The Croatian red wine Plavac Mali now has its own international day of celebration, thanks to two U.S.-based champions of Croatian wine. The first International Plavac Mali Day is set for 21 September and will offer dinners, tastings and other events.
International Plavac Mali Day is organized by Aroma Wine Co. and Croatian Premium Wine Imports, with public and private partners, to promote appreciation of Croatia’s Plavac Mali wines around the world. The events are designed for the increasing number of American and other visitors to Croatia, Croatians living outside their country and curious wine lovers around the world.
Anna Viducic of the wine promotion firm Aroma Wine Co., based in New York, wants consumers to know that “Plavac Mali is not one-size-fits-all. It comes in an array of styles. There is the Plavac Mali that’s a quaffer, a sippable light red wine you can chill and enjoy as is, in the first year of bottling. And there is the more complex Plavac Mali that’s maybe seen a little oak, that’s a little heavier and that needs to age. You just have to find what you like.” The grape is also increasingly used for rosé wines.
Viducic hopes to draw even more participants to future celebrations. “I’m hoping that at some point we could have all the Croatian-U.S. wine importers in one room and maybe create some sort of cultural and wine event in the main cities. That is where I hope this will go,” Viducic says.
Croatian Premium Wine Imports is a Boston-based import and distribution company that offers American consumers direct ordering from their website of Croatian wines.
For more information about International Plavac Mali Day and scheduled activities, see the Facebook page.
Plavac Mali is a black grape variety indigenous to Dalmatia, and grown there almost exclusively, supported by the region’s strong sunlight and hot, dry growing season. One of Plavac Mali’s parent grapes is Tribidrag (also known as Crljenak Kaštelanski) which has proven to be genetically identical to Zinfandel and the southern Italian grape Primitivo. Plavac produces juicy, generally full-bodied wines, often with ample alcohol and tannins, although some producers now lean toward more accessible wines that are lighter and offer typical flavors of ripe black cherries and wild herbs. The grape is grown throughout coastal Dalmatia, where the island of Hvar and the Pelješac peninsula are especially known for top wines. On the Pelješac, two delineated regions grow exclusively Plavac Mali, and these place names may appear on the wine label: Dingač and Postup.
[Title photo: Plavac Mali vines in Dingač, on the Pelješac peninsula, grow on some of Croatia’s steepest slopes, leading down to the sea. Staff/CCM]