As Croatia braces itself for yet another hectic tourist season, there is one Croatian island which will be offering more than just sun, sea and seafood. Visitors to the idyllic Dalmatian island of Hvar can now learn all about the island’s fascinating 2,400 year wine-producing history thanks to the Hvar Wine Time Traveller concept.
The new concept, initiated by Total Hvar and the Hvar Wine Association, aims to develop wine tourism on the island, which despite its superior wines and history, is a relatively undeveloped concept in Croatia. Hvar Wine Time Traveller will give wine lovers and interested tourists a chance to experience the island’s rich wine history first hand through tastings and tours to vineyards to learn about Hvar wines and its wine-making methods and traditions throughout history.
Part of the Hvar Wine Time Traveller concept will be the formation of a ‘wine road’ on the island, which will include visits to the UNESCO world heritage site of Stari Grad Plain, where wine making has been going on for the past 2,4000 years, and Dol, the oldest certified Plavac Mali vineyard in the world.
Total Hvar and the Hvar Wine Association have been working with a number of local and international partners to make the concept a reality, including Norway-based sommelier Robert de Young, who recently held a Hvar wine tasting evening in Oslo with a total of 48 wines, including Alen Bibic and Krauthakerfrom Kutjevo, and famous local Hvar wine producers Andro Tomic, Ivo Dubokovic, Ivo Caric, Zlatan Otok and PZ Svirce.
Sommelier Robert de Young (right) with Croatian Ambassador to Norway at the Oslo tasting (photo by: Jamie Parslow)
Total Hvar founder Paul Bradbury says that the island’s wine tourism potential is huge and is excited to be involved in the Hvar Wine Time Traveller concept.
“Having worked in the wine industry for five years before moving to Croatia, it is clear to me that the potential of the Hvar wine industry is immense. Quality wines on a stunning island – why not combine the two with Hvar’s rich heritage to provide one of the most picturesque gastronomic and heritage experiences in the world. Tastings such as the one in Oslo are an important first step not only in exporting Hvar’s wines, but also in raising awareness of the potential of Hvar’s wine tourism. The Hvar Wine Association is well run, progressive and excited about the new opportunities, and it is a privilege to be involved at the start of the journey,” Bradbury told Croatia Week.
Marija Plenkovic from Vina Caric with British wine expert Jamie Goode at BIWC 2013 in Sofia earlier this month
(Cover pic: New organic Tomic vineyards north of Hvar Town)