Indigenous, robust, wild, gold, strong but fresh wine from the island of Korčula – the king of whites in Dalmatia – Pošip (prn. Po – ship) wine. Pošip is probably the variety with best-researched history. Everything has started in 1864. when the first vine was discovered and started spreading in the fields of Čara and Smokvica. Back in 1967, Pošip was the first white wine in Yugoslavia with a denomination of origin. The story is more than interesting!
Accidentally discovered, cultivated on purpose
This white grape still grows on its own rootstock in sandy soils of Smokvica village. It is one of the very few that managed to resist phylloxera in the pas. Pošip used to grow only on the island of Korčula, but today it is spread around Dalmatia – from Dubrovnik, Metković, Vrgorac, Pelješac to islands of Hvar, Brač, Korlat region, Biokovo slopes up to Zadar and even Slavonia region – Zdjelarević winery has just planted grapes of Pošip. Still, many think that the best Pošip will always be from Korčula, precisely Čara village.
The story starts when one peasant from Korčula (Marin Tomašić Barbaca, called Caparin)was cutting down the forest in Stiniva canyon and came across a wild vine. He liked the taste and aroma of berries, so he propagated buds from that vine in his vineyard on the border of Smokvica and Čara. He also gave new grapes to other winemakers who, also delighted with the fine grapes, gladly took them. In the second half of the 19th century, the first vineyards of Posip were created. It is not known exactly for years, but the archives of the old Korčula families have records of the first harvesting of Pošip in 1880.
For a long time, it was believed that Pošip was a seafarer from Korčula who knew where they had brought them to their island. This thesis was also supported by the fact that the cluster resembles table grape varieties from the Middle East. However, some 50 years ago, it was assumed that the variety was originally Korcula, which was proved in 2002 by Dr. Edi Maletić and Dr Ivan Pejić from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb.
There are two legends why the people of Korčula named the new vine Pošip. According to the former, Caparin said that the wild vine was weeding around the bush and “climbing the rod” towards the sun. They called it pop, and the “odd” eventually got lost. According to another story, Pošip was named after the shape of the berries. They are oblong, pointed and reminiscent of the pile, or tip of the carcass, as Dalmatians call a pick or a pick.
Full of sugar, fresh like a summer breeze!
Posip ripens early, allowing the grapes to gather enough sugar when the sun is not sunny.
Pošip is a good friend when we talk about the outputs. It gives high-quality grapes and high yield. If harvested properly, in November it will appear in full-bodied white wine with a nice balance of alcohols and acids. You will have a barrel/bottle/glass of great wine, deeply gold with strong smell and not so usual aroma. For some people, Pošip is too strong and not so much for daily use. For others, it is the only wine they drink, only in rare moments watered down in bevanda ( traditional beverage – wine mixed with some water).
True wine buffs will say in this wine flow intense tropical aromas and flavor of dried apricots and figs, following by dalmatian dried aromatic herbs. If you ask Wikipedia, you will find out that “Pošip is generally light-bodied, around 12-13% in alcohol and best had at the cool temperature of 14 °C. It is a natural companion for fish dishes as well as Pršut and the light-bodied cheeses that Croatia produces such as Paški sir.” And, this is enough for you as a beginner to know about this grape variety. Enough to start to drink it and enough to enjoy it!
Traditionally, dessert wine was also made with Pošip grapes, but these days not a lot of desert Pošip wine can be found. Many local producers create excellent Pošip, and probably most famous is PZ Pošip Čara. One very famous wine-making name is also making some wonderful Pošip wine: Mike Grgich in his Pelješac winery, and so is the Korta Katarina winery from Orebić. Outside of the Korčula area, Bibich is producing Pošip in his vineyards around Skradin, Plenković has vineyards near Makarska and his Pošip won Decanter awards, showing that there is great potential for Pošip beyond Korčula. Premium examples include Grgić Pošip, PZ Svirče Luxe, Krajančić Intrada Sur Lie, Krajančić Statut (a rare and special wine commemorating the 1214 statute from Korčula that decreed some of the earliest wine laws), and Toreta Premium. Pošip Wine price – Pošip is considered as a wine that worth more than a price, and usually you can find a bottle in a shop for 10 to 20 euros, depending on quality.