Fire destroys Grgich wines in Croatia

Fire destroys Grgich wines in CroatiaWildfires on Croatia's Dalmatian coast are believed to have ruined vineyards, with the Grgich winery near Dubrovnik also losing thousands of bottles worth of wine. Grgich Vina vineyards in CroatiaAround 25,000 bottles of Plavac Mali wines from the 2010, 2011 and 2012 vintages have been lost at the Grgich winery, one of the best known in Croatia and the sister operation of Mike Grgich’s eponymous estate in Napa Valley.
A state of disaster was declared by the municipal government of Dubrovnik-Neretva County after 300 firefighters battled a burn fuelled by extremely hot, dry summer temperatures and strong winds.
The full extent of hurt from the fires is subdue being determined, but tens of hectares of vineyard were feared to be amongst the hundreds of hectares of land ruined on the Peljesac peninsula and the island of Korcula.
Toughest hit was the area around the peninsula’s village of Trstenik, where the Grgich estate is located.
Also burned were vineyards in the neighbouring eastern part of Croatia’s heralded Dingac wine appellation, which is home to many of the country’s premium Plavac Mali wines.
‘Around 100,000 grapevines were ruined around Trstenik and more in the additional areas,’ said Ksenija Matic, a pr representative for the city of Dubrovnik.
‘A number of vineyards from smaller, up-and-appearance wineries were terribly hurt. But we have to wait and see which vines survived, and what would need to be replanted and so on.’
The main hurt at Vina Grgic was to the winery itself, but some wine did carry on. ‘Thank God that everyone is safe, and our 2013 Plavac Mali in barrels are safe also,’ said Drazena Vuckovic, who helps manage the winery. ‘We are open for business and for tourists, and we are already preparing for the 2015 harvest.’
Several additional wineries were not affected by the fires, including Korta Katarina, Frano Milos and Bura-Mrgudic.
No lives have been reported lost, with residents and tourists evacuated from at-risk areas.
Editing by Chris Mercer
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