Maraština is mostly grown in Dalmatia and enables winemakers to produce various styles of wines, from classic dry white wines, to Prošek and orange wines.
Maraština is a white grape variety known also as Rukatac on the island of Korčula. Although its cultivation is recommended for the whole area of coastal Croatia, this variety is currently mostly present in Dalmatia, specifically around the city of Šibenik, on Pelješac peninsula and most of the islands. Maraština can also be found in other Mediterranean countries, such as Italy or Greece. Experts have found that it is actually a variety called Malvasia Lunga or Malvasia del Chianti, which suggests that Maraština is actually not an indigenous Croatian variety. At one point, Maraština was the most widespread white variety in Dalmatia, a title now held by Pošip, a variety that produces high-quality, first-rate wine that is very popular with consumers.
These days, winemakers try to produce various styles of wines from Maraština – some are made using the standard method, but orange wines, produced using maceration, are gaining ground. Maraština grapes are sweet when they ripen, and they have a thicker skin, so winemakers often leave it out to dry in the wind to make an aromatic Prošek wine. In fact, Maraština is considered to be the best variety for producing the highly-valued dessert wine, alongside Dubrovnik Malvasia. It is difficult to grow, so wines made from it – both dry wines and Prošek – were usually served only on special occasions.
When it comes to food, macerated Maraština wines pair well with barbecued tiny bluefish, as well as clam stew and light pasta dishes. Maraština is also served with white meat dishes, at a temperature of 10°C.