When Mike Grgich came to the Napa Valley in 1958 to make wine, he noticed a remarkable resemblance between the Zinfandel and Plavac Mali of his native Croatia. Some 35 years later, Mike worked with scientists at University of California, Davis, to prove that Zinfandel was actually Crljenak Kaštelanski, a grape native to Croatia and parent of Plavac Mali.
We grew our Plavac Mali (“little blue” in Croatian, referring to its small, bluish grapes) in the prestigious Pelješac appellation, a mountainous peninsula in the southern Dalmatian coastal wine- growing region just northwest of the historic walled city of Dubrovnik. This appellation contains many small, steep areas of vineyards perched high above the Adriatic Sea on the south-facing slopes of the peninsula. The winery is located in the tiny town of Trstenik, in the middle of the peninsula right on the Adriatic Sea, as depicted on the label.