Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life with the Tomic Family by a Master of Wine

Life at Bastijana has been a little more interesting this Autumn, as our very welcome guest, Master of Wine Jo Ahearne, has been busily selecting grapes for her very own production on Hvar, and the Bastijana team has been delighted to help her in her pilot project, which is great PR for the Hvar wine industry. 

Communicating in French with Andro, and in English with the rest of the team, it has been a multi-lingual time with much fun and useful exchanges of views and experiences. Jo recently sat down with Digital Journal to talk about her initial Hvar experiences. Read the full interview here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What is the best way to store and preserve a bottle of wine?

When wine gets older, it does not necessarily mean that it’s also getting better! Wine has its lifespan. First it matures, reaches its maximum in quality, and later it gets older and past its best. How long a wine can stand in the bottle without losing quality depends on the grape varieties, method of manufacture, the way of bottling and of course on the conditions under which the wine is kept.

As for the conditions – the most important is a stable temperature. Temperature fluctuations lead to changes in the color, smell and taste of wine. An ideal place for storing wine is a cellar where there is a certain humidity (optimally 70-80%) and where the temperature is constant, ranging between 7 and 13 ˚C. In addition to temperature, foreign smells in the room (sauerkraut, gasoline, paints ...) can also harm the wine, because fragrances can easily penetrate into the bottle. Vibrations such as shaking and knocking should also be avoided because wine loves peace and quiet. Light is also dangerous for the wine. Today, almost every bottle of wine is colored in olive green, because exactly that packaging is the best protection from UV radiation.

Wine bottles that are sealed with a cork must be deposited and stored horizontally so that the cork is always soaked in wine. Otherwise, the cork will become dry, and the air could quickly penetrated and caused undesirable changes. If the cap is metal, plastic or crown, the position of the bottle is then completely irrelevant.

What to do with an open bottle of wine? One temporary solution is vacuum closures for wine that churn out oxygen from the empty part of the bottle. If the wine is vacuumed in this way, and is stored  in the refrigerator, open a bottle of wine can be good for  a couple of days, sometimes longer, depending on how the wine was in the beginning and how it was prepared for bottling. But every bottle of wine that is already open and a little "empty" is short-living, because with air, microbes are getting into bottle too, which cause biological change of wine. So, the best thing to do with open bottle is to drink it "to the bottom".

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What is It Like to Harvest Grapes on Hvar? Grape Picking on Sveti Klement

The journey to make a quality wine on Hvar is long, and one of the most important moments, of course, is the harvesting of the grapes. 

With its steep sloping vineyards, some of the finest Plavac Mali grapes are very labour-intensive to gather, but there are other challenges for collecting the grapes for the Tomic range. The popular red and white wines, Sveti Klement, come from the island of the same name, a boat ride from Hvar Town to the largest of the Pakleni Islands, where the vineyard is located. 

To see how the grapes are harvested on Sveti Klement, check out this 2012 report from Hvar TV on the Sveti Klement grape gathering - a wonderful day. 

Euforija - Premium Liqueurs from Tomic

Hvar is a very aromatic island, famous for its lavender and rosemary, but also abundant in a variety of other herbs. Working with the natural treasures of the island, Bastijana has produced a small range of new products called Euforija, including one of carob and sage:

EUFORIJA is the latest product from our opus - this is a premium liqueur produced ​of carob and sage. The symbolic name is unifying Europe (EU), Hvar (For) and every friend of our winery (EU-for-I ja means EU-hvar-and me). This spirit of strong aroma and sweet flavor, we recommend to enjoy chilled in moments of relaxation and socializing.

Veliki Plavac Mali - a Majestic Addition to the Tomic Range

The Tomic wine range welcomed a majestic new arrival this year, with the release of Veliki Plavac Mali, a boxed wooden magnum of some of the very finest Plavac on Hvar. It has proved a hit so far wherever it has appeared, including at Wine Jam on Galesnik, where the photo above was taken. Learn more about Veliki Plavac Mali below.

VELIKI PLAVAC MALI - premium wine with natural varietal flavor intensity of dark and ripe fruit is rounded up to 18 months of aging in Slavonian barriques. Aroma of Plavac Mali, structure and complexity of flavor, bottled in a volume of 1.5 L and conveniently packed in a wooden box, is ideal gift for any wine lover.

The First Grapes from Central Dalmatia's Vineyard of the Year

This was an historic month for Bastijana, with the first harvesting of young Plavac grapes from our newest vineyard near Vira, just north of Hvar Town. 

The vineyard, whose prime variety is 14,000 Plavac Mali vineyards, is the first organic vineyard on Hvar's north-facing coast, and it was voted the best vineyard in Central Dalmatia earlier this year. 

After a few years of preparation, the first picking of grapes took place with this harvest, but it will be some time yet before those grapes are released to the public in the form of quality wine, a reminder of the long process it takes to plant a vine to serving a glass...

Andro Tomic Welcomes Master of Wine Jo Ahearne to the Bastijana Family

There is a little more French spoken at Bastijana these days, as Andro gets to know the latest face at the winery.

Bastijana welcomed Master of Wine Jo Ahearne to the Tomic family recently, and Bastijana is delighted to be assisting Jo in her new project to make her first vintage on the island of Hvar.

As there are more astronauts than Masters of Wine in the world (only 314 at the moment), Jo's arrival on Hvar is a great boost for the international image of Hvar wine, and Jo and Andro have been chatting along in their common language of French.

Welcome Jo, and we look forward to a first taste of a Plavac Mali made by a Master of Wine on Hvar.