Vinarija Lug – Grove Wineries
Foggy dew-soaked mornings along rolling hills, with dry afternoons and glowing sunsets. Some of the most famous wineries around the world are known equally for their rustic landscapes and refined lifestyle as they are for their wines. Slices of heaven where time stands still. A place to stop, slow down and allow your senses to experience sips of wines produced by grapes that have taken generations to fulfill their destiny.
Ivica Perutina feels his winery is in a slice of heaven inside Bosnia and Herzegovina. And, it should not be a secret. In fact, he says the winery is in an area that has been called Drunken Hills, perhaps by Austro-Hungarian socialites who visited frequently. Perhaps it needs to be rediscovered. The southern region of Bosnia Herzegovina is already renown for a grape-producing heritage. It has an ideal climate, elevation, and soil.
Vinerija Lug has only been producing wines since around 2015. Taking advantage of these premiere growing conditions, they already produce fine wines with the bright and fresh white Žilavka and ruby red Blatina grapes and are introducing red cabernet sauvignon.
Of course, vineyards that have matured over generations produce the finest wines. Ivica has embraced the long and uncompromising road towards quality and knows it will take years of patience. He has also carefully rolled out his wines. As a new producer, the winery has a modest inventory. The best way to taste his wines, and buy them, is to visit – unless you catch him at regional wine festivals building his wines’ reputation one enthusiast at a time.
Until now, the vast majority of his visitors are foreign tourists who have heard about his winery online and by word of mouth. Tourists will stop by for a wine tasting. And, some tour the vineyards and winery and perhaps enjoy a privately cooked gourmet meal. When coming, Ivica suggests staying in the area as a getaway, staying at villas, relaxing in swimming pools and enjoying fine foods along with wines.
WHAT MAKES THIS SPECIAL:
The opportunity to visit a world-class wine region that looks like postcards from Tuscany and Napa Valley. In Bosnia and Herzegovina. And, get bragging rights by being first among your friends to visit. It is also an up and coming local winery with limited production.
IF YOU VISIT:
Call (or email or message) ahead, at least 24 hours. They are open year-round. Consider setting up a private dinner with friends and family, perhaps for a special celebration. Ask the best time of day to arrive, perhaps for the sunset. Leave room in your trunk to bring home their wine.
THINGS TO BUY:
Žilavka (white), Blatina (red) and Caubernet Sauvignon (red) wines. Ivica predicts the 2020 wines might be extraordinary!
TOP 100 RURAL GASTRO-TOURISM SITES:
To the east, in Stolac, visit another small quality wine producer, Vinarija Daorson, and their gourmet restaurant Pinnes Pub. For a memorable specially prepared lunch or dinner, call ahead. http://www.vinodaorson.ba/
And, pick up gourmet products made with the fruit, vegetable, herb, and nut bounties of the region at Zadruga Hercegovka. https://www.facebook.com/zadrugahercegovka/
To the west in Čapljina, dine on fish and local grilled meats and vegetables in the midst of Classic ruins at Restaurant Villa Rustica. https://www.facebook.com/villarusticacapljina/
And, stop at Oliva in the village of Prćavci to pick up the Milićević family’s extra virgin Herzegovinian olive oil. Their EVOO is an extra virgin olive oil, multi-grade, cold-pressed, unrefined, unfiltered, intense green in color, with a distinctive aroma and spicy taste. https://www.facebook.com/MaslinovoUljeOliveOil/
THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY:
Hutovo Blato is a marshland nature and bird preserve with options for hiking, biking, and boating. It is the most prominent bird sanctuary in the nearby region. In the Stolac area, visit the Illyrian ruins of Daorson high atop the Banje plateau, looking down on the valley of the Neretva River. Walls of the acropolis are built with monolithic stones. The city was a local capital until it was conquered in the 1st century BC by the Romans. Stop to wander through the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site Radimlja, with a splendid collection of medieval Bosnian stecci. Step into the Badanj Cave in Borojevići village, a national monument with engravings from 12,000 to 16,000 BC.
Vinerija Lug is located along the M6 road in the Crnići village, in the Municipality of Čapljina in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (the southern part of the country). They are 12 km west of Stolac and 14 km from Čapljina. It is an hour’s drive to coastal Neum.