Nenad Trifunovic

Black Island Winery – Renaissance of Pošip on Smokvica

As we search for wine, grapevine searches for water. Especially in Dalmatia. We have found ourselves on the island of Korčula where It turns out that nature took care of everything.

Humans’ duty was to help shape it into a form that bears fruit. These freshwater ponds were called Merga Victa back in time when Latin was the official language in Dalmatia. It means “a path for water”, something valued beyond thirst, as it also enabled food on the table.

And the wine was always considered both food and drink here. It was here, in the village of Smokvica where local variety Pošip was discovered. It took over a century for Pošip to become the most planted white variety in Dalmatia.

This is very fast in terms of the winegrowing tradition on Korčula island. Because heritage goes deep around here.

Winery “Smokvica” was one of the oldest in the region. Today, Swedish financial fund “Zhoda Investments” breathe new life into the former winery, governed by Robert Karlsson and two gifted oenologists, Igor Radovanović and Nikola Mirošević.

Their Merga Victa Pošip is a harmonious and fresh white wine with floral aromas spiced up with Mediterranean herbs but also citrusy and stone fruits aromas. This is a modern face of Pošip, to be paired better with many of the dishes.

It may be fresh and approachable when young but it is a structured wine with potential for development in bottle. Most importantly, it keeps all the character and flavors of Pošip from the village of Smokvica.

The reason lies in the fact that grapes are grown by small family producers in what is traditionally considered to be the best sites for growing Pošip.

These 25 local family farmers have been growing grapes for generations. All vineyard work is done by hand, harvest including. Harvest time is done early in the morning in order to preserve the freshness in the grapes.

Handpicked grapes are then manually selected upon arrival in the cellar. Perfectly healthy grapes are cooled, crushed and pressed with minimum pressure. Fermentation is controlled and after fermentation, the wine is racked off from gross lees. Two months of stirring the fine lees really fills the mid-palate and extracts the Pošip character.

If you walk up to a hill to overlook a total of 200 vineyards in a village of Smokvica, your Merga Victa Pošip will never taste the same to You. Vines for Merga Victa are at least 15-year-old and the selected grapes are grown in three different soil types. Some of the elders on the island believe it’s the combination of red soil, sandy soil and rocky soil responsible for achieving the right balance.

They might be onto something 🙂 A lifetime of enjoying Pošip brings wisdom. As we part from our hosts in Merga Victa winery, we remembered “This is not a goodbye, this is a thank you.” 😀

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