It is very difficult to give an exact answer about the origin of the name Žilavka, but it can be logically assumed that its name symbolizes fine veins, visible in the period of the full maturity of grapes in the berry, through its thick but transparent skin. Its attribute, „hercegovačka“ seems to want to express its unique grandeur, delicacy, boon , and abundance, as if to redeem the concern and effort of the winegrowers. It also symbolizes the region of Herzegovina, where it grew, formed its characteristics, assimilated and identified with the sunny and karst ambience of Herzegovina.
The variety of Žilavka gives quality wines, while premium quality wines are produced from grapes growing at selected locations(vineyards), very often with the addition of 15% of Krkošija and Bena , which are also autochthonous grape varieties of the region of Herzegovina.
Everybody experiences the Žilavka wine in a personal and individual way. It with its singularity and peculiar qualities, particular fragrance, roundness, and strength typical of southern wines. It bears the impression of Herzegovina. The beautiful crystal clear yellowgreen hue, specific aroma, harmonious proportion of alcohol and acidity, and a rich extract, distinguish Žilavka from all other wines. It’s a strong wine with 12 to 14 % of alcohol, 5 to 6 g/l of total acidity, with a total extract of 20 to 27 g/l. It gains its genuine plenitude and features the longer it is aging in the bottle.
I Inhabitants of Herzegovina drink Žilavka with boiled or grilled lamb, eel and other fresh-water and sea fish, as well as with cheese from sheep skin sackand ham. It is best served refrigerated at 10 to 12 ºC.
Blatina is an autochthonousgrape variety of Herzegovina. It has a functional female flower autosterile), and for that reason it is always cultivated in plantations with other varieties such as Allicante bouschet (Kambuša), Merlot, and Trnjak, which at the same time pollinate Blatina. During the period of insemination, because of the rain, it can fail in giving fruits, and it is then called „praznobačva“ (emptybarrel). Blatina is a quality and in specific locations a premium quality dry red wine, produced with the variety of grapes that has the same name, with 15% addition of pollinating varieties.
It’s a strong and fresh dry red wine with 12 to13.5 % of alcohol, 5 to7 g/l of total acidity, 25-32 g/l of
extract. It has a dark ruby red colour, particular and characteristic aroma, as well as a full and harmo-
nious taste. As a southern wine it has a satisfying concentration of acid. It is good to let it age for several years in wooden barrels, even more, the quality is the highest, they say, with up to 5 years of aging. It is recommended to drink Blatina with intensively flavoured meals, meat from game, especially roastmeat, fish stew, and beef ham. It is drunk slowly, undiluted, on 18 to 20 ºC, from nicely shaped glasses, and in a rural ambience from a wooden jug.
Beware of its strength! It condenses the sun and all of the Herzegovinian summer heat.