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Country of Origin: Croatia
Location: Plješivica, Croatian Uplands
People: Kreso Petrekovic, Owner & Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Before launching his career in the New York wine trade and joining the team at Zev Rovine Selections, Croatian-born Kreso Petrekovic grew up watching his father craft his own "farmer wine" for the family. Locally sourced and entirely unadulterated, these primitive but classic wines demonstrated to Kreso from a young age the raw potential of the vineyards surrounding his home. Inspired to continue this tradition of natural Croatian winemaking, Kreso embarked on his own winemaking journey under the label Podrum Franjo.
Where better to find Podrum Franjo's fruit than from where the inspiration began? Making the trip back to his home in Croatia, Kreso sources grapes from old vineyards that have long been owned and tended by his family and friends. This personal proximity to the farmers provides Kreso with more control over the growth of the fruit, ensuring that the vines are farmed organically and the fruit harvested by hand. Kreso works with indigenous, mostly not well-known grapes. The fruit for his white wines come mostly from Pljesivica and include the varietals Sipalj, Stajerka, Kraljevina, Smarnica and Plavec. Zametna Crnina and Blaufrankisch grapes, which Kreso uses to produce his orange wine, are both sourced from Styria.
Having released his inaugural 2016 vintage to great success, the Podrum Franjo wine label continues. Working minimally with indigenous varietals, Kreso's wines are authentic, terroir-driven raw expressions of a region with a history rich in winemaking tradition.