The Indigenous Grapes of Croatia: Prč (Parč)

By , 15 Sep 2016, 09:27 AM News

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Continuing our look at the indigenous grapes of Croatia on September 14, 2016, the vowel-challenged Prč from the island of Hvar.

Prč or parč is another indigenous Croatian white wine variety, but one of those that won’t be easy to purchase or just give a taste on its own, even if you’re on the island of Hvar. And that island is prč’s home, as it has been shown that it’s been grown here for centuries. In the past it could be found on other locations as well (Makarska and Metković, for instance), but these days it is grown almost exclusively around Sućuraj on the Eastern side of Hvar. And it is almost impossible to find a prč vineyard anywhere, as it is usually grown together with other Hvar varieties in the vineyards.

The variety has very high yield, and that’s one of the reasons it was planted in the vineyards with other varieties – to give much more grapes that usually have high sugar content and low acidity. Since it is not grown separately, you can’t expect it to be turned into a varietal wine, so usually you’ll just find it blended with other local varieties such as bogdanuša. Prč has quite a distinctive bouquet, somewhat fruity but is sometimes considered not too pleasant – and the variety supposedly owes its name to that somewhat unpleasant scent, as prč or parč literally mean male goat. So, not a really nice way to name your variety, ancient people from Hvar, what was wrong with you? The best place to get hold of a 100% varietal bottle is Vujnović in Sućuraj.

High sugar content and fruity bouquet would suggest a dessert wine, and that’s exactly what it has traditionally been used for – prošek, very special Croatian straw wine. For a few years, Plančić vinery from Hvar produced small amounts of varietal prč wine, attempting to create both the dry wine and the sweet dessert wine. The dry version is gold-yellow in colour with intense flavour and distinctive muscadine bouquet we mentioned earlier. It contains from 12 to 13 percent of alcohol, and low acids. If you manage to find this wine (it was bottled in the late 2000’s), it is best served at temperatures from 10°C to 14°C with white meats. The sweet, dessert wine, made from the grapes collected in the late harvest was matured in oak barrels for 2 years, and has intense oak smell, high alcohol content and sugars, not enough acids and should be enjoyed either as an aperitif, or with the dessert – especially desserts made of chocolate!

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