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Crljenak Kaštelanski grapes

by | Dec 21, 2016

5/5 (3)

Crljenak Kaštelanski is a red wine producing grape variety grown in Croatian and in Italy as well as in California.

Wine with Crljenak Kaštelanski grapes

The name is difficult to pronounce and so in California it is known by the name Zinfandel. In some places in Croatia, it is also known by the name Tribidrag, and in Italy it is mostly known by the name Primitivo.

The wines made from Crljenak Kaštelanski grape variety have a potential of having an alcohol content of over 15%. The buds of the vine are plucked in the early season, pressed gently and kept for some time to extract all the juice it has.

Fermentation is carried out thereafter. Wine producers may use oak for fermentation or may do it in steel tanks as per their demand.

Wine grape varieties

The grape managed to go from Croatia to Italy to US. The production of the grape has gone down after the late 20th century and so it might be possible that wine makers may totally replace the grape with some other variety which gives about the same flavour and aroma and is far more resistant than Crljenak Kaštelanski grape.

The grape must be protected for as long as possible so as to keep making amazing red wines out of it. Many cultivators have been growing the same variety of grape since generations and are now facing trouble due to loss of market for Crljenak Kaštelanski grape.

The acidity of the wine is high which is among the reasons why the grape is demanded though in little quantity. The high alcohol content is another reason which attracts a different type of crowd towards itself.

Origin of Crljenak Kaštelanski

Crljenak Kaštelanskiwas introduced in the 15th century in Croatia and in the 18th century, it was taken to Italy and reached US in the mid-19th century.

During this time the grape was caught in the phylloxera epidemic. And since it was prone to vine hazards the vine was almost destroyed. This made the cultivators to shift their production of Crljenak Kaštelanski grape to some other red grape variety.

This made a huge decline in the need of the grape which finally resulted in lower crop production. Other details about the history of the crop is not known or mentioned.

If phylloxera had not brought about such damage to the grape it would have reached to almost all the parts of the world and built up a strong image among all the other leading grape varieties.

Features of Crljenak Kaštelanski

The main feature of the wines made from Crljenak Kaštelanski gape is its alcohol level.

It reaches as high as 15%, which is very rare for wines.

The berries of the vine ripen in the early season.

The vine is prone to powdery mildew and so other grape with higher resistance to diseases was chosen over Crljenak Kaštelanski during the late 20th century. As a result, the production of this grape variety went down increasingly.

The wine is amazing, deep red with lower tannins. They have a high acidic level and are good bodied wines. Distinguishing the Crljenak Kaštelanski grape is not a difficult task as the early growing season their shoots get covered with a white, cotton-like down.

The grape grows in compact bunches. It is best to serve the wine at about 18º C. You may consume the wine young or aged. Too much aging might give rise to some other flavours in the wine which might or might not be liked by everyone.

Food Pairing

The wines made from this grape variety grape have a high acidity making it easy to be paired with almost all food items. You can enjoy the flavour of the wine with roasted cheese with thyme-infused stuffing. It can also be enjoyed with sheep’s milk cheese and potato chips.

Salted dishes and sushi are among the dishes which can be enjoyed with Crljenak Kaštelanski grape wine. Roasted vegetables with haloumi cheese are often taken with this wine. Spaghetti can be taken with this wine.

This grape is not very famous globally but it is still being used in making many wines. Italian tourists must try this variety of wine to enjoy its fruity taste and floral aroma.

It is occasionally available for online ordering depending on its availability. The grape has travelled 3 different and important areas and so its taste must be cherished and appreciated.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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