Sunday Special – Korčula Island, Croatia


Croatia. This country is definitely on my bucket list. I do want to visit all of the former Yugoslav countries (I have been to three: Slovenia, Serbia, and Macedonia) so of course that includes Croatia. However, that is not the only reason I want to visit it. I understand it is a wonderfully beautiful country with much to see. Islands lie all alongside its Adriatic Coast providing a large number to choose from. Some are major resort locales while others run at a slower pace. Of the latter, one such island is Korčula (also the the name of the main city) in the southern area of Dalmatia. Beaches of course are bountiful with shorelines ranging from sandy to rocky and everything in between. A great way to unwind. Wineries and wine tours are not lacking on the sun-kissed isle. In fact, Korčula Island has some indigenous varietals such as grk and posip.  Many of the wineries have been producing wines for centuries. Additionally, there are stories that explorer Marco Polo was in fact born on this small island and the very house where he supposedly entered the world. I wonder what the Italians have to say about that? LOL.

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Korcula, Croatia – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Andrzej Wolinski 

Andrzej Wolinski [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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Town of Korcula – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Martin Broz 

By Martin Brož (Martin Brož’s camera) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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Korcula countryside – are those grapes for wine? Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Anto 

By Anto (talk) 14:40, 7 October 2009 (UTC) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday Special – South African Wineries


Last week I highlighted Brooklyn as a good friend was visiting there. Well the second leg of her journey is to South Africa (Cape Town area) so I find it fitting that we focus there today. She has gone to a few wineries so today is South African wine day! I need not tell you that these days wines are found in abundance from regions around the globe far and wide. Gone are the days of only expensive aged wine. These days it’s selection in every price range. South Africa’s wine making history dates back to the 1680s when Jan van Riebeeck was set with the task of setting up vineyards by the Dutch East India Company. They wanted to ward off scurvy in their sailors and wine and grapes were the way to do so as the climate was suitable.

Despite it’s long history, today South African wines are considered “new world wines” with increasing quality over the past ten years. Chenin Blanc is possibly the most popular varietal coming out of this country and pinotage being considered its signature grape. Most of the country’s vineyard are in the Western Cape.

I could list any number of wineries and tours around the Cape Town area that are very popular, however, personal choice of everyone prompts me to leave this and let you do your own search. I will, however, talk a bit about two of the wineries that T has already visited. I’ve been following her postings on Facebook and our WhatsApp conversations so I will just steal her locales (Thanks T!!).

Established in 1997, Paul Cluver Wines is family run. The estate itself has been in the Cluver family since 1896. It is located in Elgin, outside of Cape Town. Along with producing a variety of wines there is cycling paths and the Paul Cluver Forest Amphitheater on the grounds where picnics and artist venues can be booked. The winery also houses a highly rated restaurant called Fresh at Paul Cluver, where T dined (it looked fabulous!)

T travelled twenty minutes from Cape Town to De Grendel Winery. Located on Tygerberg Hill this winery claims exquisite views of Table Mountain and adjacent lands. A farm that has been in the Graaff family for centuries, it is now recognized for its wines. It is also a member of the Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association (WIAETA).

 

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Franshhoek Wine Region, South Africa. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned by Sara Atkins

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South African vineyards. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by warrenski

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Vineyards in Stellenbosch region, South Africa. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons – Photo taken and owned by Scrignari