In Dalmatia, pomalo is shorthand for the laidback way of life. And, now in its second season, Pomalo is a line of accessible Croatian wines made by Boris Mrgudić of the Bura-Mrgudić family of winemakers on the Pelješac and Nick Gee of Heaps Good Wine Company in Slovenia.
The partners collaborated on eight wines made primarily for the U.S. market, but available in a few locations in Croatia. The idea was to create a line of “more accessible natural wines—stylistically a little more conservative than our counterparts’,” said Nick Gee on the phone from Slovenia. Overall, though, Gee likes to avoid the word natural because few people agree on what it means.
For the Pomalo wines, some of the grapes are organic, some of the wines are filtered, and the sulfite levels are 30 to 60 ppm. Call them natural-leaning. Grapes are sourced from around Croatia, and the wines are made at one of two large wineries in Dalmatia and Slavonia.
The wines are meant to be low in price, simple and fresh, and avoid the more challenging aspects of some natural wines. In the end, says Mrgudić, “wine has become a bit too elite—wine is made to drink, to refresh, to have fun.”
The line consists of two pet-nat sparkling wines, three whites, a hard-to-get rosé and two reds. In Croatia you may find a bottle at Sopal restaurant in Zagreb, at Corto Maltese and Professor Thrill in Split or at Mrgudić’s Peninsula Wine Bar on the Pelješac. In New York, try Wild Wines and Slope Cellars (Brooklyn), Grape Collective (Manhattan), Adega Wine and Astoria Wine (Astoria); in New Jersey, Jerry’s Gourmet, Riverview Wines or Madame Claude Wine.