The hilly section of Ponikve, a settlement in the Pelješac Peninsula, has a terrain that’s extremely difficult for winegrowing. Winemaker Dubravko Vukas recognised the potential. What makes him stand out from other local winemakers is the fact that he made an unforgettable sparkling wine from Rukatac, an autochthonous grape variety. Rukatac is one of autochthonous grape varieties of maritime Croatia standing right next to the renowned Pošip. In short, this curious winemaker with a knack for trying out new things or even taking risks managed to roll out Decumanus, a sparkling wine made in close cooperation with his capable oenologist. Needless to say, Decumanus has been a tremendous success.
This has been quite an adventure, but with a happy ending. Spurred by his success, this winemaker took the decision to make another sparkling wine using Plavac Mali. This idea has been met with a great deal of scepticism due to the fact that this variety is not rich in acids needed to make a sparkling wine. Again the result was surprisingly good. Cardo, a superb rose sparkling wine, was born. The moment his rose made from Plavac Mali saw the light of day when it was poured into the first glass and served with oysters, the conclusion was the they go perfect together. Vukas knew perfectly what he was doing. A winemaker who also produces oysters and is now proud to serve his Plavac Mali in this pearly combination.
When compared to the sparkling wine Decumanus, the sparkly Cardo definitely contains less acids, but this winemaker points out that Plavac Mali rose is so enchantingly fresh that you’ll barely notice this, especially because it has a very tasty aroma and stays in the mouth longer. All of the above features fully make up for variety-specific deficiencies.
Both sparkling wines have been named after Roman terms. Decumanus refers to an east-west-oriented road, whereas cardo designates a north-south-oriented road.
Winery Vukas, which is primarily focused on Plavac Mali, started operating in 2002 and has rolled out a superior quality wine named Plerej. Later on they made Plerej grand cru, a semi-dry wine that knocked quite a few wine enthusiasts off their feet.
Modern technology applied in this winery helps make Plavac Mali wines that have a distinct identity and local character, a recognisable fruity flavour and a particular robustness characteristic of a variety from this area.
It’s a real pleasure to visit a winery that shows a special kind of enthusiasm and love of vineyards boasting a view of the blue sea and Stone walls. This is a place where you can always count on the fact that Dubravko Vukas will come up with something that will blow your mind.
Address Seljačko gospodarstvo Vukas Gornje Selo 13, Ponikve 20230 Ston