The white grape variety comes from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Synonyms are Jilavka, Mostarska, Mostarska Žilavka, Zilavka Bianca, Žilavka Bijela, Zilavka Blanche, Žilavka Hercegovacka and Zilavka White. According to DNA analyses carried out in 1999, there is a relationship to the variety Teran Bijeli (Prosecco = Glera). Despite morphological similarities it must not be confused with the variety Furmint (synonym Žilavka). The late ripening vine is susceptible to downy mildew, botrytis and spring frosts, but resistant to drought. It produces alcohol-rich, acidic white wines with aromas of nuts and apricots and ageing potential. Žilavka is by far the most common variety in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where it is grown mainly in the Mostar region in the south of the country. There are also stands in Croatia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Serbia. In 2010, however, no stocks were reported (Statistics Kym Anderson).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)