01-07-2011 ~ 1 Comment

Jelsa and 19th century wine from Hvar

This Plavac Mali post on Go Hvar was nice reminder about the history of the wine on Hvar, which author Mara is currently exploring. Another interesting item in regards to Hvar wine history is the above photo.

This is from a postcard that we picked up in our travels and is of the port town, Jelsa on the north side of Hvar Island. The photographer is unknown, as well as the date. I would estimate it to be around 1870-1880. The reason for this is that phylloxera decimated the wine vines on Hvar in 1894 and they didn’t recover for decade after that. It’s hard to see at this size (and honestly, the originally isn’t much bigger) but on that ship in the lower left, they’re loading up what appear to be wine barrels. If true, then these were probably sent to Split and then onwards to France in order to replenish their wine supply, which was offline at the time due to their own dealings with phylloxera.

The ships in the photo all appear to be sailing vessels as well inferring that it was taken quite some time ago. Also, the port of Jelsa still looks exactly the same today, which would indicate that it’s the port they had built up in the mid-19th century primarily for exporting the “best wines of Hvar, olive oil and salted fish”.

Naturally, if anyone else has any other history on this photo, it would be more than welcome as it’s quite an interesting shot.