If you've been around this blog for awhile, then you already know that Komarna is my favorite place in Croatia. Komarna is a small seaside village, located 70 km northwest of Dubrovnik. And there isn't much to do or see in Komarna. Komarna isn't about popular landmarks (although there are awesome sites to visit witin 70 km from Komarna), or about adrenalin pumping activities, Komarna is about relaxing, swimming, sunbathing, and if you insist, about observing few local characters.
But while I was doing all those things mentioned above (since 2008), seven local winemakers started putting Komarna on the world wine map.
Traditionally, on the south slopes of the hills above Komarna, people planted olives, not vine. The soil is rocky, and it took lots of effort, money and mechanization to make it fertile. However, today, there are over 500.000 grapevines growing here. In many ways, Komarna wine region resembles the neighboring Peljesac wine region. Komarna vineyards are ecologically and organically certified. Over 90% of grapes planted here are indiginius grape varieties: Plavac Mali, Tribidrag, Babic, Posip, Marastina, and Malvasija Dubrovacka, while less than 10% are international grape sorts like Syrah, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, Cabernet, and Viogner.
This wine region extends across relatively small area, from Raba to the north to Komarna to the south, from the Adriatic sea up to the village Stolovi located 250 m above the sea level. Komarna wine region is a wine region with THE view. Seriously, the view stretches far and wide over the sea, islets, Peljesac peninsula, the island of Brac, and Hvar, and of course over the amazing vineyards. And while many wine regions in Croatia offer interesting landscapes and wonderful views, views here are totally spectacular and special.
I still remember the way this area looked years back when the vineyards were just planted. Not very promising: the hills were naked, scraped of all shrubs, and brought to pure stone. But once the vine started growing the whole scenery changed to something very appealing and even romantic. It's easy to visit this area for anybody traveling south to Dubrovnik. Komarna is located right on the main coastal road. But while you can easily spot the area, it's not so easy to figure out the road that can bring you up to the top (where the views are the best). We've put a small map at the bottom with the marked road so you can find your way around.
At the very top, just off the village Stolovi, you'll find the first winery built in this region – the Rizman Winery. Built in 2014, this state of the art winery is brand new. Although the official opening is planned for spring 2015, curious visitors (us included!) can already visit it. The first thought we had when we stepped out of our car was: This is the winery with the best view in all Croatia. You can read our full review on Rizman Winery here.
Besides Stimac family with their Rizman wines, the other winemakers from Komarna are Tolj family with their Saints Hills Wines, Volarevic Wines, and Poljopromet with their Terra Madre wines. These four producers already have commercially produced, bottled, and distributed wines. Other three winemakers who have vineyards planted here, but haven't yet produced their first wine are Zadruga Modrozelena, Neretvanski branitelji and OPG Deak. Watch out for these guys too in the near future.
Croatian wine region: Komarna Practical Info
- Komarna is the youngest wine region in Croatia
- First vineyards were planted in 2008
- Rizman Winery, the first winery in Komarna will open in spring 2015
- There are two roads through the region: one leading from Raba through olive groves to Stolovi; another one passing through Slivno to Stolovi. Both roads are only partly asphalted, and very narrow (new, better road should be built in the next few years).
If you are new here, start with our post on top things to do in Croatia. If you are interested in Croatian wine, you might be interested in our other posts covering this exciting subject: Top wineries to visit in Istria, A visit to the Karaman winery in Dubrovnik, Peljesac Wine Tour, A visit to the Saints Hills Winery, A visit to the Milos Winery, or check our list of Istrian winemakers.
Have you tasted any Croatian wine, or visited any winery in Croatia? Do you like discovering local wines when traveling? Let us know in the comments below.