Thursday, 2 September 2021

5 Croatian Rosés Featured in Forbes Magazine

September 2, 2021 - 2021 is shaping up to be a great year for Croatian wines, thanks to the growing group of international Croatian wine enthusiasts who brought the International Pošip Day (May 21, 2021) and International Plavac Mali Day (September 21, 2021) to life this year. Meanwhile, another Croatian wine is starting to steal the spotlight, and it is none other than Croatian rosés!

Lana Bortolot, a certified wine and spirit expert who has been following trends in the wine industry for many years has given the beautiful Dalmatian rosés a big nod. The wine enthusiast, who also writes for top magazines and newspapers including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune has recently published an article in Forbes praising the pink wines of Croatia and called it the "new transitional summer into fall wines". 

While there are still many who are unfamiliar with Croatian rosés, Mirena Bagur, the co-founder of the USA-based Croatian Premium Wine Imports Inc., claims that rosés have already been well-established in Croatia for more than a decade or so. Locally known as opolo, the rosé varieties are widely produced in the Dalmatian wine-growing areas. Croatian rosés are known for their transparent ruby hues with deep hints of mature red and black fruits and savoury herbal undertones. They are usually made from Plavac Mali - a special grape variety indigenous to Croatia. Due to the popularity of Plavac Mali, enthusiasts from all over the world marked September 21, 2021, as the first International Plavac Mali Day.

Clifford Rames, a sommelier in New York and a brand ambassador for Croatian wines pointed out the similarity of Croatian rosés with those produced from the south of France. "They are built with a sturdier structure and a moderate tannic grip making them ideal candidates for the grill and beyond." According to him, even though Dalmatians usually enjoy their rosés with locally grilled cuisines such as fish, squid, and lamb over open olive-wood fires, Americans would enjoy pairing them with barbecued meats, burgers, tuna, and portabello mushrooms - dishes which tend to overpower the more delicate French counterpart. Clifford also introduced Darnekuša, Lasina, and Plavina, other varieties that are also indigenous to Croatia, which produce a lighter, coral pink rosés that can compete against Provencial rosés - both price-wise and quality-wise.

Mirena Bagur also additionally commented that each Croatian winemaker has their own version of rosé from Plavac Mali. According to her, Plavac Mali vines that were grown next to each other but processed by different winemakers could result in two very distinctive tastes and may easily be mistaken to be grown from different areas or even different varieties. "They have one thing in common, however, is that because of the tannic structure of Croatian rosés, they are best consumed at least after a year", she added.

Here is Lana's 5 recommended Croatian rosés to rid your summer blues: 

Rizman “Rusula” 2019, Komarna

Grown in Southern Croatia, Rusula is made with 85% Plavac Mali and 15% Syrah. The pinkish tangerine color comes with hints of strawberries and herbs.

Saints Hills “St. Heels” 2019, Dingac 

Lana advises not to get fooled by the playful stiletto heel on the bottle label because this wine is made from pure Plavac Mali with strong cherry and strawberry flavors that will knock your socks off.

Terra Madre “M” Plavac Mali Rose 2019, Komarna

Like Rizman's Rusula, M is produced from 85% Plavac Mali and 15% Syrah, but it boasts a completely different flavour profile than the former. Thanks to the sour cherries and rhubarb which make the wine tart and crisp, this wine is pleasing to the palate. 

Vina Deak Ćaća Moj 2018, Komarna 

This savoury wine is made of 100% Plavac Mali with overtones of dried red fruits, herbs, and vegetables so it pairs well with charcuterie and grilled meats or vegetables.

Volarevic “La Chic!” 2019, Komarna

Another wine containing 100% Plavac Mali, its distinctive savoury taste comes from traces of garden fruits like rhubarb and tomato leaves. It's great paired with food but also good on its own. 

