Another reason why Herzegovina is an attractive and a unique place in the world is because of its wine. Its varieties of Žilavka i Blatina are due to the warm sunshine that helps the vines grow. A Mediterranean climate and relief contribute to making this wine amongst the best quality wines in the world. Herzegovina is in close proximity to the Adriatic Sea which has a significant influence upon it. Sunny days are very common in Herzegovina. For instance Mostar as its centre has 2290 hours annually of sunshine, while the South Herzegovina is even sunnier and is one of the sunniest areas in Europe. The winegrowing in Herzegovina has a century-long tradition, due to lots of sunshine. Even archaeological monuments from Roman times with engraved motifs of vine and grapes give evidence of its long tradition.
The first written document about the wine from Herzegovina is in the declaration from King Tvrtko (1353), where he said how he drank good wine in Suha – Čitluk as we know it today. Žilavka and Blatina are world known types of wine. They are specific phenomenon of this region and their quality can be ranked with the best quality brands in the world.
Blatina is autochthonous variety of Herzegovina. It is recommended to drink it with strong meals, especially roast meat. It is drunk slowly, clear on 18 to 20 ºC, in a rural ambience from the wooden jug. Blatina has the strength of the sun condensed in it, and the strength of the Herzegovina summer heat collected in it. Its accompanying varieties are Vranac, Merlot, Cabernet sauvignon, Kambuša and Plavac. It can be assumed that Žilavka was named that way because its name symbolizes fine veins, visible in the period of the full maturity of grapes in the berry, through its thick but transparent skin.
It comes from Herzegovina, where it grew, assimilated and identified with the sunny and karst ambience. Local people drink Žilavka with boiled or grilled lamb; it’s also delicious with eel and other fish food, as well as with cheese from bellows, and prosciutto ham. Its accompanying varieties are Bena, Krkošija and Chardonnay. “Stony wine” is a phenomenon from Herzegovina for the fact that the vine grows on rocky ground full of stone heated by sun. It was given that name because the entire plantation of vines is on stony ground mixed with small portions of soil. In this way the vine proved its endurance taking drops of water from the rocky ground. In the time of grape harvesting it’s traditional to make a sort of candy out of grape juice. Herzegovina is famous for giving strange names to food, it’s the same with this candy. It’s called ćupter. It’s served cut into long pieces with nuts, almonds, dried figs and of course with vine brandy.