Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Great Year for Tomic and Hvar Wines: Happy New Year from Jelsa

It has been quite a year!

As 2014 draws to a close, we thank you for your company and your support throughout the year, and we wish you all the best for 2015, which promises to be an exciting year on the Hvar wine scene.

There were plenty of highlights for Tomic in 2014, not least Andro's performance at the European Parliament in Brussels, where he calmly explained to European MPs in French the difference between Prosek and Prosecco.

It was also a year of innovation at Bastijana, with the launch of the Euforija range of stronger liquor, as well as the unveiling of a new limited edition premium red wine, Veliki Plavac Mali. And as the year drew to a close, the first-ever late harvesting of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes just 16 days before Christmas will lead to another new, but VERY limited edition, new red called Politak.

These are exciting times for the Hvar wine scene, and the team at Tomic looks forward to meeting you over a glass of wine in 2015.

Happy New Year! 

Harking Back to Roman Opulence: Divine Wines Visits Tomic

2014 was a great year for wine tastings at Bastijana, and the winery is delighted at the steady increase of visitors to Jelsa who are keen to try the Tomic range. While not everyone writes about their experience at Tomic, it is always nice to receive some feedback,

One visitor last month was Lidija Biro from Divine Vines, who spent a couple of months on Hvar visiting and working with the island's winemakers. Lidija kindly wrote a blog about her visit to Tomic. Thank you Lidija, and we hope to see you back soon.

"During my stay on Hvar, I visited Tomić Winery (Bastijana est. 1997, in Jelsa, several times. The winery produces between 130,000 – 150,000 bottles yearly.

It has to be the most beautiful of the wineries to date from the stand point of decor, barrel cellar, and winery working area. A lot of thought (and money) has gone into the design of the winery.

Upon entering one is greeted in the pillared foyer where examples of three different soils and the wines these terroirs produce are on display." Read more...

Monday, December 22, 2014

New Limited Edition Wine from Tomic: Politak

It has been quite a year of innovation at Bastijana. First came the release of the Euforija brand, adding a harder liqour to the Tomic range of wines. This was followed by a limited edition quality wine, Veliki Plavac Mali. Available only in boxed magnums, the 1,800 bottles come from the very best Plavac Mali selection, and the wine has been a big hit already. 

And the good news is that Tomic is finishing the year with yet another quality addition to the range. An unusual late season harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes on December 9 yielded enough for about 100 litres of wine. The working name for this new Tomic addition is Politak, which translates from dialect as 'after summer'. The wine will obviously not be available for a while, but it finishes of what has been a great year for the winery, with plenty of new things on offer. 

Grape Picking in December: Life on Hvar 16 Days Before Christmas

The main harvest may be long collected, but there was something a little different at Tomic this December - the sight of workers in our organic vineyard near Vira picking grapes in glorious sunshine just 16 days before Christmas.

The unusual sight, a first for the winery, was due to the unusual conditions which permitted the late harvest of Cabernet Sauvignon. In all, some 400 kilos were picked, and these will be used to make a very special Tomic red. One to watch out for, but the quantity will obviously be very limited. For more information about the day, click here.

Why are Women Better Wine Tasters Than Men?

It is often claimed that women are better wine tasters than men. The question is - are there any scientific facts to back up this claim?

This  gender difference is mainly related to the sense of smell and taste. The senses of smell and taste work together to successfully determine which food (and drink) is good and which is bad for us. Because of that, certain food smells good to us, while, for example rotten food is repulsive.

Thanks to the female hormone estrogen, women are able to detect odors in much lower concentration than men. Since fragrance represents about 75% of the total impression of a wine (and food and beverages in general), women in this regard have a significant advantage over men.

Furthermore, research of Dr. Linda Bartoshuk (Yale University, 1999.) has shown that women are twice as likely to be super tasters than men. Super tasters have up to a hundred times more taste buds (papillae) on the tongue than average tasters. Taste buds are responsible for transmission of taste. Women naturally have more of these papillae on the tongue than men.

All this makes women potentially better tasters. This means that, although women naturally have better physiological properties that are necessary for informed wine tasting, men (and women) can by exercising  evolve and improve these skills.

Why Do We Clink Glasses?

Few dinners, celebrations, weddings or parties go without toasts and the clinking of glasses. But, do you know how this ritual was created and what it actually means?

One legend says that in the Middle Ages people were clinking glasses in order to expel demons. Germans of previous generatios clinked glasses to scare ghosts, and in Tibet there was also a custom of “creating noise” by clinking glasses before drinking but, for them it was for good luck and prosperity.

In ancient Greece, the sound has also had an important role in drinking wine, but the reason was their belief that wine brings spirituality and beauty for all the senses, so in addition to taste, color and odor, by clinking glasses, they were creating a sensation for ears too.

