Monday, 15 February 2021

Ponikve on Peljesac Becomes Protected Origin Designation of Croatian Wines

February 15, 2021 – Croatian wine gets another protection as Ponikve on Peljesac becomes a protected designation of origin for Croatian wines in the European Union.

As Dubrovnik-Neretva County reports, Ponikve, a wine-growing position on the Pelješac peninsula near the Municipality of Ston, has become a protected designation of origin for Croatian wines in the European Union.

On February 10, 2021, the European Commission published that "Ponikve" had entered the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical origin (ZOI), becoming the 17th protected designation of origin for Croatian wines whose name is registered in the EU.

Along with Ponikve, protected designations of origin of Croatian wines in the EU are the Dalmatian hinterland, Dingač, Croatian Istria, Croatian Danube region, Croatian coast, Eastern Continental Croatia, Moslavina, Plešivica, Pokuplje, Prigorje-Bilogora, Coastal Croatia, Northern Dalmatia, Slavonia, Central and Southern Dalmatia, Zagorje-Međimurje, and Western Continental Croatia.

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Ston / Photo: Romulić and Stojčić

The aim is to label the products, namely, wine, and highlight the name of the Ponikve locality following EU regulations, to easily identify the specifics of the vineyard locality.

The protected designation of origin covers the vineyard position of Ponikve located in the cadastral municipality of Boljenovići on the Pelješac peninsula near Ston, within the Pelješac vineyards in the Central and Southern Dalmatia subregion.

"Ponikve" stretches from the bay Prapratno in the southeast to the place Sparagovići in the northwest. On the north side is Ilija hill, and on the south is the state road Ston-Orebić. Ponikve is located in a hilly area with some smaller valleys and fields. The relief is typical karst.

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The ZOI "Ponikve" area is located on the Pelješac peninsula near the Municipality of Ston and is marked in red

The whole area is an outstanding example of the traditional way of raising vineyards with terraces and dry stone walls of attractive landscape architecture and view. The viticultural position of Ponikve is one of the most suitable terrains for growing vines on Pelješac, a peninsula well-known for its rich tradition of growing vines. Carefully selected places in Milo, Crnjava, at the foot of the hill Stari Grad, and all-day sunbathing give exceptional quality wine.

Apart from good wines, Ponikve is also known for excellent olive oil.

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Ston.hr

Recognized black and white grape varieties are Plavac mali, Maraština, and white Pošip. The maximum yield per hectare is 11,000 kilograms or 6,600 liters of wine per hectare, according to the document "Product specification for the protected designation of origin Ponikve" by the Institute for Adriatic Crops and Karst Reclamation from Split.

The protection process for the locality Ponikve lasted for more than seven years, since 2013. The "Pelješac Wine Routes" Association was the project holder, while the development was entrusted to the mentioned institute. The Municipality of Ston, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and the County Chamber of Commerce supported the Ponikve Site Protection Study production, reports Hina.

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Photo: Romulić and Stojčić

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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Dingač Wine at Joe Biden Inauguration an Opportunity for Croatia

January 20, 2021 - Dingač wine will be served at the Joe Biden Inauguration on Wednesday, which is a huge opportunity for the Pelješac wine region and the whole of Croatia.

The inauguration of the new US president Joe Biden on Wednesday will attract people from all over the world - and in addition to the list of distinguished guests, two Croatian wines will have their place in the spotlight. 

Namely, T.portal writes that the first protected Croatian wine - Dingač - will be found on the tables of Biden's inauguration, as well as Zinfandel. 

Plavac Mali is the most important native grape variety in Croatia, and the best Plavac is produced in the localities of Dingač and Postup on the Pelješac peninsula, on the south side of the island of Hvar, and in the good positions of the Brač and Vis vineyards. 

"Dingač had a good reputation before the 15th century and was sold at higher prices than all other wines in the market. It is a premium dry red wine, protected by the Geneva Convention in 1961 and the first Croatian wine protected by law. More than 90 percent of Plavac is produced on Pelješac. The fact that it will be served at Biden's inauguration is a great promotion for the wine itself and the whole of Croatia," says Slobodan Rosić, secretary of the Plavac Mali association from Pelješac.

