Almost imperceptibly located in the economic zone of Vodice, the wine cellar of Nikola Birin offers great pleasure in the wines of the Šibenik climate. Built on the experience of generations of families, viticulture and cellaring today achieves new successes that are recognisable by many visits to the pleasant tasting room surrounded by olive trees. In the last fifteen years, the quality of wine has improved, and the Birin winery now stands as the proud progress of Vodice and the Šibenik region with six labells.
While we pour bread into the excellent olive oil of the Birin family, we admire the experience of a young winemaker who foreshadows a new era of winemaking stars in Dalmatia who embraced new and modern technology and retained the experience of older generations. Nikola half-seriously jokes that he threw his father out of the cellar, but left him to worry about the vines that grow on the red soil with a small percentage of stone. Stubborn fighting between generations is a common phenomenon in Croatian vineyards, and it's good that it is so!
The mentioned terrain distinguishes these wines from the somewhat more common white soil or stone. All this is then processed, vinified, and aged in the Birin cellar, which we toured admiring its spaciousness and preparation. In addition to Birin's barrels and stainless steel, the wines of the president of the Vina Dalmacije association, Primošten winemaker Leo Gracin, are also aged here. About 20,000 liters of wine see the light of day a year, which means 25,000 bottles, which are sold everywhere on the doorstep, but also in restaurants in Vodice and Sibenik.
First, we tasted the fluffy and mineral-salty Debit, straw-yellow in color, which is a gentle reminder of this white variety of wine that has been successful for generations in northern Dalmatia as a top summer wine. After its great popularity a hundred years ago, Debit experienced turbulent times during which the quality of wines from this variety declined significantly, only to begin its slow rise again in the mid-nineties of the last century, which led to world awards for some of the labels of Croatian winemakers.
The grapes of this wine variety ripen late, which means that during the still hot months at the beginning of autumn, it manages to accumulate sugar in the berries, and it also develops acids. Wines produced from Debit are balanced and drinkable, and it is also an excellent variety for making sparkling wines. Dry wines with mild acidity, light and fluffy, are mostly made from Debit, and the variety also has great potential for the production of dessert wines. Wines from this variety usually have up to 12 per cent alcohol. Golden-yellow in colour, Debit is a wine that can be served with young lamb, boiled white fish, grilled prawns and shrimps or, if it is a fresh Debit, with chicken breast dishes.
Opposite Debit is Maraština, which is a wine with more complex aromas and a fuller body, with good aging potential, which gives it a great opportunity to pair with stronger food. Maraština is certainly the pride of Vodice viticulture and it would be good to promote this wine variety as much as possible. From the local varieties of Plavina, Lasina and Babić, Nikola Birin makes Rose with a light pink colour, rich fruity aromas and floral scents. Plavina provides a backbone with a certain acidity, Lasina contributes aromatically to the tenderness of the pink wine, while Babić finishes with seriousness and fullness. As you can see, long gone are the days when Rosé in Dalmatia was made from the rest of grapes or wines of poorer quality. Dalmatia has good potential for the development of rosé wines, so don't call this region the Croatian Provence.
Birin is very proud of its Babić. The paths of Babić do not end only in Vodice, but Babić Birin delights with its drinkability and softness, which is not found in many other wines of the same variety. There are no excessive tannins, and it comes from a vineyard where earth and stone meet. It ages in oak barrels for a year, and we hope to try multi-year bottles as well. Nikola Birin says that there is potential for up to ten years of aging, but wine lovers obviously drink everything thickly before that. Traditional Dalmatian snacks, prosciutto, cold meats, cheese, olives, pickled vegetables, which are richly prepared in the Birin tasting room, go well with Babić.
Put Gaćeleza 9, 22211 Vodice