The Oldest Certified Surviving Plavac Mali Vine is in Dol on Hvar!

By paul 25 Feb 2013, 09:53 AM News

The Croatian wine story is full of fascinating stories and discoveries off the beaten track, and a chance conversation over coffee a few years ago led to a visit to the oldest certified Plavac Mali vineyard in the world, which is located on the islands of Hvar,  just off the main Jelsa to Stari Grad road on the turning to the village of Dol. The devastating arrival of phylloxera in the late 19th century decimated the vineyards of Dalmatia, but this small vineyard survived, thanks to its sandier soil, which kept phylloxera at bay. 

I caught up with owner Sime Surjak, who showed me round the vineyard, and kindly agreed to a video explanation and tour of the vineyard, which you can see below. Sime said:

"That vineyard of plavac mali from Dol is the oldest because it survived all of the grape diseases and other troubles. Probably there were older vineyards, that maybe also survived that diseases from beginig of the 20th century, but didn’t survive other diseases later, or grapes were replaced by some other plants or something like that.

I will paste few sentences that I found on web:

„There are actually still 20 vines originally planted in 1860 by Mate Stančić. These are self-rooted, since the soil is sandy enough to stop the dreaded phylloxera bugs. So many vines died off in the early 1900s, that this small remnant of 150 year old plants is quite a rarity.“

So, this is all true, and all of this and the age of the vineyard (and the fact that it is the oldest) was discovered by Mr. Ivan Pejić, profesor from Zagreb University, he wrote a book about it (maybe more than one, I'm not sure), and he wrote an article in 3rd Tartajun."

Check out Sime's more detailed explanation in the video below.

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