"I think this is an opportunity for the whole of Croatia, as it is great to have a bottle of wine from Croatia on the tables of the inauguration. The producer is not important either, but Pelješac, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and Croatia. I think that we winemakers, as well as all our counties and chambers, should start a good wine campaign to place Dingač on the world map; that is a good way," says Rosić.

He adds that such an opportunity should definitely be used because of the coronavirus pandemic, which drastically slowed down sales:

"Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we can't even offer a day of open wines. We have large stocks of unsold wine in warehouses, and we expect restaurants and cafes to open every day. The wine will not be distilled, it will age for a year without income, but it is difficult for winemakers, as they have been without income for a year," he concluded.

Dragan Kovačević, vice-president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Agriculture and Tourism, believes that the selection of Croatian wines for Biden's inauguration is the culmination of many years of trends in their successful export and promotion in the American market.

"Our exports are growing at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year, and according to data for the first ten months of 2020, it reached 860 thousand dollars or remained at the levels of 2019 despite the business crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, which hurt all business segments, especially the wine sector, as it is highly dependent on promotional and social events and tourism trends," explained Kovačević. He added that in the USA, which is the fifth most important market for the export of Croatian wines, mostly top bottled wines (over 80 percent of exports) are sent at a high average price compared to other countries Croatia exports.

For example, in the first 10 months of 2020, the average export price of Croatian wines in the United States was 6.84 euro per liter, while in 2019, it was 6.89 euro per liter. Due to the specific distribution method, wine exported from Croatia for $12 for a bottle reaches $35 to $40 on the shelf of an American wine shop, or from $60 to $80 in restaurants.

"Wine for a country like Croatia, which achieves almost a fifth of its GDP through tourism and the multiplier effects of tourism, and is visited annually by over 20 million tourists, is potentially an important export product. Along with gastronomy, wine plays an increasingly important role in the tourist offer and branding of Croatia as an eno-gastro destination," said Kovačević, adding that we must emphasize our advantages, which are over 120 indigenous grape varieties and a mosaic of four wine-growing and wine regions with all varietal and positional specifics, which should be the backbone of marketing.

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

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Croatian Wine from Peljesac to Be Served at Joe Biden Presidential Inauguration

January 9, 2021 - Special occasions require special wines, which is probably why a Croatian red from Peljesac will be enjoyed at the January 20 Presidential inauguration of Joe Biden.

Where would America be without Croatia?

First, a little stone to build The White House, then a few vines to produce Zinfandel, then a little Super Bowl sports coaching with Bill Belichick.

And now, a little drop of red for the presidential inauguration.

Croatian media is reporting that the Benmosche Family Dingac will be served in Washington on the big day.

Croatian online wine merchants, The Wine and More, have more information about the wine in question, and the rather famous American connection:

Robert Benmosche, was the CEO of MetLife when he retired in 2006 to become a winemaker in Croatia. The Empire State native had built a wine collection of a few thousand bottles when a trip to Dubrovnik sparked an interest in making Zinfandel. Robert bought land on Pelješac peninsula, and planted Plavac mali grapes in protected region where Plavac mali gives the best results. And in Viganj he planted Zinfandel. At the time he was investing in vineyards, they found out that Zinfandel is genetically the same as Crljenak Kaštelanski. Both Dingac and Zinfandel are coming from young vineyards planted in 2006. Wines are made with traditional techniques and kept in barrique barrels for 12 months and in bottle another 18 months.

Croatia wine is of course no stranger to the biggest global ceremonies. At the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, 11,000 bottles of the 1947 Ilockli Podrum Traminac were ordered for the Royal guests.

And if you would like to sample a bottle of the famous bottle, you still can, but bring your credit card. When I visited the winery last year, they still had 182 bottles of the 1947 left, with a cool price tag of 55,000 kuna (about US$9000) per bottle. Learn more in Croatia's Most Expensive Wine: Selling Well at 7,400 Euro a Bottle.

