2015 Brkic Greda
Region: Čitluk < Bosnia and Herzegovina
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic/biodynamic farming; limestone soils; half of the grapes were fermented on the skins, with some whole clusters, in 3000L Bosnian and neutral American oak barrels; grapes are pressed on rubber rollers to avoid damaging the stalks and seeds; bottled unfined/unfiltered; 11.7% ABV
Winemaker: Josip Brkic
Southern Herzegovina was once a distinguished wine region, starting 2000+ years ago with the Illyrians, but then invasions (the Ottomans, 1362-1689) and horrific conflicts (the Bosnian war, 1992-1995) happened. While an uneasy peace has returned, the country still suffers from poverty and ethnic tension, strong forces that continue to obscure the nascent local wine industry. But the region's temperate Mediterranean climate and rich Karst limestone soils, as well as some really cool indigenous grape varieties, are starting to get some attention on the international wine scene. In the late 70s, Josip’s father planted vineyards in Čitluk—a wine district in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina—at 800-1,300 feet. After his father's death, Josip Brkić took over the domain and converted the vineyards and cellar to biodynamic practices. But Josip didn't always work organically - 15 years ago he became a disciple after attending an organic wine conference in Italy and realizing that making wine was more than making a product: it was making something alive. From then on, he decided he would only produce organic or not at all. Initially, when Josip stopped using chemicals, the vineyard suffered from shock, like a drug addict being detoxified. But he believes diseases have to be accepted to allow the vines to grow stronger, and that the compromise is not only worth it, it is the only way for him. He even states this on the label: I will make wine this way or I will not make it at all This is Josip’s white wine, made of the local Greda grape. Often compared to white Burgundy, Greda has both richness and density without high alcohol. And with 50% of the grapes macerated on the skins, this is a baby orange wine, not too golden, bold or tannic. Just softly peachy and layered, with a distinctive savory, smoky finish. Crisp and cozy, this is a distinctly fall wine, a perfect white for sipping by a fire or pairing with a golden roast chicken.