Alen Bibić is a real visionary. He built a successful private winery in secluded Dalmatian hinterland, used underrated local varieties to make high-quality labels and was one of the first exporters of Croatian wine to the USA. Curiously, his wines are more known abroad than in Croatia. At times when small winemakers were selling exclusively at the Croatian market and big wineries were exporting their bulk wines into neighboring countries, around 2006, 2007, Bibich wines were already hitting the tables of Manhattan restaurants. Now more than two thirds of his production crosses the Atlantic to the USA.
I admire him because this international success was based on his Debit and red blend, R6; these two wines made from grapes indigenous to Central Dalmatia previously considered as second-class varietals useful only for making bland, bulk wines. He proved the locals wrong and practically saved these varietals from extinction. When you hear he produces a wine from Rkcatelli, a white grape indigenous to Algeria, you know Alen is a natural born experimentalist and that many interesting bottles are coming in the upcoming years.