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Toreta Winery

Located in the village of Smokvica on the island of Korčula in the middle of the Adriatic sea, this family-run winery has risen in recent years to challenge world wide competition.

The People

Lush with pine forests and Mediterranean herbs, wine has been the backbone of the

island of Korčula's economy since before the Greeks. For roughly 400 years up until the early 1800s, Korčula was a part of the Venetian Empire. The architecture and food still harken back to that era. There is even a stone statue with inscriptions for regulating the production of wine from 1407.

Toreta's story begins with Frano Banicević’s great grandfather who not only founded the winery, but dutifully wrote down everything about winemaking and working in the vineyard. Today, Frano has picked up where his great grandfather left off. As a young winemaker, he is pushing himself to better understand the land and build something his family will be proud of. Toreta is also the local name for small round stone shelters built to protect workers from the fierce winds and elements.

There are only five of these old structures left on the Island and all of them are on the Toreta property. Although many varieties of grapes are grown on the island (Plavac Mali, Plavac Sivi, Maraština, etc...), this is ground zero for Pošip. This is where the grape was first discovered and where the first appellation for it was designated in 1967. When asked if he is a modern winemaker, Frano responded, “I like [working with] Pošip and Korčula is the home of this grape. So I guess I’m more of a traditionalist.” It is truly a unique and delicious wine that is so loved that it’s often difficult to get any off of the island.


Originally covered with nearly 4000 hectares of grapes, that number dropped to currently around 450 hectaresonce Phylloxera hit in the late 1800s. During the pre Phylloxera days, 70% was devoted to red grapes. That has now shifted to over 70% white grapes dominated by Pošip. Frano farms roughly 5 hectares in the Smokvica area just below the winery. As you approach the vineyards from the town perched high above, you can see the Adriatic just over the hill. Humidity is an issue, so having the right exposure and protection from these coastal winds is crucial. Pošip is also high in sugar, early ripening, and thin skinned, so avoiding sunburn is equally crucial. The yields are typically around 1.5 kilo per vine and the soil is predominately red and iron rich.