Work began at the Korlat vineyard in March 2004, and due to the complex terrain preparation lasted until the spring of 2005. That year, the first 73 hectares of vine cuttings were planted, and the remaining 30 were planted the following year. A total of 550,000 cuttings were planted. Korlat vineyard was planted using cuttings from France, including the sorts of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The total potential production is approximately 400 – 450,000 liters of superb red wine
This venture by Badel 1862, planting vineyards on rocky terrain over such a large area, can be considered pioneering on a global scale. The vineyard was created in extreme conditions, its highest elevation is at 300 meters above sea level, and the entire vineyard faces the sea.
The area that was initially covered in stone and macchia, diggers and bulldozers first had to clear the land. Using rippers, the soil was aerated in a chess-board pattern at a depth of 70 cm to 1 meter, which helped break up the stone slabs in the earth.
So the soil structure appropriate for planting vines was achieved, where their roots would later able to grow and find their way through the rocks. The large boulders that needed to be broken up before the ground was dug up caused problems, and since the land also had some oak trees there was a lot of effort required to remove the roots with large cultivators.
The first grapes harvested at Korlat in 2007 were enough to produce 9,000 liters of superb red wine, or 12,000 bottles that were launched to the market as the first commercial harvest in late 2010. The total production potential once the vineyard reaches its full fruit-bearing potential over the next two to three years will be around 400 to 450,000 liters of superb red wine.
Its design was inspired by the wineries in the south of France and consists of three individual buildings where primary processing, care and ripening is done. The Benkovac Winery building is still attractive today. The roof and part of the façade is covered in wild grapevines that give it a pretty and remarkable appearance, while also ensuring the large cellar stays cool.
The Korlat vineyard stretches over an area of 103 ha with 530,000 vines
The strong sun and the barren, wind-whipped soil of the Benkovac-Stankovci winegrowing region give Benkovac’s wine a distinctive characteristic.
Up until now, Benkovac Winery has been best known for its Rosé, but in 2005 they started working on raising a new vineyard in Korlat near Benkovac, where an 103 ha vineyard with 530,000 vines was raised in stone macchia.
The vineyard was planted with cuttings from France, including the sorts of Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Mourvèdre.
Benkovac Winery is also known for its production of grape rakija and the finest wine distillates that are used to produce the award-winning old European brandy, Glembay.
It got its name for the Croatian counts of Benković, who ruled over Benkovački Kaštel
Benkovački Kaštel, which is now home to a museum, was an old Croatian fortress in the past, which the Benković family turned into their castle after the arrival of the Ottomans in the 16th century.
The historical monuments in the surrounding areas include the endowment of Prince Branimir that dates back to the 9th century (Šopot), the ruins of the Roman settlement Asseria (Podgrađe), and the Church of St. Antun that dates back to 1743.
In the Middle Ages, the Glagolitic alphabet became widespread and remained in the area until the 19th century. During the Venetian conquest in the 17th century, the city gained importance as a border stronghold and important hub that connected the coastal towns in northern Dalmatia with Croatia.