Hvar Island is a rather tiny and beautiful slice of land floating in the Adriatic Sea just off of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. It is surrounded by crystal clear waters, sailboats, sunsets and views lush enough to make one contemplate leaving home forever. But the glory and goodness of Hvar doesn’t end there.
Hvar Island is just as rich in wine as it is in vistas, diving spots and perfect places to drink.
Andrew Villone- founder of the droolworthy Savor the Experience wine and food tours throughout Eastern Europe -had a chance to catch up with the folks at Carić Winery, who make the best wine Hvar Island has to offer.
Check out what Ivana Carić herself has to say about Hvar Island and its wines, just one of many stops on Savor’s Sun Drenched Dalmatia Tour, the thing you’re really really going to want to do after you read all about it.
What’s so unique about Hvar’s terroir and wine?
The most interesting thing about the Hvar region is that it’s a small area of about 299 meters squared… but there are a few very different types of soil and microclimates. Making wine on Hvar means purposely situating our vineyards in different areas, like the Starigrad Plain, better known as Hora or Ager, a UNESCO world heritage site.
There have been about 24 centuries of constant agricultural work in this area and numerous archeological sites that all represent different eras of mankind’s history. There we grow indigenous varieties like Bogdanjuša, that produces ideal summer wine. The plain is a home for Pošip, Kuč, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon too.
For guests new to Hvar, what one dish would you serve them and with which Caric wine?
There are a few dishes which are very typical for the island, but not so easy to find in the restaurants.
We, the Carić family, love salted anchovies served with raštika (collard). We pair this with our white wine Bogdanjuša. Collard is a very old type of cabbage, eaten in the Roman times. Today, it’s hard to find this form of cabbage in the market or in stores, but every house on the island has it in its garden.
What should travelers know before they visit Hvar Island?
Before visiting Hvar you should know we have two faces of this island. One is crowded (especially during the high summer season) and more oriented to the people who just want to party in Hvar Town. The rest of the Island is where you can experience the tradition, culture and history. It’s where one can enjoy good food and wine and soak up the true Dalmatia. If you love the picturesque come to Svirče in the heart of the Island. Or come to Vrboska where we have a tasting room. You can enjoy the beautiful architecture of this little town, situated in a narrow, deep bay.
When guests leave your wine cellar, what is the one thing that you would like them to take away from your family and your wines?
Our goal is to pass on the Dalmatian style of life: a hard working environment where people still feel a joy for life and where it’s never a problem to spend time with friends, talk, sing, eat good food and drink many glasses of wine.