A full day of wine and great food with visits to two of Croatia's premier wineries, followed by a delightful olive grove picnic!
Plavac mali is the most known autochthonic grape variety in Croatia and in the Dalmatian region. First brought here by Greeks over 2230 years ago, Hvar’s ancient vineyards and olive groves have been recognized by UNESCO and are now protected as a World Heritage Site, the oldest continuously cultivated agricultural plain in the world!
Admired by wine enthusiasts around the globe, Plavac mali’s fame might never have happened if wasn’t for Croatia’s most famous winemaker, Mike Grgich. As a young Croat, Mike left his native land with $30 in his pocket to find his fortune in America. Today, this legendary founder of Grgich Hills Winery in California, partner of the Mondavi family (and creator of their best chardonnay) and the pioneer of USA wine production in Napa Valley is famous the world over as the wine-maker who stunned the world by winning the famous 1976 Paris blind wine tasting (made into the movie “Bottle Shock”).
For years Mike and a few of his fellow Croatians were convinced that the roots of zinfandel, “America’s grape”, were really Dalmatian. After years of research and DNA testing, Grgich was proved right. Not only was zinfandel Croatian, but it was traced to a small village in Kaštela, between Split and Trogir. Another local cultivar, Dobričić, from the island of Šolta, was later found to be one of the parents of Plavac mali which together with Plavac mali and Plavina, further proved a “first-degree” relationship of zinfandel.
Our glorious full day tour begins in the heart of Hvar Island. We'll head south, passing through the island's 1400 meter long stone tunnel to finally reach the island’s most important wine region—the lush vineyards located on the shoreside cliffs. Continuing further to Jelsa we will visit one of the most famous Croatian winemakers, the Bastijana wine cellar.
Winery 1: Bastijana Our tour of the winery includes both production and cellar storage facilities (loaded with barrique barrels) with an organized wine tasting in 4 courses that will be combined with island finest local appetizers. Our host will be Mr. Andro Tomić, one of the most famous wine producers in Croatia. His wines have conquered and dazzled the world many times over and continue to do so. ‘’La Revue du vin de France’’, the respected wine magazine, distinguished his wines as being a benchmark for the future millennium. We invite you try his Mali Plavac, made from grapes grown on the southern hills. You’ll also enjoy his award-wining port wine, Hektor, which is an almost unheard of variety.
Winery 2: Medvid – Duboković & 2718 hours of sun in the bottle. Our program continues as we meet the leading Croatian “garage” winemaker to taste wines that have become the most sought after in the country. The reason? You’ll taste what it's like to try ''2718 hours in the bottle”. The term “garage” winemaker is sarcastically used by big Bordeaux wine producers and vineyard landlords to denigrate young and ambitious ''wine newcomers'' without vineyards or with very small land plots. Their feeling is that wine production on grapes purchased from other farmers can’t possibly be as good as coming from one's own vineyard. Isn’t it wonderful that we have blind tasting tests to prove which wine truly deserves to be called great instead of just looking at a famous label? The ultimate truth test isn’t just winning awards; it’s the palate of wine lovers all over the world. Here in Croatia, Duboković wines have become a ''must have'' in the finest restaurants, hotels and specialized wine shops. Duboković – Medvid wines now have the distinction of being the most expensive regular vintage wines in the country!
After Duboković wine cellar tour and wine tasting we'll head to an olive grove for a fabulous lunch/dinner (depending on the time of day). This trip ends with an authentic island culinary picnic at the picturesque village of Vrisnik. Your host is one of the best Croatian olive oil producers, Mr. Borivoj Bojanić. His grove has an amazing view of Hvar's 2234 year-old Ager field, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the oldest preserved agriculture plain in the world. As you savour the subtle flavours of all the local herbs and condiments used in the preparation of your meal and gaze out at Ager field, you will understand the essence of island living in the unspoiled nature.
Local cheese with island extra virgin olive oil/marinated anchovies and olive patè
Stewed fish prepared in the ''hunter's way'' on an open fire
Grilled fish wrapped up with bacon
Fritule – local biscuit and caramelized almond – traditional Hvar type of sweets
Grappa – local brandy, wine, water, coffee
What is extra: Gratuities to guides and items purchased for personal use.
Tour type: Gastronomy, history and culture, for individuals, couples and families.
Transportation: Toyota Landrcuiser or Mitsubishi Pajero – both 4WD vehicles.
Activity Level: Light
Disabilities friendly: Yes
Kids Friendly: Yes
Min: 2 persons