Blatina is a native variety of Herzegovina. It is one of the very few varieties with the unisexual flowering plant giving rise to female flowers, and for that reason it is always cultivated in plantations with other varieties such as indigenous Trnjak, Alicante bouschet (Kambuša), Merlot, which at the same time pollinate Blatina. This variety gives powerful and fresh dry wines which usually should mature a few years in wooden barrels. It has a dark ruby red color. Blatina will often exhibit aromas and flavors that are spice and coffee-driven. Longer aging will often result in dry chocolate flavors as well. Although the flower is feminine, it is often said that wine is masculine. It follows up from the old folk proverb: ‘Žilavka je puna smijeha, a Blatina puna grijeha’ (literally: ‘Žilavka is full of laughter, yet Blatina is a full of sin!’). Therefore the most respected red variety in Herzegovina is Blatina! Production is focused in the area of Mostar and around the towns of Čitluk, Međugorje, Ljubuški, and Čapljina.
The indigenous white Žilavka (zhee-lav-ka) is ideally suited to the Mediterranean climate and limestone plateaus of Čitluk where it has been grown for over a 2000 years. She flourishes in dry conditions and when planted on rocky and shallow terrains. Wine made from Žilavka grapes is a harmonious top quality wine with a characteristic scent. It is assumed that name is derived from fine and small veins visible through the transparent grape skins at the time of full ripeness of the grapes (note: žila means vein). Žilavka carries with her a seal of Herzegovina! For the first time the story about her broke out when the rewards started coming in, namely medals at the tasting competitions and festivals in Budapest (1896), Brussels (1897), London, Marseille, Paris and Vienna (1898). Wine made from Žilavka usually has greenish-yellow colour, it is medium-bodied with harmonious acidity coupled with exceptionally pleasurable fullness and varietal bouquet.
The Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar is a place of memory to its multicultural background. Mostar is known as a melting pot of cultures and religions, where east meets west and north meets south. It is a city where a traveler from the north feels the first dashes of Mediterranean air imbued with scents of citrus and sea, and a traveler from the south gets a first glimpse of the continent beyond.
During Ottoman rule, Sarajevo was heralded as the “European Jerusalem”, as its invaluable contributions to civil engineering, industry, trade and architecture attracted people from various ethnic and religious backgrounds. Aesthetic beauty alongside scientific ingenuity made, and indeed makes, Sarajevo a hub for civilisation.
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