Konavle are a very special region of the Dubrovnik- Neretva county. As previously written in the articles about Konavle, they are a place that combines everything you will ever hope to get out of a vacation. Rich flora and fauna, green landscapes accented by the river Ljuta, stone houses remodeled for the perfect luxury vacation with a hint of rustic flair, family run businesses with an exquisite gastronomic offer, steep cliffs, beautiful beaches and an unhindered view of the Adriatic sea.
Wine growing in Konavle has a long tradition and the periods of both blooming and declining are directly connected with the autochthonous sort of the Konavle region – “Malvasija Dubrovačka“.
The perception of the Konavle wines has changed fundamentally in past years. This transformation was triggered by a completely new approach to vine growing. The development of the small family run vineyards, wineries and the education of winegrowers who have put the regrowing process at the top of their priority lists has revived the production of high quality wines. By doing so, Konavle have been put back on the right track to becoming once again a wine region of unique, native and autochthonous varieties.
The Dubrovnik Republic excelled in governmental organization and this had been translated to the management of the archives. The historical importance, the glory and grandeur of the “Malvasija Dubrovačka” can be reviewed precisely by going through the scriptures of the Dubrovnik Republic’s archives.
This renowned desert wine was an integral part of the dining table of Dubrovnik’s nobility, along with sweets and candy. Bottles of this unique wine were prepared especially as a part of protocolary gifts in meetings of the highest level. It was considered a matter of prestige.
Also visible from the archives is the fact that Malvasija was exported in 1383 to the Bosnian king Tvrtko I Kotromanić, and there are indications that even 300 years before it was exported to Venice, Italy. After the Republic’s fall, as it was the case in the whole Dalmatia, a period of declining of viticulture emerged due to the occurrence of vine diseases such as downy mildew and phylloxera. The regrowing was at that time also hindered by the import of Italian wines due to special regulations of the government of that time.
About 10 years ago under the supervision of the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb and efforts of the agronomist Niko Karaman from Konavle, this vine variety has been regrown and revived. Today, 50 thousand vines are being grown in Konavle and 6 winemakers are proud producers of this autochthonous variety.
Through this wine, the historical course of the Konavle wine region, its ups and downs, can best be viewed and examined. Malvasija Dubrovačka and the prosperity of the Konavle region have been connected throughout centuries and the special bond between them is for that reason continued today.
Aside from Malvasija, over 40 quality wines are being produced in Konavle today. Among them autochtonous and international varieties such as “Maraština“, “Grk“, “Pošip“, “Plavac” and many more. This true wealth was not created accidentally but through meticulously conducted education of the Croatian Institute of Viticulture and tireless and continuous activities of the association “Agrotourism Konavle“.
All these participants have recognized the importance of quality wine in the gastronomy offer as well as its role in the development of rural tourism. Today, Konavle offer a premium product which as already impacted the wine lists of some of the best restaurants of Dalmatia as well as the local wine market. There are tours offered in Konavle which feature rides through vineyards on a train, tastings of wines directly at the winery it is produced in and offer a special insight into the work done on the vine and in the producing of various wines. When in Konavle take your time to experience this amazing offer in the fullest.
There are a number of rural tourisms and family run businesses which operate in Konavle. The association “Agrotourism Konavle” features on their website all the necessary information about all of them. You can pick out a place to stay at, to dine and to experience the gastronomic offer. Also, there are a number of products available for purchase, all organic and autochtonous. Experience the traditional spirit and genuine village atmosphere in Konavle.