 

Sunday, 15 November 2020

VIDEO: Peljesac Bridge Construction Update by EdoStuff

November 15, 2020 - A Peljesac Bridge construction update, brought to you by Split-based videographer EdoStuff.

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, works on the construction of the Peljesac Bridge are in full swing. Works should be completed in a year and a half, and the bridge will be 2.4 kilometers long and 55 meters high.

The contractor of the bridge is the Chinese company China Road and Bridge Corporation. At the same time, the access roads, which will cover 32 kilometers in total, are being built by the Austrian company Strabag and the Greek company Avax. 

The contract for constructing the bridge with access roads, worth HRK 2.08 billion (excluding VAT), was signed on April 23, 2018. Eighty-five percent of the costs are financed from EU funds.

Poslovni Dnevnik reported last month that there are as many as 600 Chinese workers currently working on the bridge, ensuring things stay on track on one of the largest strategic projects in Croatian history, especially during these trying times.

The bridge will eliminate the need for those crossing from the extreme south of Dalmatia into the rest of the country or back again to cross into neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina (Neum).

But that's not all.

While the bridge will certainly change the Neretva coast landscape and make life much easier for travelers in southern Croatia, it has also brought a demographic boom in the area, namely in the nearby municipalities of Ston and Slivno.

Slobodna Dalmacija reported last month that the municipalities of Ston on Peljesac and Slivno on the Neretva River, connected by the Peljesac Bridge, recorded an increase in the population of as many as 407 people. This is shown by the Central Bureau of Statistics report on estimates and natural population trends in the past year.

>Eddy Mestrovic of popular YouTube channel EdoStuff Aviation filmed a Peljesac bridge construction update on November 13, 2020. 

"Possibly the most important construction site in Croatia right now. The Pelješac Bridge (Pelješki most) is the bridge that will connect the Croatian mainland with most of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Finally, achieving the long-awaited goal of connecting the south with the rest of Croatia without going through Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The bridge will be a multi-span cable-stayed bridge with a total length of 2,404-metre. It will comprise 13 spans, while seven will be cable-stayed - five central 285-metre spans and two outer 203.5-metre spans. Two pylons around the 200-metre x 55-metre navigation channel will be 98-metres above sea level and 222-metres above the seabed. Built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation. The clips in this video were filmed in June 2020 and early November 2020," writes EdoStuff in the video description.

The bridge should be completed on January 31, 2022.

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

 

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Peljesac Bridge Brought a Demographic Boom in the Nearby Municipalities of Ston and Slivno

October 20, 2020 – In addition to changing the landscape of the Neretva coast, the Peljesac Bridge brought a demographic boom in this area, namely in the nearby municipalities of Ston and Slivno.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reports, statistic data says so, and in this case, the situation is favorable for two municipalities – Ston on Pelješac and Slivno on the Neretva River, which are connected by the Pelješac Bridge.

Unlike other Croatian regions that record a pronounced depopulation trend, especially in the Dalmatian hinterland, Ston and Slivno have an increase in the population of as many as 407 people. This is shown by the report of the Central Bureau of Statistics on estimates and natural population trends in the past year.

However, it cannot be said with certainty that the construction of the bridge directly affects the population growth, but it is certainly interesting that the positive demographic trends coincide with the intensification of work on the Pelješac Bridge. True, hundreds of workers temporarily staying in this area work on the bridge and the surrounding access roads, but it is assumed that they are not covered by these statistics because they do not have a permanent place of residence in the municipalities of Ston and Slivno.

 

Desirable places

The Mayor of Ston Municipality, Vedran Antunica, is delighted about the news that the number of inhabitants in the municipality of Ston increased by 281 people or 12.5 percent. Namely, in 2018 in the municipality of Ston there were 2246 inhabitants, and now there are 2521, interesting numbers in this part of Pelješac where tourism and shellfish farming, especially oyster farming, are the main economic activities.

