From California to Chinese TV, All Wine Roads Lead to Andro Tomic

It has been a busy few days for Jelsa's iconic winemaker Andro Tomic, with visits from Chinese television and American wine experts. The Hvar wine story continued on April 28, 2016. 

We were delighted to welcome Phoenix New Media, China's largest private television network, to the island of Hvar recently, in what was we believe was an important visit in the development of Croatian tourism to the Chinese market. 

The four-man crew were in Croatia for a week, filming for a new series called 'Countries Not to Miss', and Croatia is planned to be the first country in the series. The crew had a full schedule, helped by the energetic Croatian Embassy in Beijing, which included shooting in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Korcula, Hvar, Split, Plitvice and Pula, and their focus was on stories and characters to bring out the magic of Croatia. And when it comes to characters, they don't come more inspiring that one Andro Tomic... 

Time was short, and with plenty to film in their 16-hour overnight stop on Hvar, we are grateful to European Coastal Airlines for arranging a flight to Jelsa from downtown Split for the crew, while logistics brought the equipment on the ferry. Arriving by air with a 15-minute flight over the Kabal Peninsula is surely the best way to arrive on the island. The sun was playing its part and our Chinese visitors seemed extremely happy with the footage.  

Andro was in fine form, happily giving an interview and posing for the camera. He was also generous enough with his time the following morning to take them to his impressive vineyard at Vira near Hvar Town, where he gave them a comprehenive overview of Hvar winemaking.

He was also in fine voice, and many thanks to the ladies from Klapa Frecija who were in (perhaps finer...) voice and contributed significantly to an evening of warm Dalmatian hospitality and entertainment, something that should come across on millions of Chinese television screens when the programme comes out - we will keep you informed.  

No sooner had we bid farewell to the Chinese than the Tomic doors opened once more to welcome wine experts from another part of the world, and Andro's son Basti Tomic was on hand for a tour and tasting of the Tomic range with an influential delegation from the United States, which comprised New York sommelier and Wines of Croatia supremo Cliff Rames, Californian importers of Croatian wine Blue Danube, popular gourmet blogger Marcy Gordon, and TCN's California correspondents Marion and Zdravko Podolski.  

The Americans were enjoying a tour of Dalmatia's finest vineyards after Dalmacija Wine Expo in Split, and their Hvar tour included visits to Zlatan Otok, Ivo Caric, Antun Plancic, Ivo Dubokovic and Teo Huljic, pictured above.  

But the week belonged to Tomic, whose winery was also busy this month helping with the bottling of the first Croatian wine made by a Master of Wine, as Jo Ahearne MW bottled her much-anticipated Ahearne Rosina Rose from the indigenous Hvar Darnekusa grape. Ahearne, who now lives part time on the island, has been a regular and popular figure at the Tomic winery in the last couple of years, and she initially based her operations there before finding her own premises in Sveta Nedjelja. The relationship has been mutually beneficial from a wine-making and PR point of view. 

Chinese television, American wine experts and Masters of Wine in the house - why not find out more about the Tomic experience, which is famous as the most popular wine tourism destination on the island. Learn more on the official website