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Excursion's informationsThe Illyrians ruled Pelješac 2500 years ago and in the Illyrian cave in Nakovanj near the Northern tip of the Peninsula, ceramic wine glasses handed to the Illyrians by the Greeks as a payment to pass the channel between Pelješac and Korčula, have been found. It is therefore believed, that wine was produced and consumed on the Peninsula at this time. Eventually of course, the Roman Empire conquered the Illyrian army headed by Queen Teuta and a more formal wine culture began to take shape. This was evident by the many Roman Villa Rusticas which were located in areas ideal for wine growing. A Villa Rustica was a country house built for the upper class; these were largely self-sustained with their own olive groves and vineyards so they could serve the needs of social gatherings. On Pelješac, Villa Rusticas are found in Dingač, Postup, Perna, Viganj, Trstenik, and Žuljana; some of the most recognized wine producing regions in Croatia to date. When the Slavs overcame the Romans in the 7th century, they adopted the rich wine culture of their predecessors. Many rulers governed the Peninsula until the Dubrovnik Republic. In the years when Napoleon was in power, many vines were planted and the Methode Cap Classique (the method in which Champagne is produced) was introduced. Skip a few years to 1867 when the Austro-Hungarian Empire governed Croatia, Emperor Franz Joseph's exclusive wine list included the red wines from Dingač, Pelješac and Tokaji, Hungary. These two wines were identified as the most valuable. Additionally, wines from Pelješac were exported to France where the phylloxera pest had exterminated the vineyards and wine industry. Years later, phylloxera hit the vineyards of Croatia and the wine industry took a massive dive. The Dalmatian wine growers left their land and immigrated to America and New Zealand (where they pioneered wine making). After recovering from phylloxera, Croatia's wine industry was in line with France and Italy in terms of equipment and vitification methods. This era however, brought something good to the industry by introducting appellation laws (Controlled Designation of Origin) of which the first two were Dingač (1961) and Postup (1964); both prominent wine regions of Pelješac.
Wine Route of Peljesac
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