The Vineyards 

A WORD FROM BOB

I was in Dubrovnik in Croatia back in 1997 and found it was a beautiful place. I said to myself, "Bob, what do you want to do when you retire?" I had read an article that said Zinfandel may have come from Croatia. And so I said that is an interesting idea.  In 2006, I was able to get two pieces of land. One in Dingac where my vineyard manager's property is, and another in Viganj, about 12 acres, right on the sea. I chose it because it had these yellow flowers called broom. They say where the flowers grow is great for growing grapes. Next we imported 1,500 Zinfandel plants from Napa and began our vineyards.

Winemakers

MARIJA & BORIS MRGUDIC

Marija & Boris are a mother and son team. Boris is now the manager of their family winery. He is the 21st generation in his family to make wine. Marija and her brother, Niko Bura, make some of the best wine in the country, but they only produce maybe 3,000 or 4,000 bottles.

In the near future the Mrgudics & the Benmosches are hoping to bring their current wine facilities to a whole new level by building a brand new state-of-the-art winery. Currently they are working on building permits. In Bob's words, "It has been a great relationship."

Crljenac

ROOTS OF ZINFANDEL

One day, while building rock walls for the vineyard in Viganj, Marija's husband noticed a grapevine growing wild. Immediately construction ceased because the vine resembled the original Zinfandel. They’re not supposed to be alive. They had found two original vines near Split and three more were found alive in Mr. Benmosches vineyard in Viganj. A woman from the University of Zagreb, Dr. Carole Meredith, formerly of UC Davis, is responsible for the DNA testing for Crljenac, the father vine of Zinfandel. The vines were tested in Germany and its been confirmed they are a legitimate father of Zinfandel.  





It was while at PaineWebber on a trip with the firm's top brokers that Benmosche first visited Dubrovnik. The brokers were tickled by the absurdity of visiting a communist country, the former Yugoslavia. Benmosche was more analytical, returning to the city years later with the idea of growing Zinfandel grapes in Croatia, the region where they originated. He didn't find a farm right away, but in 2001, he bought the Splendid Bar, a one-time discothèque on a strip overlooking the glittering Adriatic, which he and his wife, Denise, a former schoolteacher, spent six years renovating into Villa Splendid...He found his vineyard a couple of hours away, and began dry-farming grapes to concentrate their flavor; last year the vineyard produced 3,000 bottles of wine under the Benmosche Family Dingac label.

It was while at PaineWebber on a trip with the firm's top brokers that Benmosche first visited Dubrovnik. The brokers were tickled by the absurdity of visiting a communist country, the former Yugoslavia. Benmosche was more analytical, returning to the city years later with the idea of growing Zinfandel grapes in Croatia, the region where they originated. He didn't find a farm right away, but in 2001, he bought the Splendid Bar, a one-time discothèque on a strip overlooking the glittering Adriatic, which he and his wife, Denise, a former schoolteacher, spent six years renovating into Villa Splendid...He found his vineyard a couple of hours away, and began dry-farming grapes to concentrate their flavor; last year the vineyard produced 3,000 bottles of wine under the Benmosche Family Dingac label.

I was in Dubrovnik in Croatia back in 1997 and found it was a beautiful place. I said to myself, "Bob, what do you want to do when you retire?" I had read an article that said Zinfandel may have come from Croatia. And so I said, "that is an interesting idea." In 2006, I was able to get two pieces of land. One where [my vineyard manager's property] is, and another, about 12 acres, right on the sea. I chose it because it had these yellow flowers called broom. They say where the flowers grow is great for growing grapes...

I was in Dubrovnik in Croatia back in 1997 and found it was a beautiful place. I said to myself, "Bob, what do you want to do when you retire?" I had read an article that said Zinfandel may have come from Croatia. And so I said, "that is an interesting idea." In 2006, I was able to get two pieces of land. One where [my vineyard manager's property] is, and another, about 12 acres, right on the sea. I chose it because it had these yellow flowers called broom. They say where the flowers grow is great for growing grapes...