Winelovers, rejoice! According to Zagreb Faculty of Agronomy, a new species of vine has been discovered in Konavle Region of Croatia. The finding was a feat of local expert Nik Cvjetkovic, who singled out a strange plant in the vicinity of Cilipi airport. Not recognizing it initially, he observed its development throughout the years.
“As time went on, grapes appeared on the plant. They were of red kind, but still a complete mystery to me,” Cvjetkovic explained. “The grapes had a sweet taste; one could even describe it as delicious. So I decided to make an additional step. With assistance of agronomy student Jelena Baula, I’ve sent some samples to Professor Marko Karoglan, a faculty lecturer in Zagreb and one of the leading names of Croatian agronomy. We wanted to know more about this plant.”
Although professor was skeptical to idea that a new species of vine evolved in Konavle, DNK analysis suggested that plant does not belong to any of 2000 specimens known in faculty archives. “At that moment, we knew it was something special,” Karoglan noted. He immediately asked Niko to send him all available buds in order to populate the novel wine-making species.
On his end of Croatia, Cvjetkovic continued to track progress. In 2017, the single vine managed to provide no less than 58 kilogram of grapes, which resulted in about 30 liters of wine. It is quite satisfying ratio, and the final product was impressive as well. The extracted wine had 12 % of alcohol and considerable amount of necessary acids and sugars. For a plant that was unattended, these are impressive results. The wine was darker than rose, yet lighter in color than usual red kinds.
It will take some time for this new species of vine to find its way on Croatian wine scene, but there is an opportunity to taste its potential. If you are interested to try a few glasses, come to wine fiesta that will be held in Diocletian basements on May 25th and 26th in Split. That will be a premiere of this novel Croatian brand.
Photo: Zeljko Tutnjevic / Hanza Media