19:29 / 13.10.2018.

Author: Branko Lozančić

A great year for the grape harvest in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This year is an excellent year for the grape harvest in Herzegovina. (Photo: Hrvoje Jelavic/PIXSELL)

This year is an excellent year for the grape harvest in Herzegovina. (Photo: Hrvoje Jelavic/PIXSELL)

Foto: - / Pixsell

The red grape harvest has begun in vineyards in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Despite somewhat unfavorable conditions during June and July, that caused the grapes to be susceptible to disease, wine makers have managed to preserve their grapes and maintain a 20 percent sugar content and as a result they are especially satisfied with the quality of this year's harvest.

With a guaranteed selling price of 50 cents, this is a stimulation to plant new vineyards in Central Bosnia. In the meantime the grape harvest has also begun in Herzegovina. In contrast to last year when spring frost ruined the majority of grapes, this fall couldn't have been better in vineyards in Herzegovina.

When we talk about agriculture in Herzegovina the first association is tobacco, however viticulture and wine making in the last few decades has seen a true expansion. Quality wines gained from the autochthonous varieties Blatina and Žilavka are the main agriculture export product of the area.

Those who aren't known for this job or forgot how to do it long ago, have again taken up shears for picking and baskets for the grapes. But everyone is happy with the wine making year.

“This year has been very successful for us and we know that it has been a very exceptional year because we have healthy grapes, and together with our technologists we figure that we will have good wine. As far as the significance of winemaking in Herzegovina we don't need to say too much, because everything has already been said, our ancestors lived from this and many were brought up with it like me. Today we do it in a more modern manner than before and I hope successfully,” said one wine maker.

The Vranac sort has only recently been planted in Herzegovina. Vranac wasn't present in Herzegovina at all. After 15 years Herzegovina now has the biggest producer among Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 11 million litres is truly a number that should be respected and found its place on the market and it is a clearly dominant export.

Besides the Croatian tourist market and Germany where they have been known and sought after for have a century, they sell wine in more than 20 countries. The wines most demanded come from autochthonous varieties from Herzegovina, Žilavka and Blatina, whose geographic origin was protected in the former country immediately after Dingać from the Pelješac peninsula.

“In the last few years we have been turning to the Eastern market, meaning the far east, including China, India and Russia, so that besides our traditional markets like Germany which is has been extremely important for us for the last 50 years, along with other countries in the region, we simply have no problem with sales,” said another wine maker.

It is definitely not a business that provides fast money like some others, but in principle it is a potential of Herzegovina from which people lived before and live off of today

Just how the people from Herzegovina follow the most modern technologies in all phases of processing, thus at this year's harvest they presented the first grape harvesting machine worth 85 thousand Euros. The machine can pick grapes from one thousand vines within just 18 minutes, which replaces around 100 pickers.

Source: HRT

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