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Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Forbes Included Istria in 50 Spectacular Places to Visit Post-Pandemic

April 20, 2021 – Another recognition of Croatia's beauty and tourist offer as the American magazine Forbes included Istria among 50 spectacular destinations for post-pandemic travels.

As reported by Ina Rodin, the Croatian National Tourist Board director in the USA, the prestigious American media have been writing about the current conditions for entering Croatia in recent days.

The Forbes article states that Istria is an ideal destination for all gastronomy lovers who can taste quality olive oil, truffles, prosciutto, wine, and seafood in Istria. The article also emphasizes the beauty of Istrian towns and its excellent geographical position.

"Foodies should consider Croatia's Istrian Peninsula for their next taste-testing vacation. As the crow flies, you're practically in Italy; in fact, there's a ferry that runs between Venice and Pula, Croatia. You'll find truffles, olive oil, prosciutto, wine, and all types of seafood, plus delicacies that are 100% Croatian.

This region is popular with European travelers, but Americans are only just beginning to visit. If you go, be sure to split your time between a coastal city (such as Rovinj or Pula) and inland villages (hill-top Motovun is a favorite)," writes Forbes.

The story of the American television network CNBC also revealed all the charms of Istria. It provided an overview of the digital nomads' costs of living in four global destinations, namely Bali, Jamaica, Barbados, and Croatia. The story of life in Croatia is told through the example of Melissa Paul, a digital nomad who found her place under the sun in Istria.

The American edition of the travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler also writes about Croatia, which brings a list of countries that are open to vaccinated visitors and states the current conditions for entering those countries.

Lonely Planet, the world's leading brand of tourist guides, also writes about the current conditions of entry into Croatia. In an additional article about our country, they list the 17 best must-visit locations in Croatia. The list includes Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes, Hvar, Mljet, Zagreb, Istria, Vis, Bol, Korcula, Krka National Park, Split, Zagorje, Zadar, Cres, Cape Kamenjak, Kopački Rit Nature Park, and Motovun.

Besides, the Travel Pulse portal and the renowned American travel magazine Travel+Leisure write about the conditions for entering Croatia. Travel+Leisure includes one Croatian destination, namely the city of Split, in the nine best European destinations for retirees.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, including border, travel and quarantine rules, as well as the locations of testing centres across the country, make sure to bookmark our dedicated section.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow our dedicated section.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Young Croatian Chef Mario Mandarić Makes Forbes 30 under 30 List

April 11, 2021 - Forbes magazine has released its 30 under 30 Europe list for 2021. In the Art & Culture section is Mario Mandarić, a 29-year-old chef from Split.

The young Split chef was among the 30 most influential people in the world under 30, and ended up on the list because of his interesting Food Waste Awareness project, which he worked on in London last year, reports

The Food Waste Awareness project has proven extremely successful. Mario made a seven-course dinner of food that was supposed to end up in the trash and wanted to raise awareness about just how much is thrown away in the world’s big restaurants.

"I worked in England, and I wanted to make a pop-up dinner for clients I met in Thailand. However, I wanted to stand out with something, and the whole time I had in my head how much food is thrown away in restaurants. Food that was not processed at all and that was supposed to end up in the trash.

So I came up with the idea of making a pop-up dinner out of food that the chefs knew would fail. One gave me 10 pounds of zucchini because he accidentally had excess, the other had some thawed ducks to prepare for a group that canceled, and so on. So I gathered many groceries, went to the kitchen, and started stacking dishes from what I had. I created a seven-course menu," said Mandarić.

He invited people from the industry to dinner - chefs, restaurant owners, and people who are connected to gastronomy. Between courses, he gave lectures on how to reduce restaurant waste, reduce waste at home, recycle food, and even taught guests how to compost.

“It wasn’t until the end of dinner that I told the guests that all seven courses they had just eaten were made from food that restaurants would throw away. I threw them some facts like that 47 thousand tons of unprocessed food in European restaurants are thrown away every year," Mandarić added for Index. He did not charge for dinner but collected donations. The smallest donation was £55, and everything he raised he donated to Centerpoint, a center for young homeless people in London.

