24. June 2022. pontalopudfilm

Mala Nevina, St. Heels and Roko are sensational wines of the Ponta Lopud Festival

Saints Hills Winery, the wine partner of the second Ponta Lopud Festival, has been making “wines of saints” for many years, celebrating the sun and the sea, Dalmatia and Istria, the bura and jugo winds, stone and vine.

Wine has always been an essential part of the life of the ancestors of Saints Hills winery. It is a strong link that has persisted over two millennia of wine history and has kept the family together. Even today, wine and family are their fundamental values and inspiration. Therefore, the famous vineyards of Saints Hills proudly bear the names of saints, which also happen to be the names of the children of the owner, Ernest Tolj: Lucia, Roko and Ante, thus honouring a rich family tradition. Deep in the rocky soil of their vineyards lies the root of a love of life, family, wine, and ambition to attain perfection in creating flavour and rich aroma.

The ideal vineyard positions in Istria and Pelješac peninsula provide the best conditions for wine-growing in some of the most beautiful locations with stunning Mediterranean scenery reminiscent of that of Fellini’s films.

Mira Šemić, a distinguished sommelier and wine connoisseur and the first female wine academician in the Balkans, together with young and excellent winemaker Lucia Tolj, presented the following selection of festival wines: Mala Nevina, St Heels, Sv Roko and Dingač. The wines became an overnight sensation at the Ponta Lopud Festival.


Mala Nevina was obtained as a blend of Istrian Malvasia and Chardonnay grown in the Istrian vineyard of St. Ante in Radovani near Višnjan, which is rich in red soil and limestone and extremely suitable for growing white varieties. The special aroma is developed by ageing for six to nine months in concrete eggs and wooden barrels. It is a complex, but above all light wine created for long-lasting enjoyment.

St. Heels aka Štikla is a rose from Plavac mali grown in the Dingač position. Men crave this top-notch rose, while women simply adore it because of its many links to elegant women’s high heels. It is ideal for long, hot and carefree summer nights filled with pleasant conversations with friends.

Sv. Roko is produced from the Plavac mali grape variety grown in the relatively new vineyards of Sv. Roko in Komarna, known for its favourable winds, rocky soil, and the excellent freshness of the variety. It is aged for 14 months in French oak barrique barrels and large concrete tanks. Along with plums and cherries, the aromas of wild Dalmatian herbs and vanilla are typical for this wine. It is an ideal choice for pairing with oily fish and aged cheeses made from cow’s and sheep’s milk.

Dingač is produced from the Plavac mali grape variety grown in the best Croatian wine-growing area and the pride and joy of the Saints Hills winery from the Sv. Lucia vineyard in Dingač. The vineyard abounds in all the advantageous qualities for growing this particular variety: the sun, calcareous soil full of quartz, mineral soil and favourable winds. Plavac that is grown here has specific pronounced aromas of prunes, tart cherries and secondary aromas of tobacco and dark chocolate. Extremely rich and fragrant, it remains smooth and mild on the palate. It is aged for 24 months in new French oak barrique barrels and sees the light of the day after 3 years in the cellar. It is great with all meat dishes, dark chocolate desserts, aged cheeses, and the best choice to relax with a good cigar.

Just like last year, this professional wine tasting attracted a lot of attention from festival guests, participants, lecturers and members of the Ponta Lopud Club, who truly enjoyed the rich aromas of selected wines.

Photo: Katarina Radonić