"Our municipality provides certain benefits for young families and I am sure that this has also contributed to positive demographic trends," says Mayor Antunica.

For the first child born in a family permanently residing in the municipality, 5,000 kunas is paid from the municipal treasury, 10,000 for the second child, and 20,000 kunas for the third and each subsequent. Mayor Antunica notes that the money is paid at once, not in delays or installments.

"The municipality strives to make life as easy as possible for its residents. That is our main task. We have a kindergarten for children, a nursery, all the facilities as in a big city, and we are a small community. True, Dubrovnik is not far away, so we are a desirable place for living," says Antunica, adding that it is very difficult to buy a house or an apartment in big cities, so young people stay with their grandparents.

Ston and Pelješac will be an even more suitable place for a living once the Pelješac Bridge is built. This will be an additional stimulus to the economic and demographic renewal of this area, the people of Pelješac hope.

 

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The municipality of Ston / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

 

Technical increase

Somewhere people emigrate, and somewhere they immigrate. According to statistical indicators, they also move to the municipality of Slivno, the only coastal municipality on the Neretva River. Statistics say that during 2018 and 2019, the population of Slivno increased from 1868 to 2024, 156 people, or 8.35 percent.

The former mayor of Slivno Mate Dragobratović says that the area of ​​Slivno is the most beautiful part of the Neretva valley, so he sees that as the reason for the number of increasing residents who have decided to live on the Neretva coast. Everything is close – Metković, Ploče, Dubrovnik – and such a geographical position attracts many, especially young people.

"People are engaged in agriculture, growing mandarins, and tourism, which is a good combination," says Dragobratović, emphasizing that with the construction of the Pelješac Bridge and the connection of the Neretva and Pelješac, the municipality of Slivno will be even more desirable for young families.

However, Denis Šešelj, a former municipal councilor, and local politician points out that there is no real increase in population but a technical increase in the population of Slivno municipality.

"We have people who are registered in their weekend cottages in the municipality of Slivno, but live in Metković or elsewhere. So they avoid paying taxes. This is best seen when voting in elections. In the municipality of Slivno, the number of inhabitants has been increasing in this way for years. Some companies and crafts are also being opened because taxes and duties are lower," says Šešelj.

 

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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Fascinating Archaeological Discovery on Peljesac Peninsula

As Morski writes on the 5th of October, 2020, a fantastic archaeological discovery has been uncovered in the Dalmatian region of the Peljesac peninsula. A team of archaeologists has excavated graves dating back to the 11th century BC. In one of them, a multitude of jewellery was discovered, as well as an exceptional Greek-Illyrian helmet, one of only a few found in the entire world.

It's difficult to imagine the feeling of coming across such an important archaeological discovery, and after two and a half millennia of being buried away from human eyes, an incredible, ancient Greco-Illyrian helmet saw the light of day once again. These helmets are otherwise extremely rare, and there are only about 10 such helmets in the whole world.

''They were worn from the 7th century until practically the 3rd century BC and in each of those periods they were important in the sense of actually defining the members of the elite, the warrior elites who actually ruled the communities of that time,'' explained dr.sc. Hrvoje Potrebica of the Department of Archeology, Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, for HRT.

Archaeological work at this particular location in the Peljesac region began this summer and was contuining throughout last week. The archaeological discovery, more specifically a tomb from the fourth century BC, hid a real historical treasure.

''What we can see, in any case, are fragments of a Greek vessel, neskifos, with a handle. Next to it are fragments of a bronze bracelet, which is usually found as part of women's jewellery of that time, so we're talking about the time somewhere in the fourth century BC,'' said the director of the Institute of Archeology of Zagreb, Marko Dizdar PhD.

''Experts believe the finding is a tomb from the fourth century or fifth century BC. There are at least fifteen such mounds in this area, which tells us that there used to be a significant settlement here, but it also tells us that archaeologists will still have work to do here for decades, ''said HRT reporter Vicko Dragojevic.

