It is the vine symbol of Oltrepò Pavese, polyhedric and versatile, it can give great lively wines and important still wines. The first concrete quotations of Croatina grape varieties date back to the second half of the 19th century, when several ampelographers tried to "get order" in the vineyards, especially between Croatina, uva rara, Piedmont Bonarda and other vines. If only at that time is written an ampelographic sheet of Croatina, it is true that the local word of mouth identifies this vine as a viticultural symbol of the Oltrepò Pavese, well present in the territory since long time. And since long time in many hills the wine obtained was already called Bonarda.
At the end of the eighteenth century, Croatina vine was in fact the flag of Oltrepò's winery production, spread fairly homogeneously throughout the territory.
However, with the rise of phylloxera, the scenario changes: the negative characteristic of the Croatina grape is a certain productive inconstancy and the obligation to use the rootstock further increase this defect. Many producers have thus preferred to point in the post-phyloseric replanting on the more productive and constant Barbera.
We must wait in the late 60's for local producers to understand the enormous potential of this vine, helped by research and experimentation that have identified Croatine clones in accordance with the needs of the producers.
Some ampelographic nods
The sprout is cottony, green, whitish with pink shade, with leafy and greenish-colored leaves with bronzed shades. The leaf is of medium dimension, trilobed pentagonal, sometimes quinquelobed; the top side is smooth, the inferior arachnid. The bunch is big, sometimes conical with a medium wedge. The grape is medium, spheroid with consistent, pruinose, dark blue skin. The pulp is juicy and has a characteristic astringent flavor.
Traditionally cultivated in the hilly area, especially in the municipalities of Rovescala, S. Damiano al Colle, Montù Beccaria, Stradella, Canneto Pavese, Broni and Castana, Croatina is a vine of medium vigor and production that requires clayey calcareous soils, with not too much potassium . Production is good but unsteady. Maturation is late period.