Brajdica is a dark-skinned red grape variety particularly cultivated in the Primorska Hrvatska in the Croatian region.
Brajdica is a part of a big group of black grapes which are in relation to Zinfandel, in Croatia known as Crlejank Kastelanski and Primitivo in Puglia.
Origin and History
Croatian wines flaunt a history which dates back to the Old settlers of Greece and their production of wine on the Southern islands of Dalmatia like Hvar, Vis and Korcula nearly 2500 years ago.
In Croatia, wine is a very famous drink and the natives traditionally like to have wines with their food.
Generally, the wine is watered down with either sparkling or still wine which produces a drink called bevanda (a blend of still water and red wine) and gemist (a blend of carbonated water and white wine).
After the devastation of the vineyards in the late 19th century by phylloxera, the re-plantation of Croatian vineyards took place by grafting on to the root stock of America with the traditional grape varieties.
Regions Where It Is Grown
The grape is widely grown in the regions of Istria, North Dalmatia, Central Dalmatia, Croatian coast and South Dalmatia. Brajdica is widely cultivated in Dalmacija.
Croatian wines have two wine regions- continental and Coastal Croatia. The Coastal Croatia extends from the Istria to Dalmatia. The hot, long, dry summers and short, mild, wet winters that is the Mediterranean climate is especially most favorable for the production of Brajdica.
The indigenous grape varietals like Brajdica are grown here. In Dalmatia, the hillsides and islands have an endless category of microclimates which lead to a wine-region where the critically important aspect is terroir.
The Synonyms provided to this grape variety are Plavina, Plavka, Brajda and Plajka.
Characteristic of Grape and Vinification
The grapes of Brajdica are thick-skinned which produce wines with full-body, brambly, dark fruit flavors and plush tannins. The grape bunches are present in big clusters of grapes.
The grape is hand-harvested and then fermentation is carried out with natural yeasts in open top vats. The process of fermentation is done for 1-2 weeks.
The yeast plays a role of converting the sugars to carbon dioxide and alcohol ethanol from the grape. After this, the bacterial fermentation is done. Then the process of aging is done in large oak barrels of Slovenia for 4 months.
The unfiltered version is bottled and is only slightly refined. The taste of the red wine is completely dependent on the maturity of the grapes from which it is produced.
The fruit matures early with higher yields and shows little susceptibility to bunch rot. The juice produced by the fruit has a great amount of sugar content.
The grapes show an irregular ripening pattern- a single bunch might consist of over-ripe, raisin-like grapes and unripe green, grapes.
Factors affecting the flavor of wines are duration of maceration with skin contact, length of fermentation, the oak aging level and the sugar content of the harvested grape.
Characteristics of Wine
The wines produced from the Brajdica grapes are lively, delicious and refreshing with subtle notes of rhubarb, strawberry and hibiscus flower.
The wine is well-structured with a mineral finish of sea. The wine is a bit softer, fresher, brighter, and livelier and more restrained so much that no one could ever guess that it belongs to a place with rocky soils and warm climate situated right in front of the pure Adriatic Sea.
The wine has a medium-body on the palate with bright, fresh red berries, tart on the nose, a hint of earthiness, zesty acidity and soft tannins. The grapes are hand-picked which lead to the production of coarsely filtered wines which show low alcohol content, lively acidity, a strong tannin structure, fresh red fruit and berries with a flavor of chocolate.
The wines produced are rich and flavorful and are high in alcohol content (12% to 17% particularly) and grape tannins. The wine produced from Brajdica has a very good taste and is popular all over Croatia.
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