“That project continued, but the lockdown prevented the organization dinners,” he said.


Mario describes himself as boring - he doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and goes to bed at 11 pm.

Mario Mandarić grew up in Omiš, where he enrolled in cooking school after primary school. He revealed he was attracted to that school because of the friends who enrolled in it and the stories about large chef salaries in big restaurants.

"A cooking professor knocked me down for years and told me I would never be a chef. Then I dropped out of school," said Mandarić, who really threw himself into cooking when he dropped out.

"I started working for free at restaurants around to learn the basics, and then I applied for a job on a cruiser going from Split to Dubrovnik. It was a good salary, and the boat took one week from Split to Dubrovnik. I thought, if I'm not satisfied, they wouldn't throw me into the sea. Still, I was satisfied and endured the whole season there. That was when I was 17," he said.

"By the way, I loved to cook," said Mandarić.

"I never wanted to be an assistant chef. That was a big mistake. I had to finish that school and go through some basics. I knew how to come to a restaurant and make foams and emulsions, and I didn't know how to make bechamel and soup. Still, I always pushed myself to learn as much as I could," he added.

After spending several seasons on the Adriatic, he traveled to Thailand as a tourist with 600 euros in his pocket. The trip ended with him opening a restaurant in a bay where there was no kitchen, electricity, or water.

"I went as a tourist for 20 days and met a guy who cooked for National Geographic and those who pretend to survive. He told me about a cove in Thailand where there is no water and electricity, where a group of 200-300 foreigners live like hippies or run away from some reality. That guy and I once went to a party in that bay, he lost his wallet, and he had to buy a ticket to Alaska. So we came to the idea to make dinner for those people in the bay, counting that about thirty people would come and pay and thus provide him with enough money for the ticket," said Mandarić about the beginning of the project in Thailand.

"We had one gas stove in that accommodation. We made eight courses for 20 people, and more than 100 came. Then we figured we could make money. I went back to Brač to work the season and then went to Thailand again. First, we cooked in a bungalow, and then we rented a beach facility made of bamboo, and it became trendy, especially among the stars, because no one could see them," he said.

He remained in Thailand for several years, worked on a tourist visa, and occasionally returned to Croatia. He raised money, said goodbye to Thailand, and decided to open a restaurant in Split.

"Split was ideal. And, honestly, I wanted to achieve something at home," said Mandarić, who upon returning to Split became the owner of the Šumica restaurant in Bačvice.

Mandarić found himself in the media not because of his chef skills, but because of the fire at Šumica after he became the owner. He said the fire occurred six months after becoming a co-owner or three months after he became the owner.

"We worked superbly; you can check that. I was not insured against such things, but the restaurant was insured against everything else. If I wanted to withdraw money from insurance, I could have done it easily; this is how my money burned," said Mandarić.

He then went to England, accepting one of the offers he had at the time. He cooked at a restaurant in the north of England and then got an offer from Dinner By Heston.

After England, he returned to Roxanich in Motovun and then moved to Noel Buje, which closed half a year later.

Mandarić is now deciding between an offer in Scotland and the chef position at a restaurant on Brač.

"There is one concept that I am planning for Split, but it will not happen for at least another two years. Because of the concept, the restaurant must be in Split," concluded Mandarić.

Read about Mario on Forbes.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 8 February 2021

Forbes Ranked Mljet Among Five Undiscovered Mediterranean Islands

February 8, 2021 – Another recognition to the Croatian islands as Forbes ranked Mljet among the top five Mediterranean undiscovered islands.

As reported by Ina Rodin, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board in the USA, the renowned American magazine Forbes ranked the Croatian island of Mljet among the top five undiscovered Mediterranean islands for travelers who like to explore destinations "off the beaten track."

