Top 5 Hvar: Best Wine Tours for 2015

By paul 29 Mar 2015, 11:58 AM Top 5 Hvar

Looking to sample some of Hvar's amazing 2400 year wine story? 

If there is one part of Hvar tourism which is growing quickly but has still hardly been discovered, it is the amazing Hvar wine story. With a history daying back to the arrival of the Ancient Greeks in 384 BC, the island of Hvar was a significant international wine exporter until the arrival of the devastating phylloxera disease, coupled with a crippling wine tax from the Austro-Hungarian empire. 

Poverty and mass emigration followed, and the winemakers of Hvar played their part in building the wine stories of countries such as America, Australia and New Zealand. 

The good times are back for Hvar winemakers, and their wines are now exported as far away as California, China, Russia and Singapore. The vast majority are made from indigenous varieties most visitors have never heard of (including Plavac Mali, a relative of Zinfandel). 

Excellent wines, a stunning island and an amazing tour through the vineyards and wineries of an amazing 2400 year wine story. No wonder more people are taking time away from the beach to experience the magic of Hvar wines. Here are the top five tours:

1. Waves and Wine

Because Hvar Wine Tours is a local agency, we know every inch of this island, every vineyard. And for those who want to experience the magic of Hvar wines in the context of this gorgeous island, our Waves and Wines Tour will make you fall in love with Hvar forever. Much more than a wine tour, Waves and Wines is unique in its concept, combining speedboat transfers along some of Hvar's less dicovered coastline, world class wine tasting and food, as well as plenty of time to swim and sunbathe. Discover coves most tourists never hear about, swim in one of the clearest seas in the world, and taste award-winning wines in an underwater cellar. Hvar at its most complete! Learn more.

2. Hvar Half-Day Wine Tour

How much is it possible to learn about the wines of Hvar in just half a day?

Our half-day tour will take you on a journey through centuries of vineyards of Hvar, with your expert local guide bringing the vines to life with the rich history of the Hvar wine story. Choose from two of four outstanding Hvar winemakers for winery visits, each with their own personality and exceptional quality.

Decide between the Romanesque cellars of Andro Tomic (togas optional), a French-educated vintner from Jelsa who has appeared in Playboy and was the face of Croatian EU integration in his battle to protect the Prosek brand. Or Ivo Dubokovic, whose cosy Jelsa cellar offers an authentic and boutique tasting experience to match his reputation as Croatia's leading boutique winemaker.

Interested in organic wine? Head to Svirce, the village of wine, where the local cooperative, PZ Svirce, is leading the way, with its organic range, includine the delightful Ivan Dolac Barrique, an organic gold winner in Germany for two consecutive years from a winery which offers a fascinating insight into the transformation from socialist production to the present day. Or Zlatan Otok, Hvar's most famous producer, complete with underwater tasting rooms, Decanter gold medals and Croatia's only Grand Cru.

Whichever wineries you choose, Hvar Wine Tours guarantees you a day of education, fun and excellent Hvar wines. Learn more.

3. Hvar Full-Day Wine Tour 

Wine tasting is obviously an essential part of the day, but at Hvar Wine Tours, we want you to undertand the history, the traditions of Hvar wine, and to fall in love with the island and its wines the way we have.

Our tour takes in two of the most charisamtic and respected winemakers in Croatia, both based in the picturesque wine town of Jelsa. French-educated Andro Tomic combines some Gallic flair with Roman tradition in his sensational wine tasting cellars, which are based on the cellars of Diocletian's Palace itself, and his exceptional use of indigenous grapes as well as international varieties is a wonderful journey of discovery.

Much smaller in production, but far more experiemental with his range of 11 wines made from indigenous grapes from the island, the Ivo Dubokovic candlelit tasting experiene in his family konoba could not be more intimate. Add to that a selection of his excellent flaoured olive oils, and here is the perfect introduction to the fruits of Hvar, expertly handled.

So much for the tasting, but that is just one part of your Hvar Wine Tours day. For to truly understand Hvar and its wines, it is important to hear the history, to visit the vineyards and olive groves, and a splendid lunch in one of the most attractive (and secret) olive groves on the island awaits, offering spectacular vistas over Hvar wine country and the Adriatic.

And all along the way, our expert wine guide - local, passionate - will slowly help you fall in love with the magic of Hvar and its incredible wines. Learn more.

