Bosnia & Herzegovina
Karst (dissolution of soluble rock)
Monastery Tvrdos was built in the middle ages upon the stone formations of Tvrdos, along the right side of the banks of the Trebisnjica River and only 15 miles from the Adriatic Sea. Historians recently discovered that it was founded by the Czar Saint Constantine and his mother Saint Helen. In the dark times, after the collapse of the medieval Serbian state, Serbian monks played a central role in preserving Serbian spirituality and culture as well as the tradition of Serbian winemaking. At the time, the monastery was well known for its wine. The evidence is an old epic folk poem that mentions the monastery and its monastic cellars filled with wine.
Today the monastery has two cellars. One is an old stone cellar from the 15th century where Vranac matures in hundred-year-old oak barrels. Only ten meters away and next to the Trebisnjica river, a new underground cellar has been equipped with the latest technology while perfectly integrated into the existing complex. In particular, a gravity-flow facility exploits the force of gravity to transport grapes and wine thanks to the multiple-level cellars.
The monastery’s vineyards are planted with several different grape varieties. Vranac and Zilavka are traditional grapes that have been grown here for centuries. International grapes like Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah are also planted, which allows blending of indigenous and international varieties. That’s the mix of traditional and modern that provides an additional complexity to the wines.