Everyone already knows well about the Žlahtina of Vrbnik. This old wine variety marks the wine offer of the island of Krk. But it's not all that old sorts of Krk offer. There is Sušćan Crni or Sansigot, as well as Trojišćina. There are only a few people who tried to present these wines in a good manner. Among them is Ivica Dobrinčić from Vrbnik, owner of the winery Šipun, which impresses residents of Krk and their guests with 50 to 70 thousand litres of wine annually. Of this, 40 percent is Žlahtina, but Ivica, just like many other winemakers, warn that Krk once had four thousand hectares of land under vineyards. Today there are only 200.
Šipun is the neighbourhood’s name in Vrbnik, but it is also an old Croatian word for rose and hip. That's why stylized rose is a symbol of this winery, as can be seen on bottles. We look at the labels, while Ivica offers us his Žlahtina Šipun 2017, with 11 per cent of alcohol. Last year in Vrbnik, there was a good harvest, although grapes were s+in smaller quantities. Ivica is well acquainted with the Vrbnik terroir positions, because he himself deals with melioration of karst. On the eastern outskirts of Vrbnik, which look towards Vinodol, land of origin of Žlahtina, the hard Adriatic stone is shuttered in order to make place for the vineyard of this Krk wine pride. His Žlahtina is pleasant and easy drinkable, great for hot summer days. Wine has traces of peach and lime in the smell and taste, and the acids are low.
The wine industry is not in the family tradition, but Ivica has become the first real oenologist, and we believe that at least one of his four sons will continue this business. However, the Dobrinčić family has tied its roots in Vrbnik with care for the land and cattle. We look at old photographs in the Krk collections and see that the family owned the Krk ponies in 1923, an indigenous species of the island of Krk. And love for indigenous species was preserved in the wine industry too!
Soon, on the table, a bottle of Trojišćina is opened. it is an old sort of the island of Krk and the coast that has actually extinct, but it is returned to life by efforts of some enthusiastic winemakers. In Vrbnik, only the winery Šipun is making this wine that owes its name perhaps to the origin of Troy or from the Italian variety Uva di Troi in the Puglia region, although this is less likely. Ivica has dedicated fifteen years of his life to the return of this sort, but unfortunately little has this wine been recognized so far in Croatia. Instead of passing exotic homemade and forgotten varieties, the Trojišćina remains on the edge of the wine fans’ interest.
Trojišćina is a red grape variety. It is of unknown origin, but has since grown on the Kvarner island of Susak. Although it is good to eat, and in past its grape was dried, it is usually processed into a wine or mixed with other sorts to make a red table wine. In the winery Šipun rosé is made from Trojišćina, which fascinates with bright colours. The wine is partly macerated and has a pleasant 11.5 per cent of alcohol. Our belief as a promoter of domestic varieties is that Trojišćina should grab forward to one striking and special Kvarner wine, which is certainly one of the five best summer wines we have tried so far.
These steps have already made the Sansigot or Sušćan, for which the Dobrinčić family say that it is quite a special wine, sweet and dry, with fruity scents. This variety grew on all the Kvarner islands, especially in Cres, Lošinj, Unije, Srakane, Ilovik, Krk, Susak. This sort is also specially linked to the island of Susak, a sandy island in the Adriatic, where some 80 percent of the island was under vineyards. Susak is also known as a floating vineyard. Because of its success on the sandy soil, it was a favourite wine of Susak and neighbouring islands. Šipun's Sansigot is a delightful wine with floral aromas and forest fruit in its scent and taste.
The Šipun Winery is a great place to get to know old island wines, which we believe will once again become part of Kvarner's wine offer.
Šipun 16, 51516 Vrbnik
Tel./Fax 051 857 086
Photos by: Andrea Seifert, Mint Media