4. Hvar Wine Island Rarities

2400 years of wine history, with grapes produced uninterrupted since the arrival of the Ancient Greeks, including the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stari Grad Plain.

More than two millenia which has seen the Greeks, the Romans, the Venetians, the Austro-Hungarians, the deadly phylloxers, and the Soclialists all put their stamp on the Hvar story.
And in a land of 130 indigenous grape varieties, there are several which are indigenous just to the island of Hvar, including Bogdanusa, which literally translates as a 'gift from God'.

And then there is Plavac. Plavac Mali (or 'little blue'), a relative of Zinfandel and the pride of Dalmatin reds, with the fabled steep slopes of Hvar's southern side one of the best places in the world for its production.

There are many rarities to be found here, which makes Hvar one of the world's most interesting wine regions right now, and the island is home to the oldest certified Plavac Mali vineyard in the world. Just one of its ancient treasures.

And just as the Hvar wine story has its history and its treasures, so too its wines. Join us on a tour of Hvar Island Rarities, a tour of the island's most intriguing (and rarely available) wines, sampled in the company of the winemakers themselves. Choose from reds and whites, oaked an unoaked, deligthful dessert wines and aceto balsamico. Visit the wineries and sample the increasingly rare but equally brilliant Plavac Mali vintages from 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2007.

For true wine affecionados, we can go back further in time, and into the private collections of the winemakers themselves, starting at 250 € per person. Learn more.

5. Champagne Sunset Picnic

Not a classic wine tour as such, but if you want to combine the magic of the grape with the magic of Hvar, with a little romance...

Enjoy the most amazing sunset in the Mediteranean and enjoy a wonderful picnic basket filled with island delicacies, sparkling wine and strawberries!

Perched atop the island’s highest point, Sv. Nikola, you and your loved one can experience the magic of watching the sun slip into the sea together, alone. Learn more.

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Croatia Traffic Info

  • Due to a traffic accident traffic is flowing alternatly on the DC8 Adriatic road at the place Klanfari, Dramalj area. Due to another one it is proceeding with delays at 319th km of the A1 motorway at Šibenik junction in direction Zagreb. Due to rain the roads are wet and slippery in the area of Rijeka as well as in Gorski kotar mountain area. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas - on the A1 motorway after Lučko paytoll at 6th km in direction Rijeka/Split (there is a 1,5-km-long traffic jam). Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. With the bad weather the headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 in Plasina tunnel in both directions; -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Zaprešić and Zabok junctions 20th-18th km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 119th-120th km in both directions; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Roadworks on the A4 Zagreb-Goričan motorway (Zagreb detour road): - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; in the roadwork area traffic is flowing in reduced lanes; - till 26 April traffic is suspended in the exit lane of Popovec junction from direction Goričan towards Popovec, detour for direction Vrbovec-Popovec: Sveta Helena junction (A4)-Sveta Helena-DC3 Goričica-Belovar-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec junction, for direction Goričan (A4)-Sveta Helena: Komin junction (A4)-DC3-Sveti Ivan Zelina-Donja Zelina-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec. Lepenica rest area (at 57th km) on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway is closed till 15 June, the previous rest area and petrol station is the one Ravna Gora (at 30th km), the next one Cernik-Čavle (17,8 km away from Lepenica). Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road in Knin until 14 July; -on the DC1 state road at Klinča Sela, Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković.
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  • During the day difficulties can be expected at the border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary due to traffic density and occasional additional controls. Freight traffic is heavy at:-Bregana (1,5 hours) and Pasjak (an hour) in the outbound direction, -Bajakovo (3 hours), Tovarnik (3 hours) and Erdut (30 minutes) in the inbound direction. In the inbound bus traffic there are delays of 30 minutes at Klek and Zaton Doli. In the outbound passenger traffic there are delays up to 30 minutes. Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • The following ferries, catamarans and boats do not operate due to strong wind: -Lopar-Valbiska ferry, -Mali Lošinj-Rijeka, Rijeka-Rab-Novalja, Ubli-Vela Luka-Hvar-Split, Korčula-Hvar-Split, Vis-Split and Zadar-Rivanj-Sestrunj-Zverinac-Božava-Brbinj catamarans, -Mali Lošinj-Unije-Susak boat. Šibenik-Kaprije-Žirje ferry does not stop at Kaprije port.
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