What's in the name
A very long time ago most hills on the right bank of the Danube between Belgrade and Smederevo were planted with vineyards. As sailors coming up the river passed the two islets at the town of Grocka, a hill would emerge to their left, first gentle sloping and than rising more sharply to about 120 meters above the river. This hill, covered in vines sprayed with blue stone (copper sulfate) and facing South-Southeast, would shine brilliant indigo color in the morning sun. So they called it Plavinci, meaning Indigo Hills. Wine went out of fashion for almost a hundred years and the XX century saw vegetable farms, apricot and sweet cherry orchards and, more than anything, weekend retreats of the emerging middle-class of Belgrade, replace the vineyards. But the name and a few vineyards remained. In 2008 a small parcel in Plavinci was reclaimed from neglect and in 2010 first organic vines were planted. More land was added, building of the winery was initiated, and in 2014 the first wine emerged.
This From the very beginning I was determined to go organic. After some Internet research, correspondence with universities in Serbia, France and California and visits to vineyards in Serbia, Italy, Canada and USA I decided to go with resistant varieties, no-till agriculture and trellis that will, once set up, demand the least work. This led to Panonia, Regent, year-around ground cover, compost tea, and most importantly, Dr. Richard Smart. Smart is an Australian who realized early that for the highest quality grapes one needs airy and neat canopy with sunlight in sufficient quantity falling on the grapes at the right time. His seminal work Sunlight into Wine describes the theory and practice and gives know-how for the application of his methodology.
Plavinci were planted with Panonia in the Spring of 2011 on about 0,15ha with row spacing of 1,8m and vines spaced at 0,9m, i.e. 1,62m2 per vine. Trellis height was envisioned as being 1,8m, same as row spacing. Vineyard is sloped at about 10%, facing Southeast, at the altitude between 168m and 178m. It is some 1km away and 80m higher than Danube. Plavinci has its own well and drip irrigation.
Provalije are located about 300m from Plavinci, towards Danube, facing Southeast, at an altitude of 142m to 155m (see map). There are two sections. Northern one is rectangular and almost flat. It was planted with Regent in the Spring of 2012 on about 0,10ha with row spacing of 2m and vines spaced at 0,9m, i.e. 1,8m2 per vine. Trellis height was envisioned as being 1,8m. Southern section is triangular, sloping about 10%. It is planned to be planted with Panonia in the Fall of 2013 on about 0,19ha with row spacing of 1,8m and vines spaced at 0,9m, i.e. 1,62m2 per vine. Trellis height was envisioned as being 1,8m, same as row spacing.
Makino brdo was planted with Regent in the Spring of 2011 on about 0,30ha with row spacing of 1,8m and vines spaced at 0,9m, i.e. 1,62m2 per vine. Trellis height was envisioned as being 1,8m, same as row spacing. Vineyard is facing South-southeast with a 6% slope, at an altitude between 183m and 195m. Makino brdo has no water source and it is quite inaccessible.