"People are always pleasantly surprised with the approach, quality and generally what they see in the cellar. Most guests say they've never been in such a modern winery before.“ These are the words of Ivo Kraljević, tasting room manager at the Stina Winery in Bol, Croatia.

However, no matter how modern the winery is today, it has still managed to keep the important old touch and feeling of the first Dalmatian wine manufacturing cooperative. While walking through the wine cellar, we couldn't help but notice the huge concrete tank that caught our eye.

"What we have here is a very beautiful memory of the old winery, when the winery was built in the early 1900's it was a very modern winery for it's time, equipped with concrete tanks for storing wine. This particular tank that we see could hold up to even 68,000 liters of wine (for fermentation and conservation). Otherwise, the winery had about 20 more concrete tanks just like this one. We even had one wooden barrel that held up to 40,000 liters. These days they can only be used as souvenirs, not for wine production“, said Ivo.

These concrete tanks were coated with inner glass tiles which made them easier to maintain, however, the wine manufacturing process was pretty hard because when the wine fermentation was complete, people had to go inside the tanks and take the grapes out.

"The grapes were removed and placed into plastic bags. However, spending only an hour or two in the concrete tank would make people quite drunk, which is why they got payed twice the amount of money for just an hour or two of work. This particular concrete tank is about 5-6 meters deep and it is only one of the many tanks that the wine cellar once contained."

Barrique barrels – scents of caramel, vanilla, coffee and chocolate

This is one of the most important parts of the winery, where all red wines are kept, in barrique barrels each of which stores about 225 liters. They are produced in France of oak timber originating from Croatia, France and USA. The wine is stored for longer periods of time, up to 2 years, eventually soaking in the caramel, coffee and chocolate scents. These special barrels are a very expensive investment, considering they need to be changed every 3-4 years. On the other hand, these wines recieve better prices on the market and many awards are achieved by using this type of production.

Every barrel has the winery brand name stamped on it, „stina“, which is a word typical for Brač. This dialect word means „stone“, exactly what Brač is known for world wide. The wine from these barrels is made from plavac mali and it's labeled Stina Plavac mali barrique.

The different scents actually come from the reaction of oak and Plavac mali, red wine containing a lot of alcohol and tannins. Maturing in the barrel, the wine assumes aromas of vanilla, caramel, chocolate and coffee from the different types of oak. Vanilla aromas are usually connected to the American oak, caramel and chocolate to French, and Croatian to coffee. It's safe to say that the combination of Plavac mali and barrique barrels is far more beautiful than when just ordinary barrels are used for wine production.

More about Stina Winery...

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