On Sunday, I joined the RIT study abroad students for their day trip to the Pelješac Peninsula (the primary wine-producing region in this area), and Korčula Island, which is just off the end of the peninsula.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t particularly cooperative; we had gray skies, wind, and cool, damp air all day. (I’m beginning to wish that I’d come for a fall rather than spring quarter; it’s a tough call whether the opportunity to explore the city when it was free of tourists is worth the tradeoff of so little sunshine and warmth thus far.)
Still, I was happy to have a chance to finally see some of the vineyards. We made a stop along the way at the Vukas Winery, where we tasted both their wines and their various flavors of rakija. While I didn’t buy any, I did very much enjoy the cacao-flavored (rogač) rakija. I’ve also found that I particularly like the walnut version (known as orahovača), but Vukas didn’t have a bottle of that.
After the winery stop, we took a small boat from Orebić (a town at the end of the peninsula) to Korčula. Our timing was unfortunate, because in addition to the less-than-balmy weather, it was a Sunday during the off-season, which meant that nearly every business in the town was closed. We had a lengthy tour of some of the historical sites, including the cathedral and the icon museum. We also visited the exterior of a house that the Croats allege was the home of explorer Marco Polo; apparently there’s some controversy about the legitimacy of this claim.
After the tour we finally found a few open restaurants and had lunch, then wandered the town for a bit before heading back to Dubrovnik.
If (well, more likely when) I come back to Dubrovnik, I think I’d prefer to do the tour of the peninsula with Sasha, the charismatic owner of D’Vino wine bar (my favorite spot in the old town). His storytelling prowess, along with his connections with small vintners would probably make for a much more interesting day in the region. (And, I’m sure, some much more enjoyable tastings.)