On the Adriatic, in the Dubrovnik region of Croatia on the island Korčula rests the town of Lumbarda, with a rich history of Greek settlement including archeological findings and world-famous wine. The Grk grape has been long recognized by the Greeks and in 2021 the Bire winery won the first-place platinum prize from Decanter. Stroll along the sandy beaches, swim in the Adriatic Sea, then explore Lumbarda, famous for its history and wine.
Situated on the most eastern end of the island Korčula and six kilometers from Korčula town, Lumbarda is surrounded by picturesque pine woods and olive groves extending around a small bay which is surrounded by large sandy vineyards. The islands Vrnik and Badija overshadow the view of over twenty islets in front of Lumbarda. Since the 16th century landowners built their summer homes where some are still preserved and inhabited. Many famous sculptors and artists were born in this town. Today tourism, restaurants, shops, fishing and a marina are main sources of income. For a few families, wine is their livelihood and life.
Lumbardian Psephisma is the most famous ancient Greek inscription in Croatia which is in the top class of global archeological findings, documenting the foundation of the ancient Greek colony in Lumbarda. The document is about the division of land parcels from the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. The early settlers exchanged goods around Mediterranean colonies and the Psephisma is its birth certificate. It’s extremely rare and the original can be found in the archeological museum of Zagreb since it was found in the early 19th century it has been changing set history. The replica is in the old town of Korčula inside their museum.
The main text was missing until summer 2018 when another main fragment was found and has been translated. The first words written are “may luck be with you” which continues to be a term of goodbye today in Croatia which is Sretno. The introduction continues with the description of the land mass of the island Korčula, the stone tablets indicate the assembly to establish and distribute land to colonialists including 200 names of Greek families.
Plavic Mali and Grk are the grapes gown in Lumbarda. The Grk has a history that dates back to the early Greek settlements and was the reason for our visit. While in Opatija we went to a restaurant where our waiter told us about a famous Grk wine by the Bire Winery. A few weeks later the Decanter World Wine Awards were distributed for 2021 wines. Well… this wine from Bire won Platinum which is the highest honor. This little Croatian winery beat the Greek wineries for their Grk wine. We thought we for sure had to go check the winery out.
There are a few wineries on the island, but Bire is the winery with the most prestige. Lovrić, Popić and Cipre are wineries which also have fantastic reviews and reputations for being good.
Stop by for a day trip, or stay in one of the apartment rentals and enjoy the rare sandy beaches as Croatia tends to only have stone and pebble beaches. It’s a quick trip from Korčula town about 100 Kuna by taxi. Read more about Korčula on my The Island Korčula Ultimate Travel Guide. Subscribe for more Croatian travel posts. Have a lovely day.