''Now we actually have a few years to document the area, to actually know what we have in that area from the archaeological findings. And then when we understand the landscape, in parallel, we're going to conduct targeted research on the most endangered parts,'' Potrebica added.

After that, this should become one huge international interdisciplinary project, because there are extremely rare objects lying here that, thanks to archaeological forensics, can reveal something that cannot be found anywhere else.

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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Peljesac Cycling and Hiking Path Renovation Project Begins

September the 30th, 2020 - When it comes to cycling, walking, mountaineering and hiking in Croatia, the possibilities are endless thanks to the extremely diverse terrain in such a small geographical area. Peljesac might be best known for its abundance of wildly popular wines and its picturesque vineyards descending down its rugged hills, but there is another attraction - the very many Peljesac cycling and hiking routes.

The Peljesac peninsula is ideally placed, especially when it comes to tourists staying in Dubrovnik who might want a break from the hustle and bustle of the small Medieval walled city in the height of summer. Getting back to nature is important for both physical and mental health, and Peljesac cycling paths are an ideal place to visit when you need to blow off the cobwebs while being surrounded by beauty on all sides. Whether it's hiking, walking, cycling or tackling mountains that is your thing, this region of Dalmatia should definitely be on your list of places to go.

As Morski writes on the 29th of September, 2020, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, through the Ministry of Tourism, provided co-financing for the project of renovating and properly laying out the Peljesac cycling and hiking paths in the area of the popular municipalities of Orebic and Trpanj.

The project will arrange and mark over 40 kilometres of macadam paths and build four new lookouts along the Peljesac cycling and hiking routes. The works are being carried out within the Cyclotourism Development Programme in the wider area of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The total value of the works of this project stand at 602,000 kuna, and the works on its realisation have already started. Within the project, the county will participate with as much as 202,000 kuna, the Municipality of Orebic will throw in  340,000 kuna, and the Municipality of Trpanj will volunteer 60,000 kuna of its own funds.

The works on the Peljesac cycling and hiking routes should be completed by December this year, which will further enrich the tourist offer in this part of Dalmatia, which is otherwise, as mentioned, already well known for its rich active tourism offer.

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Tuesday, 15 September 2020

4000 Tons of Pelješac Bridge Leaves China on One Ship

September 15, 2020 – Construction of the Pelješac bridge continues despite the ongoing pandemic – a monster-sized shipment of bridge segments is currently on its way to Croatia

The Pacific Alert is 160 metres long and 27 metres wide. She set sail from Nantong, China on 10th September. Her cargo? 4000 tons of the Pelješac bridge.

We say 4000 tons, but, that's a slight exaggeration. The actual weight of the Pelješac bridge pieces she carries is more accurately 3,840 tons. The 13 pieces are heavy construction elements for the bridge and are expected to arrive in Croatian waters on 5th October.

This is the second such heavily loaded ship to set sail for Croatia carrying the Pelješac bridge parts, which have been constructed in China. The first ship with Peljesac bridge segments arrived in February this year, but production in China was thereafter halted due to coronavirus. The recent arrival of 100 Chinese welders who will connect the Peljesac bridge segments, and the resuming of production in China, indicate that the project is back on track despite the ongoing pandemic.

The Peljesac bridge will connect south Dalmatia to the rest of Croatia and will negate crossing the time-consuming Bosnian border to reach Dubrovnik. This will improve southern Croatia's accessibility to road users. The region of Dubrovnik and Neretva has in 2020 suffered worst from a fall in visitor numbers because it is mostly reliant on charter flights and large cruise ships. The activities of airlines and such ships has been curtailed by coronavirus.

The Pacific Alert is a general cargo ship that was built in 2010 and is sailing under the flag of Cyprus.

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Sunday, 9 August 2020

Croatia Wine: ”Every Visit Is A Voyage Of Discovery”

August 9, 2020 - Meet Marc Hough, a former international DJ who became a wine importer after visiting Dubrovnik and trying Croatia wine. In 2020, he returns for his 20th summer.

