adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

Hump Day: A New Kind of Wine Tasting

Instead of reviewing a specific adult beverage this week, I decided to tell you all about the amazing experience The Hub and I had wine tasting in Croatia last week. After living on the California coast for the last 5.5 years AND getting married in wine country, we've done our fair share of wine tasting.  The typical experience is to go into a tasting room, pay a nominal fee, and taste about 5 wines that are poured by a knowledgeable staff member or Sommelier.  If you're lucky, you'll get to talk to some of the owners, maybe taste some reserve wines, and learn about their process.  It's a great time!  But our wine tasting adventure in the little town of Pohikwe, Croatia brought one of our favorite pastimes to a whole new level. After a day of touring villages and ferrying to Korcula (more on that later) we headed to the Marlais Family Winery in Pohikwe.  And when I say family winery, I mean family winery.  Our hostess, Mrs. Marlais did not speak English, but our driver was able to act as translator.  Mrs. Marlais and her husband, who is a fisherman, have a beautiful nearby vineyard and farm.  They make their wine in small batches, right in their own cellar! We also got to see some of the very old tools that Croatians used to use in the wine making process. In addition to wines, the Marlais Family also produce a variety of brandies, grappa, figs, cheese and some amazingly delicious olive oil.  I bought a bottle to send home to my mom and I wish I had gotten one for me too!  Next time I guess...

all the products at the Marlais Family Winery

After we toured the grounds, we went into the "tasting room."  A far cry from the posh surroundings of Napa Valley, but all the cozier for it!  Everything Mrs. Marlais provided us with was from her property, with the exception of the bread.  The figs were juicy, the cheeses creamy, and even the water was from a fresh spring on her farm.

First we tasted the brandies.  We tried both the cherry and walnut varieties.  They were sure were strong but went down smooth!  I enjoyed the cherry the most.  Next we tried the grappa, which they make with 8 different kinds of herbs.  It was earthy tasting and strong.  Like doing a shot of vodka.  I only had one taste of those!

Mrs. Marlais with the brandies

Finally, we moved onto the wines!  We tasted a white varietal which tasted like a full bodied, extra boozy, Sauvignon Blanc.  We also tasted 2 reds which were more medium bodied, dry and fruity.  Of course I lost the piece of paper that I wrote down the exact names of these wines, but it's not like you could buy them in the store anyway.  That wasn't what this experience was about.  I didn't even particularly love these wines - for me, this was about tasting wine in a truly unique way.  I have never had an experience like this, drinking wine and brandy with the owner, who doesn't speak English, in the room across from where it was made.  Unforgettable! If you'd like more information on Amico Tours, who organized this wine tasting for us, please visit their website.  Oh, and make sure to ask for Nebo as your driver.  He is the B-E-S-T.
Mrs. Marlais did not speak English, but our driver acted as a translator, and she was a wonderful hostess.

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