There are more astronauts than people with the prestigious Master of Wine title in the world, and Jo Ahearne is one of them, having passed a demanding exam in 2008. After years of tasting and evaluating wines of others in Australia, France and Spain, in 2014 Jo decided to produce wine by herself and choose the island of Hvar, specifically a small village, Vrisnik, as her base. She made her first (and for the winemakers difficult) 2014 vintage wine in the basement of the famous Hvar winemaking Tomić family, and only a year later she rented her own area so that since 2017 Ahearne’s wine is stored and aged in a new cellar, in bottles whose labels and the family emblem feature a proudly strutting heron.
Jo has used her years of experience in the selection, most commonly, of wine blends, for cus-tomers worldwide to their best in the process of vinification because her wines are unconvention-al and atypical for the Dalmatian region. Ahearne’s Plavac Mali South Side from the difficult 2014 instigates delight with its freshness and the structure that is not usual for Plavac wines. Manual soaking of the grapes had the effect of mature though delicate tannin, and at the same time the original aromas and flavours of the variety were preserved due to the minimum treatment of fil-tration and stabilisation. Plums, raisins and dark chocolate create sensation in the mouth, while floral tones of the French oak barrels additionally stress the herbal nature of Plavac Mali, which is best when paired with spicy food and heavier meats like boškarin.
Neither the Ahearne’s white wines leave anybody indifferent. In Pošip, owing to harvest in various stages of maturity of the berries, even the less experienced palate will feel refreshing cit-ruses, melon and peach, whereas late harvest has enriched this complex wine of a strong body with exotic aromas of the pineapple. The rich aroma of the Ahearne’s Pošip matches well grilled sea fish such as sea bream, snappers or grouper and sea bass in salt or St. Pierre from the oven.
A white blend, of more precise, the orange Divlja Koža wine made of two aromatic neutral varie-ties from the north side of the island, Bogdanuša and Trbljan (Kuč) along with the aforementioned high aromatic Pošip from the south side present all the “white” wine splendour of the Hvar island. Jo leaves the berries to ferment in their own yeasts, while she macerates Kuč and Bogdanuša up to a year in order to extract as much flavour. The smell and taste of the island's quince, wild herbs and honey perfectly pair with shrimps, salmon and lighter dishes of poultry.
The greatest challenge posed to Jo was virtually extinct Darnekuša, a black grape variety that is hardly ever used in the production of single variety wines because unlike Plavac, it cannot achieve high alcohols, and instead, it is an excellent raw material for Rosé that Jo named after her mother Rosina. This elegant and attractive wine has unusual texture and delicate, bright red colour where cherry, wild strawberry, a little vanilla and – rhubarb are mostly felt! Rosina is ready to spend a long while in the bottle while keeping its special spicy character and freshness that will nicely complement light starters as well as fruit desserts.
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Address Vrisnik 130, 21465 Vrisnik