The article states that many beautiful destinations on the Mediterranean coast are still unexplored. The author of the article brings a list of five idyllic islands, perfect for those looking to escape from the crowds and mass tourism.

The island of Mljet is presented as a perfect place for all visitors looking for an active vacation, whether it is exploring the Mljet National Park, swimming, kayaking, or numerous hiking and biking trails on the island. On the other hand, all history and culture lovers can explore Polače, one of the oldest settlements on the island, known for its Roman palace dating back to the Roman Empire.

Along with Mljet, the list includes the Greek Syros, the Spanish island of Tabarca, the Kerkennah Islands off the coast of Tunisia, and the island of Kekova in Turkey.

"Announcements about Croatia and Croatian destinations in the most popular American media such as Forbes, The New York Times, The Washington Post confirmed the popularity and position of our country as a desirable tourist destination on the American market. Although the greater realization of tourist traffic from distant markets is currently difficult, our presence and visibility in the American media are important for future trends and travel," said the Croatian National Tourist Board director Kristjan Staničić.

Let's add that the world's leading brand of tourist guides Lonely Planet in its article provides an overview of four beautiful car routes in the southeastern part of Europe, and among the selected routes was a ride from Dubrovnik to Montenegro, which according to the author simply "takes your breath away."

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Forbes Names Cavtat, Zagreb and Rijeka Among 20 Safest Places For Travel And Tourism Post-Coronavirus

June 2, 2020 - Forbes reveals that Cavtat, Zagreb and Rijeka are among the 20 best European destinations least affected by COVID-19, and thus safest for travel and tourism, according to European Best Destinations. 

On May 28, Croatia fully opened its borders to Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, and Germany. 

“According to our comparative analysis of the epidemiological situation, those are the countries with either similar progress as Croatia or the trends are such that we can adopt such a decision and enable the arrival of those countries’ citizens during the tourist season, with the appropriate epidemiological recommendations and the special application that has already been made,” Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told his cabinet then. With borders opening, flights resuming and hotels and restaurants operating - tourism in Croatia has begun. 

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Considering Croatia has had only a handful of cases in the last few weeks, and as of yesterday, active cases are down to 66, European Destinations of Excellence, which works to promote sustainable tourism on the continent, has unveiled a list of 20 destinations least affected by Covid-19 (defined as up to 600 times fewer Covid-19 cases).

The southern coastal city of Cavtat comes in at no. 3 on the prestigious list, followed by Zagreb at no. 8 and Rijeka at no. 12!

Forbes' Senior Contributor Celia Rodriguez revealed the news on Monday: 

"Popular with celebrities, families, lovers and fans of gastronomy, culture, nature and water sports, Cavtat is the destination.

Croatia is among the European countries least affected by coronavirus with up to 20 times fewer infected people per million inhabitants than in other European countries.

Croatia is also one of the European countries with the highest number of hospital beds per inhabitant. The hospital in Dubrovnik, the capital, is a 20-minute drive from Cavtat while the airport is only 10 minutes away.

 Cavtat has a large selection of private villas, tourist apartments and small family hotels (selected as travelers’ favorites this summer). In addition, Croatia has implemented hygienic and sanitary measures in larger hotels.

Reopening to travelers on July 1. No quarantine requested."

You can see the full list on Forbes and read more about Zagreb and Rijeka HERE

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.  

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Ivan Mrvoš Reveals Plans Beyond the Smart Bench

Ivan Mrvoš, the young entrepreneur from Solin who recently made the Forbes ’30 Under 30’ list, reveals his plans for Include beyond the famous smart bench. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Ivan Mrvoš Featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Class of 2019!

February 12, 2019 - Another day, another stellar recognition for the thriving young entrepreneur from Solin, Ivan Mrvoš. 

