Wine Route of Herzegovina

On 25 April 2007, Ambassador Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to BiH, cut the ribbon to symbolically launch a new tourist attraction funded by the European Union – the Wine Route of Herzegovina.

The 17-month project was implemented by Tourist Board of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton in partnership with the Herzegovina Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association. The EU provided a grant of € 200,000         through the EU RED Fund, while the Tourist Board provided co-funding worth € 25,359. 

The project aims to directly contribute to regional economic development; to increase the number and quality of BiH tourist attractions – the Wine Route is a new tourist product; to increase the tourist turnover in the Herzegovina region; and to involve the local population and service providers in the offer of the Wine Route, thus increasing their own business turnover.

The project has produced a website in English and local languages which presents the Vineyards, Cellars and Products. It also reviews other nearby tourist attractions, whether cultural, natural or religious, as well as restaurants and hotels, so as to integrally link the project to other tourism destinations and services:  and . Other promotional materials include a map of the wine route and region, a brochure and a calendar of wine-related and cultural events in the Region.

The Wine Route includes 22 wineries and cellars in Mostar, Citluk, Stolac, Capljina, Ljubuski, and Trebinje, ranging from small family-operated producers of eco-wine to large industrial producers. Wine-growers agree on the need to attain “Registered Region” (AOC – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) status, so as to brand Herzegovinian wines and protect the names of its autochthonous varieties: Blatina (red) and Zilavka (white).

The wine-growers also aim to work towards joint marketing and distribution agreements, so as to strengthen their market share in the domestic market. Individual wineries export to specific markets but the winegrowers agree on the need to achieve recognized standards, so as to enhance the overall image of Herzegovinian wines abroad.

Ambassador Kourkoulas visited wine cellars and the famous “Stony” vineyards in Blizanci, Citluk, which in the 1980s were mechanically transformed from a stone desert into an oasis of 100 hectares where rows of Zilavka and Bena spring from a bed of fragmented limestone. They produce a high quality dry white wine, named Kameno (Stony), after the terrain where it grows. This unique production began in 1990.

After the visit to Wine Route locations, a ceremony was held at Hercegovina Produkt. Mr. Andrija Kresic, Manager of the Tourist Board of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, welcomed the guests. 

Ambassador Kourkoulas praised the results achieved by the project and cited it as a good example to follow. He stressed the importance of tourism as a potential for the country’s economic development.

Mr. Grgo Vasilj, President of the Herzegovina Grape Growers and Wine Makers Association, expressed their appreciation for the support received.