located on Korcula

But, Korcula island isn’t just about exemplary wine.  It’s also a foodies’ paradise:  Korcula boasts one of the few Michelin star restaurants in Croatia, and its olive oil and cheeses are well known.  Perhaps the island’s most famous claim to fame, however, is the fact that it was the birthplace of 13th century explorer Marco Polo.

                      Plavac Mali, indigenous to Croatia, is the parent grape of Zinfandel

Hvar island is home to another of Decanter's highest scoring wines.   Unlike the two Korcula whites, this award-winner is a red wine made from the only-grown-in-Croatia grape, Plavic Mali.  DNA research has shown Plavic Mali to be one of the parents of Zinfandel (the other being Dobricic, another native grape from Croatia).  Age-worthy Plavic Mali produces complex rich reds.

                           The doorway to a private Croatian yacht awaits 1-2 more travelers

While the second week on the yacht is sold out with a full waiting list, there is a spot for one or two persons on the first week, September 2-9, 2023:





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