Situated in the north of England, about halfway up the island called Great Britain, the city of Manchester is famous for its football and music. Mancunians are proud of this. Two members of TCN are from the city, and when someone local asks “Odakle si?”, usually we say “Ja sam iz Manchestera” (I am from Manchester). We don't say "I'm from England" or "Great Britain". Everyone knows where Manchester is.

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Marc Hough, a former international DJ. His passion for the Plavac he discovered in Dubrovnik turned him into a wine merchant.

20 years ago, Marc Hough was a high profile member of Manchester's famous music scene. He counts members of bands like The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays as close personal friends. As longstanding DJ to New Order (the band that was once Joy Division), he toured the world playing the music of Manchester to many. But, no more.

“I reached the age of 40 in 2010 and thought, what am I doing with my life?” Hough told TCN over the phone, as he was preparing for a trip Dubrovnik. “DJing and the music business is a young man's game.”

And so, inspired by an enthusiasm for Croatia wine, he turned his back on a high profile DJ career and became a wine bar owner and wine merchant.

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One of Marc's 'Cork Of The North' wine bars / stores near Manchester © Cork Of The North

“When I started, I was literally just selling wine out of the back of my car. I only had five customers and three of those were my dad, my brother and me!” remembers Marc, who has built his independent business considerably since then. He is now a wholesaler, recommending and selling wines to top bars and restaurants in the north of England. He has also opened two of his own wine bars 'Cork Of The North' (which are also wine shops), in Sale and Heaton Moor, near Manchester.

“Croatia plays such a big part in the story,” stresses Marc. “I've been visiting Dubrovnik for over 20 years. I had a friend from there who I met in Manchester. She came to live here for a while to escape the war. After it finished, she went home, invited me to Dubrovnik and I just fell in love with the place.”

“There was a wine bar in the Old Town called D'Vino, run by a half Croatian half Australian guy called Saša. After I saw what he was doing there with Croatia wine, I thought that's exactly the kind of place I'd like to have in Manchester.”

Already passionate about wine thanks to his grandad, that first trip to Dubrovnik made Marc curious to return. On his next visit to Croatia, he travelled further than just the Pearl of the Adriatic and went to the source of some Croatia wine itself.

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Part of the Pelješac peninsula, which features heavily in Marc's 20-year affair with Croatia wine © Anto

“I came back on a sailing holiday with Bernard Sumner (guitarist of Joy Divison and singer of New Order),” Marc recalls. “He loves sailing and he has his own boat. We went all round Pelješac, Korčula, Brač. I fell in love with Dingač. Since then, I've travelled all of Dalmatia and through Istria learning about the wines. I've been to Bosnia to try their varieties like Vranac. But, for me, the most recent, amazing discovery has been Slavonia. They make some incredible white wines there; Graševina, Cabernet Franc, Traminac.”

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New Order, the band that was once Joy Division. Marc Hough toured the world as their DJ © RL GNZLZ

“For me, it's always half holiday, half work,” Marc tells us, as he packs for his 20th annual trip to Dubrovnik, which begins on Sunday 11 August. “Amazing views, amazing people, amazing food and amazing wine. But, the wine always inspires thoughts of work. I can't help myself. I love visiting the vineyards, meeting the winemakers. It's not the same as when you do it in other countries. In Croatia, you'll often be invited into the kitchen or onto the terrace of the winemaker's home. You'll leave with arms full of different bottles - some gifted - and you can even be sold fine wine unceremoniously in a plastic bottle. I love that informal, homemade feel of the experience. It's charming and honest. When I go on buying trips in France, Spain and Italy, it's rarely like that.”

Dubrovnik's tourist season has this year stalled in response to COVID-19. Its visitors' reliance on charter air and cruise ships has proved inflexible. Yet, a little further up the coast, in Makarska and Omiš, the city centres are now full of families who drive to these places every year. Dubrovnik's offer is more once-in-a-lifetime, less loyalty. Unless, of course, it's the wines and not the walls that call you to Dubrovnik.

