International Plavac Mali Day Celebrated on September 21

By 13 September 2021

September 13, 2021 - September 21 is officially celebrated as International Plavac Mali Day!

Croatia has a unique wine history dating back 5000 years, and four key wine regions, each growing distinct grape varieties – Slavonia and Danube, Uplands, Istria, and Dalmatia. Croatia’s gastronomic offerings have been on the rise and its exceptional wines are beginning to get the attention they rightfully deserve. With the recent changes in economic development in the region, it has quickly become a sought-after destination for many around the world. While tourism is a very strong industry sector, Dalmatia has also invested in the IT infrastructure on the continent and the islands to not only offer a complete solution to visitors, but also enable everyday productivity for the digital nomads.


"There are countless vineyards in Croatia, each with its own character, that reflect the various terrains, and the region of Dalmatia is certainly one of our jewels," says Ina Rodin, Director of the Croatian National Tourist Office, North America.

"In Dalmatia, one can enjoy sophisticated experiences in Michelin Star restaurants, but also the local konobas and wines coming from world-known vineyards to smaller producers - all taking pride in the country’s gastronomic legacy and celebrating our ties with the land and sea."

Plavac Mali variety is grown in the Dalmatian wine region, which has begun engaging with tourism as early as 1800, based on its natural beauty, mild climate, and its millennia of history. Plavac Mali grape variety,  recognizable for its distinct aromas, predominantly dark berries and Mediterranean herbs with expressive tannins, and mineral on the palate -  is a predominant and the most important red wine variety in Dalmatia. The annual production of Plavac Mali is over five million bottles, which is 7.5% of the total Croatian wine production, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, and due to its distinct taste and a capacity to age well is the most likely red wine purchased and exported by both the wine industry and the consumers.

Plavac Mali means ‘little blue’, referring to its appearance, small and dark blue berries. Leo Gracin, Doc. Dr. Sc. of Oenology, president of Vino Dalmacije Association and assistant professor at the University of Split, Studies of Mediterranean Agriculture says:

"Plavac Mali achieves a distinctive quality on the steep, southern slopes of the islands and the Dalmatian coast. The wines from Plavac Mali are full-bodied, strong with ripe tannins and pronounced aromas of dark-berry fruit but it is also important to say that this variety produces several styles of wines, from medium-bodied and easy-drinking, to elegant and robust wines. In addition, by maturing in wooden barrels, this varietal acquires an additional structure and, with its delicate oak aromas, achieves its full potential that only the world's best wines from warm areas can be proud of."


Some time ago the UC Davis and the University of Zagreb conducted a DNA study of the variety only to discover that Plavac Mali (vitis vinifera) is a descendant of Zinfandel (aka Tribidrag or Crljenak kaštelanski) created a natural hybrid with another indigenous variety, Dobričić.  The variety like that - most certainly deserves a special celebration, and when better than around the time it is typically harvested.

The Croatian Wine Alliance, a group of global teams promoting Croatian wines led by the US-based duo, Aroma Wine Co., and Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., recently announced September 21st as the International Plavac Mali Day. This collaboration is a public and private partnership among organizations from the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Croatia – all dedicated to telling the many stories of this indigenous Croatian red variety. 

"We have looked at ways to combine various branches of the economy into making Dubrovnik and Dalmatia an enjoyable and productive destination for people who would like to stay here longer than for a quick vacation," said Nikolina Trojic, Mr.Sc, president of the Dubrovnik county’s Chamber of Commerce.

"From the older, famous appellations to the newer ones, wineries have created wine tourism content, combining their award-winning wines with gastro offerings, and fun and educational content."

"To learn about all celebrations worldwide and the participating organizations, follow the Facebook page  and the #internationalplavacmaliday hashtag," said Mirena Bagur, co-founder of Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., an importer, online retailer, and advocate for wines of Croatia. And continued:

"This day will be recognized annually in the week surrounding September 21st, with various events, educational and promotional content in local geographies where Plavac Mali is presented. For example, in Boston, we are organizing a wine pairing dinner featuring various Plavac Mali wines and a few tastings in boutique wine stores. Croatian Wine Alliance is a Public-Private Collaboration lead by Aroma Wine Co., and Croatian Premium Wine Imports, Inc., The US-based duo is working with organizations around the globe to raise awareness of premium Croatian wines, including the Wines of Croatia,, a wine organization within the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Vino Dalmacije,  the association of winemakers in Dalmatia, and Croatian National Tourist Board, importers and distributors in the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe.  In addition, the Republic of Croatian Embassy and Consulates in the US are supporting the US importers.

For a full list of participating organizations, visit   

How to Celebrate International Plavac Mali Day?

  • Follow Plavac Mali’s adventures on
  • Tag that page when you post your own content and use hashtag #plavacmali and #internationalplavacmaliday
  • Create your own tastings, wine pairings, giveaways or educational events – in person or virtually, and tag the social media handles
  • Write articles about #plavacmali
  • Invite the media to the virtual event on September 20, at noon Eastern time to present Plavac mali and the wine industry in the region.  Media can register for the Zoom link, here:
  • Encourage others to participate in celebrations.
  • For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page