Ćemovsko polje vineyard.
Thirty kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, next to lake Skadar, are infinite rows of grapevines form one of the largest and most beautiful vineyards in Europe – Ćemovsko polje. It covers 2.300 ha with around 11.5 million grapevines.
The vineyards are boarded on one side by riverbed of Cijevna, subterranean river, which in seeking its way to Morača river and the sea, broke through the rocks and created a picturesque little canyon. In riverbed of Cijevna, layers of different types of stone can be seen, the same ones on which our vineyards lie.
The Montenegrin wine area is located in the southernmost part of the Adriatic coast, so vicinity of the sea largely determines the microclimate of Ćemovsko polje. The influence of Mediterranean climate has been spread throughout the wide valley of river Bojana, all the way to Podgorica.
The vineyard is situated on a plateau with an altitude that varies between only 45 and 70 meters and it is surrounded by limestone hills, which defines it as a karst valley with extremely hot and dry summer and slightly cooler winter than in the coastal zone.
Extremly small amounts of precipitation and lots of sunny hours complete the picture of this region, which you can only imagine in colors and sounds of hot summer. But this scorching sun, which shines up to twelwe hours a day during summer time, is only one of the challanges that grapevine face in Ćemovsko polje. The other challange is the soil, heavy and skeletal, composed of chalky limestone, sand and gravel-strewn with many polished pebbles.
Vranac is, of course, king of this wine kingdom in Ćemovsko polje. It’s our viticultural and national pride, covering two thirds of the vineyard. White wine varieties are led by Montenegrin Krstač, grown exclusively in Montenegro and nowhere else in the world, giving the best results right here, in the Ćemovsko polje.
Even tough it may seem impossible, 95% of Ćemovsko polje has been picked mannualy. More than 2,000 people participate during the harvest, which lasts from August to the end of September. Sometimes it really does seem like some scene from an adventure movie. Montenegro is a nation with a heroic hearts but also with a lyrical soul. And our Ćemovsko polje is the same. Created in the battle between man and stone, grapevines and heat , love and passion for this place have lasted for more than half a century. That is the greatest secret of Ćemovsko polje – the powerful synergy of epic and lyrical. And there lies the secret of our wine as well.
Thanks to the excellent area, soil composition and favourable position ,both the autochtonous and world renowned grape varieties have been grown successfully in our vineyards. Our main grape variety Vranac covers about 70% of our vineyards. It is the national pride of Montenegro!
Vranac is an ancient Montenegrin variety and its real origion had been hidden in the depths of history. It is the king of our vineyards, covering even two thirds of the plantations in Ćemovsko polje.
Plantaže focuses a particular attention to it, not only regarding the production of wine but also regarding comprehensive, scientific research work , taking part in the most important projects of the main, world organisations, dealing with the grape varieties. The wine, made of the grape variety Vranac has become the national brand as well as th emost recognisable and best product of the company 13.jul-Plantaže which has promoted Montenegro as a remarkable wine destination.
Nowadays, after the latest scientific discoveries, It is certain that Vranac originates from the close area of Crmnica and its parents are the oldest Montenegrin variety Kratošija and a rare variety Duljenga, grown in the collectionary plantations. Vranac is the variety with a very rich oenological potential. That is why we managed to create different profiles and styles of Vranac in our wine cellars that do not leave anybody indifferent.
The oldest grape variety, grown in Montenegro is Kratošija. Growing of Kratošija for centuries in the areas of Montenegro has been confirmed also by large presence of this variety in all viticultural terrains of Montenegro in past as well as today, by a great heterogenity of its population within which even 17 biotypes have been defined. The presence of its numerous descendants (21) has also indicated that Montenegro is also the country of origin of this variety , spreading from here into the region and other parts of the world . The oldest written traces concerning growing of Kratošija in Montenegro dated from the 15th century (Budva Statute) up to the present. All accessible data, including the results of the latest genetic research have confirmed that Kratošija is definitely the oldest name for the variety Zinfandel which is by the opinion of academic Ulićević, dating from 1959, identical with Zinfandel which had been transferred from Monternegro to California.
As for the white grapes , our autochtonous grape variety Krstač is the leader. Krstač has been grown in the microlocality Nikolj Crkva, Ćemovsko polje and all efforts to be transferred to other world regions failed. Plantaže is the only winery in the world that produces the wine of this autochtonous variety. A cluster is medium size , tight, its shape reminiscent of the cross, by which this variety got its name.
Among the white varieties, there are: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc. World famous red varieties are led by: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Marselan and Petit Verdot.
Simultaneously, we keep a great number of trial plantations in our vineyards with other 20 other wine grape varieties. And we also pay a particular attention to rejuvenation of a forgotten Montenegrin, autochtonous white grape variety, called Žižak, the wines, made of which we expect with a special pleasure.