“It's inevitable that I'll find something new that I want to bring back with me,” Marc says of his impending trip. “Every visit is a voyage of discovery. This time, although I'll again be based around Dubrovnik, I'm determined to go to Slavonia to look at some Graševina and Cabernet Franc, which thrives in the terroir there.”

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Marc Hough with just one of his famous friends from the Manchester music scene. Bez, of the band Happy Mondays, is now a customer at Cork Of The North © Cork Of The North

“I wanted to start importing Croatia wines years ago but, for someone at my level, it was so difficult before Croatia became a full member of the EU. Tariffs were payable on the borders and if you wanted to move wines from south Dalmatia - Dubrovnik and the islands - you'd have to go through the border with Bosnia. I lost several whole shipments to the Bosnian police, who said my paperwork was incorrect (it wasn't). It's much better these days. But, there's still very little Croatian wine in the UK, even though the interest in Croatia wine is massive. There's a big demand from people who are really passionate about wine, but also people who come back from holiday, have enjoyed Croatian wine, go searching for it, and just can't find it.”

Cork Of The North varies its selection of fine wines throughout the year. At the moment, Marc stocks Kozlović Teran and Kozlović Malvasia from Istria and Septem Pontes Plavac Mali from Pelješac.

“For an independent like me, I buy an export pallet for each wine I want to bring back. That's 600 bottles of each wine.,” he says, “and as my own personal passion right now is for Graševina, I expect at least one of those to be filled with Slavonian wine on this trip.”

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Marc Hough on one of his Croatia wine buying excursions

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Viganj on Peljesac Peninsula Recording More Guests than 2019

July 29, 2020 - While the last two months of tourist figures show a significant decline in the number of guests compared to the previous year, Viganj on Peljesac can boast excellent results - and there are currently more guests there now than last year!

Index.hr reports that this small windsurfing paradise with only 300 inhabitants in Croatia's extreme south has recorded extraordinary numbers for the last ten days.

"On July 25, we had 1450 registered guests, and last year we had 1305 on that day, so 10 percent less. In the last ten days, Viganj has more guests than last year," said Marko Galiot from the Orebic Tourist Board, whose municipality belongs to the town, otherwise a famous paradise for surfers.

And it was the windsurfing championship held last weekend that attracted an additional number of guests. Among the tourists who chose Viganj for their vacation, Slovenes take the lead (40 percent), followed by the Czechs and Germans, and this year, due to the overall situation, says Galiot, the Brits are absent.

"Viganj has its old guests, the entire town is actually one big beach plus it has two cult places. Čiringito - a restaurant on the beach that stands out from the classic restaurants and K2, a cocktail bar. Viganj has its old guests; there are two schools for surfers that attract a large number of people. It also has two outdoor fitness centers, they also have a surf equipment store, and windsurfing competitions are organized there every year. Last week the championship was held, so that additionally attracted the Czechs," Galiot said.

He says that the associations supported by the Tourist Board are responsible for the promotion of Viganj as a surfing destination. And another big plus near Viganj this year? Camps.

"Viganj has two large camps that are completely full. Now during the pandemic, tourists like to camp the most, they feel safe there, they are outdoors, they have a lot of places for social distancing," Galiot said.

By the way, Viganj boasts only three hundred inhabitants, and their guests are mostly active recreational athletes. Even when there is no wind for windsurfing, guests go hiking, biking, and there are plenty of paragliders descending from the hill above Viganj.

Galiot points out that Viganj has already reached 82 percent of last year's turnover, which, he says, is extraordinary.

"There were no guests in April and May as usual, but they started coming around June 10, and most of them have been there for the last ten days," Galiot said.

For comparison, the municipality of Orebic has weaker results than Viganj and they are now at about 50 percent of last year's turnover. According to Galiot, two hotels in Orebic did not open this year, and in general, other hotels and private accommodation in Orebic are doing worse than in previous years.

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