Stina winery; visiting a Croatian island vineyard

Oct 06, 20 Stina winery; visiting a Croatian island vineyard

I’ve visited many vineyards in northern Croatia over the years (read about Istrian winemakers here and here) but Stina winery was the first one in the south, off the coast of Dalmatia. Stina is located on the island of Brac, about a 50 minute ferry ride from Split.

Brac harbouro
Brac Harbour

I sell Stina’s white Cuvee in Dalston so I was very curious to visit the winery and vineyards. I love these visits because it gives you a real feel for where the wine comes from and the people behind it.

Ema, my guide and an enologist from Stina, picked me up at the harbour of Supetar and we drove to some of the newer vineyards of Stina. Planted in early 2010’s, the vines are situated in a gentle sloping bowl. The most striking thing about the vineyards was the soil. It was literally all white stone. Mostly indigenous white grapes are planted here but they also have a bit of red(cabernet sauvignon) planted there as well. Seeing the vineyards, I definitely understood where the minerality and chalkiness of the wines comes from.

younger vines, planted earlier the early 2010’s

Stina was founded in 2009 by the aptly named Jako Vino. Stina means ‘stone’ in the local dialect and the white label on the bottle reflects the terroir on which the grapes are grown. The winery is in the town of Bol, literally on the waterfront, with little tables in front of the winery lining the esplanade. The waves lap at your feet whilst you sip your wine.

The winery was originally built in 1903 for the local co-operative. Today the winery is kitted out with all the latest winemaking equipment. They also have large, old, oak barrels for aging as well as a new barrel room which they use for their top cuvees.

The Winesleuth enjoying a glass on the beach

The winery has a well appointed tasting room with a modern bar. It has some great decorative touches, with one of the original concrete tanks (68,100 litres) open to view and an interesting display of old vines, along with the soil of the vineyards, in a glass case.

the vines on display along with the soil composition

Original concrete tank

The labels of Stina are blank with only the tiny name of the winery embossed on the left hand corner. The blank label invites drinkers to decorate the bottles themselves. Ema told me that many people take a bottle home, drink it and then draw or paint on it before bringing it back to the winery. They receive so many of these that one wall of the tasting room is dedicated to the decorated bottles.

artwork by various customers

The tasting room offers a range of options. Stina produce about 10 different wines; white, red, rosé and their version of ‘prosecco’ made with the indigenous variety, posip. The ‘prosecco’ was crisp and fresh with bright fruit notes and none of the sticky sweetness you sometimes get with bog standard supermarket prosecco. While I was there, I was able to taste through most of the range except for the rosé, which was sold out.

The whites all had fruity characteristics, fresh with clean, mineral finishes. The top cuvee is called the Majstor. Made from posip, it spends at least 12 months in oak. It is full but fresh and although there is oak influences, it still has tasty fruity notes on the mid palate.

barrel room

I also tried their top red wine, the plavac mali Majstor. The plavac mali grapes come from vineyards on the southern slopes of Brac. We visited the vineyards which are very steeply placed around Murvica. Some of the vineyards are at a 45 degree angle and all harvesting is done manually. The ride up to the vines was rather steep and scary but well worth the trip.

steep slopes
wine sleuth doing a bit of harvesting…
healthy plavac mali

The plavac mali Majstor was full and rich, aged in oak, it has a very intense nose, full of red and black fruits with toast and hints of vanilla on the finish. Although it was warm and sunny outside, drinking this wine put me in mind of a cold winter’s night, sitting inside by a fire all nice and toasty warm.

limestone soils

After visiting the Murvica vineyards, we took a drive around the southern part of the island which is breathtaking. I would recommend visiting the island just for the views alone.

Golden Horn beach on Brac

new twisty highway on the south side of the island
view from the highest point on the island looking towards Hvar

I was a guest of Stina winery and all views are my own.

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