Two space shuttles from Tomac Winery
We know standard tasting notes don’t usually include the comparison to aeronautics and space but in the absence of standard descriptors, we try to use our imagination. These two wines from Tomac family winery ignite our feelings and take us places out of this world.
We are talking about succulent and energized amber wine. Plešivica is one of the hidden wine gems, just 30 minutes’ drive outside the capital Zagreb. This region is already known for producing premium sparkling wines in Croatia and raising popularity in a new segment, of amber wines producers in traditional Georgian clay amphoras called qvevri. One winemaker took a step further and made something no one in the world didn’t even imagine was possible.
The Tomac family is one of the top producers on Plešivica hills. They’ve been making wines for generations but that never made them stop exploring. This is the first winery in the world that tried to make sparkling amphorae wine.
Not only, that they’ve succeeded but this curiosity was named as one of the stellar wines of 2016! One of the most exciting buys in the wine world, by the Decanter editors. A wine that made Plešivica region trademarks, sparkling and amber wines, a perfectly exciting pair!
Sparkling amphorae couldn’t be farther from everyday wine and you wouldn’t open a bottle as a relaxing refreshment. It was crafted to offer you an experience. We could easily write a novel, describing the sensations, aromas, and flavours coming out of the glass.
Dried orange peel, salted caramel, almonds are just first impressions. Exploring more on the nose this amber delicacy shows ripe apples and pears in the background, apricot compote, candied and dried fruits. The feeling is wrapped up with background mineral feel that completes this complex but delicate nose.
There is no easy way in describing a different, only one in the world wine like this. Knowing we don’t share the same palates, sensitivity to aromas and flavours just means that each one of us will find something unique and different from what we have found in the wine.
Captured CO2 lifts the wine up. With this luscious and mighty structure, that lift is a very welcoming and pleasing sensation that elevates the experience. The bubbles act as carriers, that takes the flavours further on your palate, making the wine mighty but elegant and sophisticated to drink.
The current vintage of this sparkling wine available on the market and in our web shop is 2010. Amfora sparkling isn’t made each year, in fact, it is made only in excellent vintages like 2016 was.
All of Tomac wines are made in the vineyard, he states. They aren’t picking their grapes early to achieve and preserve acidity, needed for the premium sparkling. Harvest is done when the whole bunches of grapes are ready, from the skins to the seeds. This is especially important for longer maceration and fermentation with the skin contact, in amphorae.
Making amber wines in original clay amphorae from Georgia is a special kind of challenge. Outside of Georgia, just couple of wineries produce wines in this large clay pots buried under the ground. And the process itself takes time.
The grapes spend 6 months in contact with the skin and seeds. Even a tiny amount of unripeness is detectable and can have a huge impact on the whole batch, leaving unwanted bitter flavours.
The Tomac Amfora is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% various old grape varieties coming from the 70 years old vineyard. At this age, the vineyard yield has decreased but the concentration of flavours in the grapes is remarkable. Fermentation takes place in amphorae where the grapes stay in contact with the skin and seeds for 6 months, under the ground. The concentration from these old vineyards is transferred and emphasized in the wine.
Later, the wine is aged for 18 months in large oak barrels before being bottled and then left to rest for few more years in the cellar.
So now, almost 10 years after, you can have a taste of this amber extract. You could never guess its age. What stays on your palate is vibrant almost energized combination of flavours and vivid acidity. Although layered and extremely complex, you don’t feel the weight of the wine. The space shuttle that transfers you outside the gravity zone. In the glass, you have a wine that you couldn’t easily compare to other.
This range of wines that don’t fit white, rose or red category and stands outside of method traditionally sparkling wines. Two space shuttles from the Tomac winery, that lift you up and take outside this known world of wines.
Definitely not a type of wine everyone will like, but the type everyone will have an opinion on. If you are interested in amber (or orange) wine you can find out more about how it’s made in
Book your flight and forget about the gravity, in our web shop.
by: Martina Miličević
Did you like the story at Wine&More? Share it with your friends, like, comment and earn discounts with Your loyalty program!
Interested in learning more about Croatian wine? “Cracking Croatian Wine” guide will save you time and money in researching. Get your copy here!