Wineries

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Tomac

Zagreb&Surroundings
Last impressions Plešivica's flagship winery
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Wineries
Consider yourself lucky if you manage to visit this Plešivica's flagship winery for a tasting with Tomica Tomac or his wife Martina. Tomac family is very busy in their vineyards and cellar, so not much time is left for hosting curious visitors. But that's OK, because they make some truly special and magnificent wines, especially the ones aged in amphorae. Tomac sparkling wines and Rieslings are definitively No. 1 and their Pinot noir is among the best in Croatia. More important, the family is very down-to-earth, hard-working, friendly and simply lovable.
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Bire

Dalmatia Dubrovnik
Last impressions Reneissance of Grk on Korčula
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Wineries
Frano Milina Bire has a beautiful family farm on a peaceful, isolated location near Lumbarda on the island of Korčula. He started with organized tours and dinners for tourists, offering them a taste of local produce like goat cheese, dry-cured ham, organic vegetables, sugared almonds, olive oil, brandies and wine. Then he realized that in the long run it is much better to turn to production and not just rely on tourism, so he focused on producing excellent white wine from the indigenous Korčula grape Grk, as well as a very good red Plavac mali. Bire is one of the few enthusiasts who has recently put a lot of energy and passion into transforming the ancient Grk into a modern wine of high quality. With big plans to revitalize old vineyards high on the southern slopes above Lumbarda, recognized and funded by the UN, the future of Grk seems quite bright. And Frano is very proud of it.
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Luka Krajančić

Dalmatia Dubrovnik
Last impressions Poetry in wine
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Wineries
Luka is the man who will surely take the credit when Pošip, the pride of Korčula winemaking, shoots to fame outside Croatia. Combination of low yield per vine and modern vinification techniques creates wines with a polished international style, which can bring negative comments from fellow islanders on the account of disrespect of tradition. But Luka is not worried because he took traditional winemaking to a higher level and still remained true to his roots. Luka is also a passionate poet, in love with the sea and his island, so he believes in the freedom of artistic expression, both when it comes to words and wine. As he said, it takes a bit of creativity and insanity to do what he does. Even those who are far from being wine geeks will recognize the warmth and aromas of the south Adriatic island in Krajančić's wines, but reinterpreted in his way. Ježina (sea urchin) is his basic Pošip, which slips down the throat easily than a cold summer rosé and it's one of the best value for money deals in Croatia. His most popular product is the elegant and well-balanced Pošip Intrada, a benchmark wine for the whole variety. Pošip Sur lie is another story, a complex and mature wine for real connoisseurs, which can compete with any great white in the world. We dare say that the best kept secret in Croatian wine world is Luka's red wine Plavac mali, which should hopefully enter the market in near future.
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Lipanović

Dalmatia Split
Last impressions Vugava from Tito’s bunkers
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Wineries
Located on the mysterious island of Vis, this winery is cleverly housed in a cave that was once an army installation during the time of Tito; a historical reminder bringing you back to Vis´ time of almost 50 years of isolation. Vis’ impressive story makes this winery a must-visit. Antonio Lipanović is revealing the glorious secrets of the island through the magic of Vugava (or Bugava), Vis´ very own indigenous white grape. Although not genetically related, Vugava is often compared to Viogner, the popular Rhône varietal characterized by its pungent aromas of apricot, peach, and violets. Petar, Antonio´s father, led me through the deep cold tunnels to flavour this rumoured wine from 2009. Distinctively yellow in colour, this powerful white tingles your nostrils with perfumed floral aromas and apparent traces of apricot, peach, and honey. Along with grassy and savoury flavour characteristics, this ripe wine (13.5% alc.) provides warmth on the palate, solid acidity and a pleasantly long finish. Lipanovic Winery also produces a memorable Plavac Mali Barrique, along with many different rakija (eau de vie) blends.
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Stina

