Agricultural Cooperative Maslina i vino (Olives and wine; often shortened as MasVin) was founded in 2006, with the clear goal of promoting the rural development of the area of Ravni kotari. After the homeland war the restoration of the area has been very slow, so the not-so-many attempts to bring life, production and jobs to the area are highly commendable, and this one, in terms of talking about wine, is definitely worth a mention – and their wines are also worth a try!
MasVin is located in Polača and they produce premium products in the olive industry – several types of table olives and extra virgin olive oil, and various products made of figs. To complete the Dalmatian trifecta of olives, figs and wine, they produce many top quality wines as well. They operate as a cooperative should, purchasing olives, grapes, figs and their products, and enable placement of those products on the market under a single, recognizable brand.
As for wines, they have quite a diverse portfolio of varieties, including Tribidrag, Maraština, Maraština, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah of reds, and Maraština, Chardonnay, Debit and Yellow Muscat of whites (as you can see, they have a lovely balance of indigenous and imported varieties). Their Syrah is of a wonderful purple colour, with relatively high alcohol content of around 15 percent, ideal with grilled meats. Merlot has a pleasant aroma of fruit berries, also relatively high alcohols and balancing acids, and has won a bronze award on Decanter show in London in 2013. Cabernet Sauvignon is very fruity, appropriate with darker meats and especially game dishes. Their Tribidrag (MasVin still calls it Crljenak Kaštelanski) is a quite old-fashioned wine, made so intentionally to be reminiscent of the old times when it was one of the dominant varieties in Dalmatia, fruity and soft, ideal with duck’s meat or various risottos. MasVin makes a red Cuvée as well, blending Plavina, Babić, Tribidrag, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, and it produces a lovely drinkable, light red wine for those who enjoy red wines even on a hot summer’s day. Their Yellow Muscat is a lovely dessert or an aperitif wine, flowery and fruity, very Mediterranean.
The project has been generously financed by institutions such as UNDP, and the ambitions and plans of those running it are almost contagious, so we can expect great things (and even better wines!) to come out of Polača in the future. They’ve recently opened a wonderful tasting room, so consider making a stop there on your way through the northern Dalmatia, to give your support to the ambitious and hardworking team of people making wine and other goods to improve the lives in their region.