Made in Croatia

Croatian Wine from Peljesac to Be Served at Joe Biden Presidential Inauguration

By 9 January 2021

January 9, 2021 - Special occasions require special wines, which is probably why a Croatian red from Peljesac will be enjoyed at the January 20 Presidential inauguration of Joe Biden.

Where would America be without Croatia?

First, a little stone to build The White House, then a few vines to produce Zinfandel, then a little Super Bowl sports coaching with Bill Belichick.

And now, a little drop of red for the presidential inauguration.

Croatian media is reporting that the Benmosche Family Dingac will be served in Washington on the big day.

Croatian online wine merchants, The Wine and More, have more information about the wine in question, and the rather famous American connection:

Robert Benmosche, was the CEO of MetLife when he retired in 2006 to become a winemaker in Croatia. The Empire State native had built a wine collection of a few thousand bottles when a trip to Dubrovnik sparked an interest in making Zinfandel. Robert bought land on Pelješac peninsula, and planted Plavac mali grapes in protected region where Plavac mali gives the best results. And in Viganj he planted Zinfandel. At the time he was investing in vineyards, they found out that Zinfandel is genetically the same as Crljenak Kaštelanski. Both Dingac and Zinfandel are coming from young vineyards planted in 2006. Wines are made with traditional techniques and kept in barrique barrels for 12 months and in bottle another 18 months.

Croatia wine is of course no stranger to the biggest global ceremonies. At the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, 11,000 bottles of the 1947 Ilockli Podrum Traminac were ordered for the Royal guests.

And if you would like to sample a bottle of the famous bottle, you still can, but bring your credit card. When I visited the winery last year, they still had 182 bottles of the 1947 left, with a cool price tag of 55,000 kuna (about US$9000) per bottle. Learn more in Croatia's Most Expensive Wine: Selling Well at 7,400 Euro a Bottle.