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Vugava grapes

by Apr 27, 20170 comments

Vugava is a variety of white grape that is mostly grown in Vis along the Croatian coast located in the Central Dalmatia.


Vis is known for being a mythical region ever since civilization stepped in. The Greeks, Illyrians and Romans had occupied the region and numerous wars were fought in this land among military agents of Yugoslavia, Napoleon and the British.

There has been a cultural exchange throughout since more than 3000 years. Apart from the mutual interest in colonizing the land, they were fascinated by their wines as well.

Mali Plavac and Vugava were the two most desired wines among the other wines grown in Vis. Vis is one out of the many other islands that lie in the coast that form Dalmatia. Vugava is also commonly referred to as Bugava.

Vugava is frequently compared to another wine variety known as Viognier which belongs to the Rhone Valley because of a shared similarity in the profile and bouquet.

They are further confused because of producing the sweeter variety of wines. Vugava wine variety has recently in the modern times brought back from the shadows by Antonio Lipanovic.

Wine grape varieties

He grew indigenous Vugava on stony soil in the south eastern part of the island which has become the source of pride in Vis. The wine is usually dry with a tinge of an apricot flavour which has a significant similarity with Viognier.

It is very important to provide added attention while cultivating this variety of grape for a successful harvest.

As the grapes are high in its acidic level, it might be difficult to preserve their quality because of a potential imbalance in the alcohol content at times when the harvest does not take place in the scheduled time.

The vineyards are harvested manually early in the morning, which helps in preserving the flavour and freshness of the grapes.


It is believed by many that the Vugava variety of grape was available in Otok Vis for a long time which might round off to 2000 years.

Back then, Vis was called Issa. Many even say that the Roman army brought it along the Dalmatian Coast.

A debate, even speaks about this grape variety being so popular that it was even appreciated by Agath Archides (Greek historian).

He even mentioned in his book that, “On the island of Vis is a wine produced that no other wine equals”.

Though Vugava is considered to be a native from Vis, some even find a connection with Brac. But, the Vugava variety hailing from Brac is quite different from that of Vis.

In the world map, Vis is situated a very strategic location closer to the Great Britain and Italy in the history.

Because of this profound location, Vis has always been in contact with the tourists and travellers, which include sailors most of the time.

The location has a major role to play in preserving the special charm associated with this sweet and fruity flavoured wine.


These days Vugava is very commonly utilised for blending purposes rather than varietals, in spite of being a very exquisite species of grape.

Though Vugava has been quite an influence in the past, the wine producers in the Croatian Coast are trying to experiment with this variety along with a number of other grape varieties to preserve the classic Croatian wine savour in a more modern and international genre.

As Vugava in the traditional wine contain high quantity of sugar along with an overripe aroma, it is mostly blended with other grape varieties like the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.

The Vugava wines are known for providing delicious fruity flavours which are usually sweet with a medium range of acidic content.

The Vugava grape has a lot of potential in making exquisite wines with the use modern methods of Enology and Viticulture.

The wines are famous for its distinct aroma and freshness, which is enhanced with aging. The alcohol content in the wines prepared out of the Vugava grape variety is usually 14.2% with dry residual sugar content.

It is more advisable to serve this wine in a temperature which is around 12⁰C.

Food Pairing

As the wines of Vugava are sweet and fruity, it goes best along with savoury and richly flavoured vegetarian food items which may include paprika-rubbed drumsticks.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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