A Welcome Addition to Luxury Hvar Tourism
One of the most encouraging tourism trends in recent years on the island has been the rise of the wine bar in luxury Hvar tourism.
Hvar, the island of wine, with a proud 2400 year tradition, has a small but dedicated group of winemakers which comprise the Hvar Wine Association. An island which once had 5700 hectares of cultivated vineyards today has just 280, but the much smaller amount is producing excellent quality.
Organic gold in Germany (Ivan Dolac Barrique from PZ Svirče), best white wine in the region (Zlatan Otok Pošip) and export markets from China to California, and Russia to Singapore, mean that the wines of Hvar are becoming increasingly known on the world stage.
But the same has sadly not been true on the island itself, and many tourists leave without knowing that this is an island of wine. With many restaurants preferring to serve wines from other parts of Croatia, there were few chances for tourists to discover the wines of Hvar.
Things are changing - and quickly. Wine tours to the wineries of Tomić, Duboković and Zlatan Otok are increasing in popularity, and so is the emergence of wine bar tourism on the island.
Following the pioneering spirit of 3 Pršuta a few years ago, more wine bars have opened in recent years, including Red Red Wine Bar and Hedonist, but season 2015 will see arguably the highest quality additions yet.
With the most comprehensive and exclusive wine list on the Adriatic, the choice available at the new Gariful wine bar, Vintage, will be unparalleled on the island. One for your wine diaries on July 1. Not far behind will be the new wine bar/club below exclusive Passarola (the kind of place Beyonce likes to hang out for dinner), which will be a quality addition to Hvar nightlife.
And the encouraging news for the rest of the island is that the celebration of wine is moving out of the main town. Last week's opening of Artichoke Wine Bar/Restaurant on the new riva in Jelsa is the latest milestone in restoring the proud wine traditions of Jelsa, the town of wine, where island wines are now available by the glass.
There has never been a better time to discover and enjoy the wines of Hvar, and the rise of quality establishments to relax and enjoy is a welcome addition to luxury Hvar tourism.
*Author - Paul Bradbury
*Photo Credit - Rafael Janic Photography for Artichoke Wine Bar/Restaurant