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Todor - winery from the homeland of Pošip

Updated: Mar 17

The visit of the Čara winery Todor from Korčula at the Český dom in Zagreb at the forum/promotion "It's time for..." confirmed that winegrowers and winemakers who sold their grapes can make more themselves if they keep them in the cellar, care for them and bottle them. This is exactly what the brothers Jurica and Željko Tomić decided in 2020, so their 2021 harvest resulted in two excellent pošips: one from an earlier (mid-August) selected vintage called Pošip Perla sur lie and the rest of the grapes from about 1 hectare defense until the beginning of September won the silver at Decanter 2023: Perla, with 90 points and regular pošipe, 93 points.

At Sabatina in Vodice in 2022, Perla won a silver plaque/medal. Korčula is the homeland of pošip, so Smokvica and Čara (for years it was the term PZ Čara to all of us) still compete to this day to see who produces the best. Željko Tomić explained to us the geographical advantages or rather the pedological advantages of his Čara. Namely, they are in the field and there the moisture is less retained compared to the hilly Smokvica. Pošip does not like a lot of moisture, so the Čara microlocation with red rock and border gravel is an excellent soil for this variety, which also gives it a distinctive minerality.

The winery currently owns 1.2 hectares and does not buy grapes. From that area, in an average year, they harvest 1.40-1.60 kg per vine, which yields about 11 kg of grapes, enough for about 6,000 bottles. Placement, apart from the doorstep, is in restaurants in Korčula, and they achieve a very good price for Perla, 16 euros, and for regular pošip and plavac, 11 euros.

As I have mentioned several times the noun pearl, in the words of Tomić, it is their grandmother who called the beauty of an event, thing and people a pearl, so to honour her, the wine is called the same. That's how the award-winning pošip sur lie got the star name - pearl - at the start. Tomići still has plavac mali on a relatively small area and fills 1000 to 1200 bottles depending on the year. In the near future, the plan is to increase the total area to 2 hectares with the mentioned varieties, which in an average year would yield about 10,000 high-quality pošipas and small plavac. The well-known Korčula oenologist Perica Žuvela participates in the winery with his expert oenological advice. The winery is called Todor by its nickname because there are many Tomićs in the village, and they are Todor's.

At the workshop led by Darko Lugarić, we tasted eight labels in this order: 1.Pošip 2023 2.Pošip 2022 13.7% alcohol and 5.7g/L acid 3.Pošip 2021 13.6 and 5.8 4.Pošip Perla sur lie 2023 5.Pošip Perla sur lie 13.8 and 5.5 6.Pošip Perla sur lie 13.5 and 5.4 7.Plavac mali 2023 8.Plavac mali 2022 14.3 and 6.5.

I will mention four labels here. Pošip 2023 is a wine that will have a good future, following the path of the award-winning one from 2021. Maceration lasted about 3 hours, the wine has not yet been filtered, golden yellow in colour, mineral, salty, you can feel the sweetness. In the aroma, the sommelier finds pineapple, quince, ripe peach, and there are almost no Mediterranean herbs at the moment. Older pošips regularly have it, which means they will get it as they get older. Lugarić would choose white smith fish, gradel shrimp or prawns in a sweet-spicy Asian-style sauce with this dish.

Pošip sur lie Perla 2021 with 13% alcohol and 5.5 g/L acid. After the initial processing in the roaster, the wine was decanted into wood and mixed on fine lees between 3 and 4 months. Returned to the roaster and then bottled at the beginning of summer 2022. The wine is dry, bright golden yellow in color, with a nice intense aroma. You can feel dried apricot, fig, tropical candied fruit (ginger).

It has pronounced minerality, more fluffy notes, sweetness and bitterness of wet stone. The wine is in good shape and will continue to grow in the future. A parallel with the well-known Chablis is said, because both wines give a mineral touch. Decanter's review reads: "Expressive floral notes of marzipan and sage with a touch of vanilla. The palate is quite citrusy with an oily texture and a long salty, mineral finish." Gastronomic recommendation: turkey in white asparagus sauce with gnocchi, fillet of roasted swordfish, monkfish in soup, side dish of rice with young leeks, roasted veal.

Plavac mali 2023, clearly still in the barrel, was brought for this occasion to see the current state and possibilities. The wine is of a vivid ruby red colour with a purple glow, with an intense fruity aroma (young plum, sour cherry, blackberry, spicy notes of cinnamon, chocolate, wood...). Dry, tannic in the mouth, but the tannins do not bother you, they are not aggressive. The wine is drinkable, elegant and has good potential, but it is clearly still too young. For now, the winery is selling year after year, so this plavac will be in the bottle this summer. The quantities do not allow them to ripen longer.

Todor Winery has beautiful labels on which the names of Jurica and Željko's children are written in Glagolitic script: Ela, Klara. Šimun, Jure and Filip. For Perla, they chose a robust, heavy bottle that visually suggests the importance of that wine. Finally, Tomići is on the right track, it is certainly necessary to increase the capacity, that is, the vines, they have excellent prices for continental conditions in Croatia. They should continue in the same direction and leave a certain number of bottles for the archive, both for themselves and for future public appearances.

Photos: Marko Čolić


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