Dalmatia Split
Last impressions Brač emerging wine scene Worth visiting High-End Southern Reds
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Wineries
Stina (“rock, stone” in Dalmatian dialect) is not a family winery success story nor a hobby winemaker gone large-scale, but a rather new phenomena happening lately on the Croatian wine scene: a successful businessman in his prime eager to invest some “pocket money” into wine making and set a new entrepreneurial challenge. Although there’s big money and corporate feel surrounding Stina, it doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing. On the contrary, Jako Andabak, Dalmatian businessman behind this project, certainly doesn’t lack passion and love for wine, and he can get the best grapes, top locations, enologists, equipment, and relatively quick results. So far, Stina wines are getting some very good feedback from wine enthusiasts and the market, and the first harvest was in 2009. However, the first real PR boom for Stina happened thanks to its innovative label, designed by the famous agency Bruketa&Žinić. It was awarded with Gold at Europian Design Awards and Bronze at Art Directors Club. Not a bad start for a bottle! And what’s inside is also quite fascinating. We’re talking about a strong, full-bodied but polished and soft Plavac mali red wine. It pays its due respect to tradition, yet it’s undoubtedly oriented towards future and global market. Since the wine is still quite young and has a promising aging potential, we’re predicting it a bright future. Apart from their iconic Stina Plavac mali (comes in three categories), they’re also producing Crljenak, native Dalmatian whites like Pošip and Vugava, as well as Opol (Dalmatian version of rosé) and dessert wine Prošek.
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Bibich

Dalmatia Šibenik
Last impressions Celebration of Mediterranean ho...
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Wineries
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.
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Grabovac

Dalmatia Split
Last impressions The Power of Imotski Valley
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Wineries
Grabovac family owns the biggest and most successful private winery in Imotski area. No wonder, knowing that the art of wine making has been running in the family for some 200 years. Ante and Milan, father and son team, are also responsible for many positive things happening around Imotski lately. They gathered with other producers into an association called Cvit Razgovora and started organizing a very successful festival dedicated to Kujundžuša, local indigenous white wine. Apart from Grabovac's Kujundžuša, excellent value-for-money fresh everyday white wine, their most famous brand is Modro jezero, full-bodied and noble red blend of Merlot, Trnjak, Vranac and Cabernet sauvignon from organic production. It comes in three kinds: basic, barrique and grand reserve. They also make a classic sparkling wine from Pinot gris, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, which is quite rare in Dalmatia. Watch out for their new rose sparkling wine coming soon. The Grabovacs obviously know their stuff when it comes to wine making, but they're also a very friendly, hospitable and kind family, very proud of their heritage and tradition. If you arrange a visit to their winery and if you're lucky, they will not let you leave hungry and without a smile on your face.
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Benvenuti

Istria
Last impressions Elegant Istrian Malvasia in Mot...
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Wineries
U vinskom podrumu Benvenuti probali smo pregršt prefinih slatkih vina i tako smo iz milja prozvali braću Benvenuti Slatka braća. Ali onda je došla Anno Domini 2008 malvazija i sve drugo je palo u drugi plan. To je jedna od najboljih dugo maceriranih malvazija koja nas je ostavila bez daha. Intezivnog mirisa, kompleksnog, bogatog okusa i u isto vrijeme svježa! Moram priznati da kasnije Anno Domini malvazije nisu nadmašile tu iz 2008.
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Radovan

Istria
Last impressions World-Class Merlot with Istria...
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Wineries
Desetak godina je već prošlo otkad sam prvi put probala vina Radovan (Malvazija, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, Teran a u zadnje vrijeme i Refošk) i nakon deset godina mogu samo reći da je oduševljenje tim vinima isto kao i prvi dan kad sam došla u malo selo Radovani i podrum Radovan. Njegova vina su tako postojana, bijela nježna, lepršava, a crna moćna i aromatična. Moram izdvojiti Malvaziju, slanu, svježu i mirisnu i Merlot i Cabernet sa svojim 'trešnjastim' i 'šljivastim' okusima i mirisima. Ukratko, podrum u kojem sva vina treba probati i upoznati divne, skromne i jednostavne ljude, Danijelu i Franka.