Vranac is considered an ancient variety, dating back to the Middle Ages when it was planted on the hilly regions of Montenegro. DNA researchers have determined that it is related to Primitivo, suggesting that one is the parent of the other, so it is often mistaken for Primitivo. The two can frequently be found together in blends, even though Vranac is usually produced as a varietal wine.
As over half of all vineyard land in Montenegro pertains to Vranac, in terms of commercial output it is by far the most significant variety. Vranac can also be found in Macedonia, Herzegovina, and also in small quantities in Croatia. It has adapted well to arid and demanding growing conditions in this part of the world and cannot be found anywhere else in commercial quantities.
Vineyards of Vranac in Herzegovina
Vranac Grape and Wine Characteristics
This grape variety produces red wines that are full-bodied, deep red in color and that stimulate your taste buds with flavors ranging from sour cherries, blackberries and black currants to chocolate, mint and vanilla. A rough translation of Vranac would be ‘strong black’, indicating the character of this wine.
Characteristics of Vranac are crops producing small bunches that produce large, thin-skinned berries, traditionally known as table grapes. Vranac is robust and delivers a high yield but can be sensitive to frost and botrytis. The sugar content of Vranac berries is high, producing wines with with quite a high alcohol level and a slight pleasing bitterness on the finish, similar to Primitivo. Vranac is an ideal contender for oak aging due to a high tannin content and adequate acidity, releasing vanilla and spice characters. The wine can improve with age.
Quality Vranac from Montenegro