Chances are, you probably already know a thing or two about Ivan, the CEO and Founder of Include, the leading global manufacturer of solar powered street benches. Their flagship product, the Steora smart bench, is already on 40 markets with more than 930 benches around the world. The Steora benches all have the same core - PV modules, device charging, Wi-Fi, ambient light, data gathering, cooling system, and the dashboard, though there are six different models with additional features - like the super bright 19" display of Steora Urban, or Steora E special features for indoor usage, and more. 

After they were named the European Startup of the Year in 2017, a large investment followed, and the recognitions haven’t seemed to slow down for Include and Mrvoš since. 

Last year, Ivan Mrvoš was nominated for MIT Technology Review's ‘Innovators Under 35’ award in Europe. In 2017, Include was selected among the 50 best innovators in Europe, and on that occasion, Ivan Mrvoš presented the company at the European Parliament in Brussels during the European Innovation Summit.

Back in October, Include won the “Rising Star" award by the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Program, which is described as a program that recognizes and profiles the fastest growing private or public technology companies in Central Europe.

Mrvoš wrote in a Facebook status then:

“Include – the fastest growing company of Central Europe in Rising Stars category by Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Program.

We are the first Croatian company to win in this category, with 1950% growth rate in the last three years of business operations.

Back in 2014, we started out with modest initial capital and big vision - to build the largest smart street furniture production company in this part of Europe. Four years later, with 35 highly skilled employees and products placed in 39 global markets, we can proudly say that winning the Deloitte Rising Stars award is one of our company’s greatest accomplishments so far.”

And just a few weeks ago, the first smart benches hit Qatar, prompting Mrvoš to reflect on the brilliant start to 2019. 

“Our new flagship product (Monna Smart Bench) has sold a total of 14 copies in the first 20 days - 11 for Canada, 2 for Denmark and 1 for the Croatian Market.

- We also sold 35 Steora smart benches worth over one million kuna (which is already the monthly standard that continues to grow), out of which around 20 are Urban and Urban + (benches that have a display for digital advertising purposes). We seem to be creating a new trend in two industries - street furniture and outdoor digital advertising - by merging them into one and further enhancing it because our benches and campaigns are accessed/managed through our web application.

- We’ve opened in one and a half new markets - Bermuda (officially part of the UK, and a week-long fight to decide who will go to install it) and Poland (a much smaller fight), so we are now in 42 global markets

- We’ve hired new employees - business developers, embedded software developers, python developers (ads can be found at:

- We have continued media coverage outside of Croatia: (installation of three Steora Urban+ benches in Qatar) although it is a mistake to say that these are the first benches in the GCC region - no, there are probably thirty or forty.

For the first twenty days - quite solid.”

Today, however, the 23-year-old from Solin has been named in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the Manufacturing & Industry category in Europe for 2019. 

Ivan Mrvoš took to his Facebook to try to make sense of yet another brilliant acknowledgement. 

“Every time I think: 'ok, we've won all the recognition that could be won' and then life says 'wroooooong!'.

So, today I found myself on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list under the Manufacturing & Industry category for 2019 in Europe. As far as I can see - I am the youngest on almost all lists and the only one from Croatia (if there is someone else on the list - my apologies).

An absolutely huge recognition not only for my work, but for the whole team's work at Include. Great work, team.

And the year has started well, with only 1.1 million kuna worth of products sold in January.”

Include also shared the happy news of their founder and CEO. 

Bravo to Ivan and the Include team! 

To read more about business in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Croatian President Makes Forbes List of 100 Most Powerful Women in World

Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović ranked 47th on the Forbes top 100 most powerful women in the world in 2018. 

Saturday, 7 July 2018

International Media Raves About Croatia Ahead of Quarterfinal Matchup

Croatia and Russia meet in the quarterfinal of the World Cup at 20:00 tonight in Sochi. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Forbes Magazine Cites Istria as Must-Do European Road Trip Destination

After a chain of international headlines praising destination classics like Dubrovnik and Split, another record-breaking Croatian region finally gets some love.

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