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Wine Tasting on the Dalmatian Coast

Concierge.com's insider take:

Nearly every island town has a communal wine press, and a large number of families bottle their own. That's because wine is an integral part of most Dalmatians' social identity. And since Croatia is not yet a member of the European Union (it's a candidate—the smart money has it joining up in 2009), it isn't hampered by regulations regarding production and export. The Zlatan Otok winery in Sveta Nedjelja, Hvar, is an ideal place to taste the robust flavors that result when grapes grow facing south under a sun that beats down 300 days a year. Sample the winery's red Plavac Mali; the grape is a relative of California's Zinfandel and regularly reaches 14 percent alcohol (385-21-745-803; zlatanotok.hr). On Korčula, try the dry, white Grk, which is full-bodied enough to serve with red meat. The Marinka vineyard serves up a fine example, and also rents rooms. On the island of Brač, the community winery Poljoprivredna Zadruga produces some of the best wines on the island. The Bolski Plavac—a powerful red reminiscent of Sangiovese—is an exceptional bargain (385-21-635-055).

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