Wine & More

Komarna: Croatia’s newest wine appellation you must-visit!

Komarna, the youngest wine appellation in Croatia, located on the stunning Dalmatian coast between the historic cities of Split and Dubrovnik, has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first entirely ecologically certified region in the country. 

However, the region’s transformation has been remarkable as it was once just a barren land of rocks and macchia, abundant with Mediterranean herbs and medicinal plants. 

The birth of Komarna – the youngest Croatian appellation


Komarna, before 2006, was full of wild vegetation and is now known as one of the premier wine-growing regions in Croatia, especially for Plavac mali grapes. The back-breaking work of crushing stones has paved the way for vineyards to grow amidst the sage and rosemary, creating some of Croatia’s best wines. The entire region is eco-certified, setting a necessary standard for sustainable winemaking.

This success has come with challenges! Komarna’s rugged limestone rock makes vineyard management essential as the vines’ roots struggle to survive. Even for the Plavac Mali grape variety, accustomed to Dalmatian tough growing conditions. Although the dolomite soil on the Pelješac peninsula across from Komarna has a similar composition, the limestone rocks of Komarna do not allow water retention, which is why dry periods on Komarna are critical. Wineries collect rainwater to irrigate the vineyards. Despite these challenges, Komarna’s sage and rosemary-scented vineyards continue to produce exceptional wines.

Komarna appellation unique terroir

Source: Volarević winery

The vineyards in the Komarna region have perfect wine-growing conditions, and wines produced there has a special terroir imprint. The vineyard is situated on a limestone slope ranging from 50 to 180 meters above sea level and enjoys up to 45% gradient. 

With its south-southwest orientation, proximity to the sea, and excellent aeration, the vineyard is ideal for ecological cultivation, requiring minimal protective treatments such as copper and sulfur. 

The microclimate is favorable, providing ample sunshine hours, with the sun’s reflection from the sea and large limestone surfaces contributing to above-average insolation. The soil, a combination of red soil and rocks, further enhances the quality of the vineyard’s produce.

Komarna’s unique position and soil composition offer ideal conditions for terroir wine production, with temperature variations and a constant breeze preventing diseases on the vines. 

The high minerality of the soil dramatically influences the wine’s taste. At harvest time, Komarna wines boast higher acidity levels, a remarkable feat for southern regions. 

That may be why Plavac Mali from Komarna is different, elegant with pronounced red fruit notes, more mature tannins, and less jam and plum notes, but concentrated and powerful as those from renowned Dingač and Postup appellations

Notable producers from the Komarna appellation

Terra madre
Source: Terra Madre winery

Wineries Rizman, Volarević, Terra Madre, and Saints Hills (this winery also produces wine that scored a mind-blowing 99 of 100 points in Wine enthusiast!) grow grapes here for one of its best labels – Sv. Roko , are fighting in a friendly competition for national prestige.

Notable wineries from the Komarna wine region are

Native varieties from the Komarna appellation

All wineries in the Komarna wine region are certified for organic production or are going in that direction because of the biodiversity preserved there. It provides natural balance, while soil and microclimate conditions allow cultivation without pesticides of all sorts.

In Komarna, almost exclusively indigenous varieties are grown. The predominance of

  • Plavac Mali in red varieties,
  • followed by its genetic ancestor Tribidrag (also known as Crljenak, Primitivo, Zinfandel)
  • and white varieties, Pošip and 
  • Rukatac (Maraština)

Komarna’s Pošip styles range from fresh and fruity to more structured options. Among the top bargains are the Pošip wines produced by Volarević and Rizman, which boast refreshing crispness and are characterized by notes of pineapple, white peach, and a subtle hint of saltiness. Terra Madre Pošip and Plavac Mali wines offer excellent varietal examples, providing a flavor profile that caters to a wide range of palates. 

Rizman’s Tribidrag, also called Crljenak, Zinfandel, and Primitivo, is sold out in advance, and their Plavac Mali Primus is one of the longest-living wines in Croatia.

Pošip wines from Rizman winery are awarded and recognizable among wine lovers. More and more people talk about the wine-tasting experience, the viewpoint with one of the most beautiful views of the vineyards and the neighboring Pelješac peninsula, as well as authentic cuisine and gourmet oil from Rizman’s olives.

Source: Rizman winery

Rizman also produces a barrel-fermented Pošip wine called Nonno, blended with a hint of Viognier. Nonno has a luscious mouthfeel and velvety flavor profile reminiscent of Mersault. Enthusiasts of full-bodied, well-defined white wines will find this wine an essential tasting experience.

Volarević has been experimenting with harvest dates and aging vessels for years. It has paid off with the Volarević Plavac Mali Platinum (the Golden Edition), which made the Wine Enthusiast Best 100 Wines of 2022. Their La Chic! is one of the best Croatian rose wines. 

Meanwhile, after the success of native Croatian Plavac Mali and Pošip, the family of Volarić planted the white native Dalmatian variety Maraština too.

Did you know?

The first vintages in Komarna came from the 2008 harvest. Today, more than 500,000 vines are planted.

If you’re a wine enthusiast or curious to discover new flavors, we invite you to delve into the enchanting world of Croatian wines with us. 

Our collection of Croatian wines has been carefully curated, with each bottle handpicked for its unique taste and quality. So why treat yourself to a new experience and explore our selection of Croatian wines? 

Not sure where to start? We’re confident you’ll discover a new favorite with our special cases offer and expand your palate with each sip!


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