Dubrovnik Malvasia has been grown in the Dubrovnik area for over six centuries. It now produces dry and fresh wines, as well as strong and sweet Prošek wines.
Although its name suggests that it originates somewhere around the city of Dubrovnik, the highly valued Dubrovnik Malvasia (malvazija dubrovačka in Croatian) is not an indigenous Croatian variety. It is believed that it originated in Greece, and from there spread to Italy, Spain and Croatia. Nowadays, it can be found in every Mediterranean country that cultivates vineyards. It gained popularity under the namesMalvasia di Lipari, Malvasia di Sardegna, Malvasia di Sitges and Greco di Gerace, but many still think of it as an indigenous Croatian variety since it has been grown in the region for over six hundred years. Records from 1424 found in the Republic of Ragusa (or Dubrovnik Republic) show a prohibition of the sale of Dubrovnik Malvasia wine at a price exceeding the one stipulated by the laws of the Republic.
The largest number of vineyards and winegrowers of this white variety can still be found in Konavle, namely the Konavle Valley. As with many other less fruitful varieties, at one point, it was feared that the Dubrovnik Malvasia would go extinct, but determined winemakers breathed new life into it and focused their attention on its cultivation. Since the Dubrovnik Malvasia is a sensitive variety that bears fruit in small quantities and rather late in the year, it is recommended to grow it in the area of Central and South Dalmatia because of the favourable climate. Its sweet berries produce a strong, high-quality wine, so it is used to make anything from a dry wine to a sweet Prošek, which is a true Dalmatian speciality. Seeing as wines made from this variety are strong yet fresh, they are usually served with saltwater and freshwater fish and meat.