Vinodol is synonymous with wine. Grape-wine has been grown in Vinodol ever since the ancient times, when it was brought here by the Romans. Since then until the 20th century, Vinodol is filled with grape-wine. However, at that time, grape-wine had been affected by the phylloxera blight, which destroyed the plantations, and this subsequently led to the great emigration from Vinodol. The plantations of grape-wine, especially of the autochthonous sort called Žlahtina have been revived only recently and the production of wine is growing again. Now it is famous wine in town Vrbnik on island of Krk, which overlooks Vinodol. The wine’s name derives from the old-slavonic word žlahten, which stands for noble.
Wine has its own contest here. There is a story retained among the population of Vinodol about a custom that allegedly dates back to the past centuries, more precisely to the times of the rule of the Frankopan family. According to this story, a rose used to be elected in the vineyard at the end of every grape harvest – it was the most beautiful and industrious girl among the harvesters. She would be crowned with a vine garland and taken to town, heading a procession of harvesters, accompanied by the music played on some old folk instruments. The last time this custom was practiced was in the year 1880, so local authorities recreated their tradition. Out of 12 candidates, the best Rose of Vinodol is selected each year, based on the skills she had shown in nine games relating to grapes and vine. The overture of contemporary ecological or hand-made products is inspired by fairs of the period. Games, music and dancing which take place during these couple of days of the pageant are modeled after ancient forms of entertainment, which relied on traditional instruments, singing voices and personal creativity.
For most years, the competition was held at the Pavlomir winery, only winery existing in Vinodol valley. The valley of Vinodol, the Roman name Vallis Vinearia, in 1905 had 614 ha of cultivated vineyards, but the plague of phylloxera disease had taken its toll. After nearly a century vineyards and olive groves will grow again. Revitalization of Vinodol valley begins in the year 1994 with the arrival of refugees from Vukovar, led by Andrija Biro and Miroslav Palinkaš. As winegrowers and winemakers by profession, they knew what this valley needed.
Miroslav Palinkaš accepts rich wine-making tradition of Vinodol Valley, whose family tradition of grape and wine production originates from Šarengrad in Srijem, where he now owns four acres of Riesling along with his brother and father. Today the winery owns 40 hectares of land of which 31 hectares of vineyards. At the heart of the vineyards new wine-cellar has been made and enjoyed by many visitors. In the course of twenty years of work, top quality wines have been produced and can compete with the world’s best wines acknowledged by the best wine connoisseurs.
Palinkaš pays special attention to local vine varieties as Žlahtinawhich he returned to Vinodol. With žlahtina he nurtures and cherishes other wine varieties: chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, Franconia, Pinot Blanc. Real discovery of the vineyards is Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine got many awards and medals in national assessments and it received the gold medal at an exhibition in Budapest. In 2011 we started to create new product: Champagne “1288”, whose name is linked to the year when the codex of Vinodol was passed.
Every day Palinkaš walks around his vineyards and makes recommendations to his workers. The love and dedication is felt and visible when he poured us his wine and proudly talked about different years. Generally, you can’t go wrong with 2015, as it was excellent year for wine making. His žlahtina has special freshness, golden yellow-greenish colour, and adorable bouquet, excellent choice for blending with goat cheese, fish and seafood, and white meat. By all standards, this is the signature wine of Pavlomir winery, and pride of its vineyards. While visiting his vineyard, we also tried Chardonnay, which perfectly found its habitat on the rich sunny slopes of Pavlomir. Out of white wines, Palinkaš also makes Pinot Bianco.
Somewhat a surprise, Cabernet Sauvignon succeeded great in this region. Full taste, dry, harmonious, with exceptional bouquet and intense ruby red colour, it is the most beloved Pavlomir’s red wine, next to Frankovka. Sparkling wine 1288 s characteristically fresh and light, served as an appetizer. Palinkaš welcomes wine-cellar tours and tastings, with information about all the varieties of wines in his vineyards, about wine tradition in Vinodol valley, and history of winemaking.