Vrbnik, island Krk, photo Slow Bunny

Krk, once the largest Croatian island, is no longer for two reasons: by more accurate computer measurements, it was found that Krk and neighboring Cres have almost identical surfaces (405,78 km²), and by building a bridge almost 30 years ago, Krk has acquired the characteristics of the peninsula. Therefore, Krk is still the island with the most populated places, and thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate and many sources of drinking water - it is again returning to the vineyard maps, primarily because of the indigenous Žlahtina, and in the last few years also the sansigoth (drier black) and the trinity (Uva). di Troia).

When the invitation of my dear friend and colleague journalist Sanja Muzaferija arrived to visit Krk with the members of the Women on Wine association with an inevitable socializing with local winemakers, I thought for a full two minutes: it took me so long to remember where - after the last sea wander - I had stayed swimwear and beach towel.

The gastronomic adventure began on the beach Dunat, between Krk and Punta at the beach bar Casa del Padrone overlooking the islet of Kosljun and a Franciscan monastery built before the 6 century. Young and aspiring bar owner Adrian Stimac has been attracting guests from early in the morning and often has to chase them home in the evening because they do not want to leave the hedonistic oasis where, besides bathing in the clear sea, they enjoy a free bottle of water and slices of cold watermelon, a towel on a deckchair , glasses of champagne or wine with salads of home-made sheep cheese, friganche anchovies, squid or grilled tuna served with summer salads. When you get bored of lying down, you can try on wakeboarding or windsurfing, dive or ride a speedboat and then indulge in a relaxing Thai massage… if the next item was not the House of Wine, you probably would have to remind me that it is a fire!

Noble (adjective generous in Slavic means noble) a drop is an indivisible part of the life of the willow weevils who cultivate it in the Vrbnik field, a valley northwest of the town. The soil of the 211 acres is very fertile and deep, and the climate is extremely favorable. When referring to Žlahtina, you can often hear that "there is something wrong - because there is something in every shop and the areas under cultivation are not that big after all." However, žlahtina is a variety with a very high yield of: The bunches are very large (they can weigh up to 600 grams!) and contain an average of about hundred equally developed berries with characteristic fruity and herbal aromas, with the aromas of raisins, apples and grime being prominent. Žlahtine is characterized by minerality and low alcohol, and should be drunk as young wines.

photo: Spores Rabbit

One of the best places to convince yourself of the magic of a noble drop is Ivan Katunar Wine House Through which will take you Egle Katunar, born Vodnjanka, who gave up her safe job in Zagreb and joined two Johns - her husband and his father - in maintaining the now forty-year family tradition of growing grapes and wine, which she supplemented with the production of olive oil from her hometown. Smiling and always in good spirits, Egle greeted us with a glass of brut champagne The pearl of the jelly, vintage 2017, obtained charmat by the secondary fermentation method in the tank. The refreshing aromas of lemon and green apple make it ideal as an aperitif, but it also suits shellfish and crab.

photo: Spores Rabbit

During the tour of the cellar and winery, we also learned a few interesting things: the elder Ivan, an electrical engineer, was among the first to start cooling grapes and must with a device he designed, which controlled the fermentation, and with the use of selected yeasts achieved the highest quality of the brew. Ivan's father Antun proved to be a resourceful merchant: in the 1950s, excise duties on wines were very high, so to avoid them he knew the barrels in which he transported wine from outside to pour vinegar and thus to deceive the tax collectors - but another problem arose: Katunar's wines accompanied by a voice that are often pickled! But as soon as the barrel was opened (and today the bottles), it was clear to everyone that it was a brilliant trick and great wine, as evidenced by the fresh 2018 bread. years: the delicate, airy scent of flowers and ripe fruit emphasizes its refreshing character, while its light and silky taste will enrich every meal, especially game stew with homemade šurlice.

But u Home of wine not only the groin stands: it is excellent and flaky and very drinkable chardonnay which they only produce on the island: after 12 months in stainless steel, another six ripen in wooden barrels. It is full-bodied and the intoxicating aromas of pear and apple have earned it a silver medal at this year's tasting of young wines.

photo: Spores Rabbit

Semi-dry Rosé 2018 in which merlot prevails over cabernet sauvignon, it has a discreet fruity aroma, a slightly sour taste and a nicely rounded body that goes well with seafood.

From the locality Krasina Katunari pick another indigenous variety, drizzled blackSansigot - which is due to the extraordinary effort, effort and perseverance of growers and nurseries Ivica Dobrinčić again found a place in the vineyards of Krk and of course the wine cellars. A variety of definitely great potential is a challenge for winemakers who are just discovering its properties and looking for the best way to vinify. Sansigot Wine Houses John Katunar 2016 is more pronounced fruit acids on the nose, lightweight body and therefore surprisingly with a solid long aftertaste. The acids do not come to the fore, the tannins are gentle and gentle, and the low alcohols enhance the impression that this wine, although red, is not already warm - cool! Dense on hot days with ripe cheeses and lean meat dishes…

We ended our visit to the Wine House with Muscat yellow from 2018. and interesting sweet ones past St. John 9 years old (4 rested in wooden barrels for two years and then two more bottles) in which dried figs and plums reign. Cute enough not to need desserts as an accessory.

After a short walk we came to the other end of Vrbnik hiding the terrace taverns Nada family Juranić located on a gorge above the harbor with really wow view of the coast where Crikvenica is situated. Ivan Juranic, grandson of Mrs. Nade, by whom this legendary place bears the name of a restaurant that is from 1974. synonymous with good food, wine and companionship. John appreciates and respects the legacy, so he prepares dishes according to Grandma Hope's trusted recipes, but tries to present them in a slightly different way. Lunch opened great roast beef a sandwich, followed him tuna tartar, fantastic homemade prawns with shrimp, and before the lava cake with ice cream from the kitchen, fresh gilt floated into the plates.

homemade prawns with shrimp (photo: Slow Bunny)

In addition to the tavern and terrace, Nada also boasts a wine cellar in which they make their own wines: the inevitable brew in three variants - standard fresh, aged in barrique oak barrels and sparkling, produced by the classic method. Žlahtina Nada is a gentle body and gentle acids, with pronounced citrus aromas, but still stylishly different from the others and it is a real pleasure to sip it on Vidikovac with the sounds of jazz from a small summer stage, where the great band from Novi Sad Aleksandar Dujin performed that evening.

At the Nada Tavern, some dishes were paired with wines of Sipun the aforementioned winemaker Ivica Dobrinčić, whose wines (especially sansigot and rosé of triplicate) are getting better and better with each new tasting, as I liked the last time I read them here.

Krk may no longer be an island, but it still smells of the sea, especially in Vrbnik, drinks good wine and eats excellent spiza - even when everything is in good company, the smile does not come off the face…