Winemaking has been a tradition in the Andrović family since the 1880s. It started with Mario Andrović’s great-grandfather, known as Steely Pavo. His children built up the winery and it has continued to develop unique Plavac Mali wines. “Here I am doing the exact same thing my great-grandfather was doing a 100 years ago.”
Plavac Mali is the type of grape that really needs a lot of attention and tough, rocky terrain to express itself. A problem grape that is worth the effort. Steely Pavo always said that the more a vine struggles to grow, the better the fruit, and resulting wine will be.
The picture on the label is the local wild dog “čagalj” which roams the hills of Pelješac.
THE GRAPE VARIETY
With the help of Mike Grgich, owner of Grgich Hills in Napa Valley and on the Peljesac and also born in Croatia, DNA testing shows that Plavac Mali and Zinfandel are not the same grape but related and that Zinfandel could
actually be parent, along with Dobricic, to Plavac Mali. DNA tests show that Zinfandel is actually the Croatian grape Crljenak Kašteljanski (tsurl-YEN-ak kashtel-AHN-ski).
Plavac Mali translates into “small blue” and refers to the grape itself, which tends to be lighter in body than Zinfandel.
(Reference: Meredith, Dr. Carole “Looking for Zinfandel in Croatia” in Zinfandel Express January 2002)