However, there is a much more realistic theory associated with this custom. Namely, in the medieval courts in Europe, the enemies were mainly "removed" by poisoning - pouring poison in the wine. Over time, word for this "method" became known, so guests at the courts became distrustful of any offered drinks. The solution was found in hitting (clinking) glasses during which, thanks to the force of impact, part of the fluid from one glass would mixed with the liquid in the second glass as a guarantee that the host did not have evil intentions towards his guests and that he respected them.

Today, clinking glasses usually means joy and happiness, and in some countries the expression of respect.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tomic Wines Now Available for Delivery All over Europe

One of the advantages of EU entry is that it is now easier to ship Croatian wines among the countries of our European partners, and the good news is that a firm in Zagreb is now offering a service to ship quality Croatian wines to the following countries:

 Austria,  Belgium,    Bulgaria,    Croatia,    Czech Republic,    Denmark,    Estonia,    Finland,
    France,  Germany,   Greece,    Hungary,    Ireland,    Italy,    Latvia,    Lithuania,    Luxembourg,
    Netherlands,    Poland,    Portugal,    Romania,    Slovakia,    Slovenia,    Spain,    Sweden,
    United Kingdom

On the list for purchase (cases can be mixed) are the Tomic Plavac (2010), Plavac Mali Barrique (2008), Caplar (2009) and Hektorovich Prosek. THe company also says it will source other wines on request. 

So to have your favourite Tomic wines shipped to your front door, click here.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bastijana Welcomes Another Master of Wine to Jelsa

There are more astronauts in the world than Masters of Wine, but the highly regarded wine experts are finding their way to Jelsa.

Of the 319 Masters of Wine, Tomic has been delighted to welcome two to the winery in recent months. This year's harvest and grape processing was made a lot more interesting with the arrival of Jo Ahearne MW at the winery. Jo, who has decided to make her own vintage within the Bastijana winery, spent two months in Jelsa working alongside the Tomic team and is due back this week to check on progress.

Bastijana was delighted to welcome Jo's Master of Wine colleague Angela Muir, who as Chairman of the Central and Eastern European Decanter World Wine Awards panel, is one of the region's most experienced wine experts, and Angela enjoyed her visit to Hvar and a journey around its wines, with some particularly complimentary comments about the Tomic Beleca. Angela was here as part of an international press trip ahead of Zagreb Vinocom 2014, from where this picture was taken. Read more about the press trip to Hvar here (day 1) and here (day 2)

Bastijana Hosts International Journalists Ahead of Zagreb Vinocom

Another busy evening at the Tomic winery earlier this week, as Bastijana welcomed a group of 30 journalists from 18 countries on a press trip ahead of Zagreb Vinocom, which finished yesterday.

The journalists were on a three-day press trip of the wineries and vineyards of Brac, Hvar and Imotski, and their first port of call on Hvar was a tasting of various wines from the Hvar Wine Association, including the Tomic Beleca and Veliki Plavac Mali.

An excellent evening which carried on afterwards in Svirce at Kod None restaurant with more Hvar wines. Many thanks to G.E.T. Report for these great photos.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Try Tomic Wines at Zagreb Vinocom. Starts Today!

It may be winter, but these are very busy days at Bastijana...

The winery was delighted to host a Hvar Wine Association tasting for 30 visiting international wine journalists earlier this week, who were on a three-day press trip ahead of Zagreb Vinocom, which takes place today and tomorrow at Hotel Esplinade in Zagreb.

The wines of Andro Tomic will be there. Come and visit our stand and try the latest in our range. We are at Stand E26 in the Emerald Ballroom. More information about the festival here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Closer Look at the Use and Effects of Barrique Barrels

Barrique is the name for the wooden barrels of appropriate shape and volume, which, in different French provinces, can vary from 80-305 liters.

The world’s most famous is Bordeaux barriques of 225 liters. Wooden containers for centuries have had a dominant role in the production, storage and transportation of wine. In Europe, for this purpose, in addition to the oak, chestnut wood, acacia and cherry wood were also used. However, the last 20 years has been dominated by oak barrels - partly due to the increased use of inert materials (stainless steel), but also because the aroma of oak is best paired with wine.

So, in additon the maturation of wine, barrique barrels are used for the extraction of aromas and tannins, which are so important for quality wines. That’s why their volume is so small – smaller wine barrels give a stronger flavor of oak to the wine because, compared to the small volume of wine in it, the surface of the barrel is big. Barrique is therefore at the same time a name for the barrel, the process of aging the wine in that barrel, and also a name for the wine which has been aged in barrique barrels.


Today, barrique barrels are mostly made of three different types of oak: sessile oak and red oak - European types of oak; and American white oak.
Wood from which the barrels are made is naturally drying for 24-30 months under the influence of climate changes: rain, sun, wind, snow. The lower and middle part of the trunk is carefully tearing along the structure of the wood into planks. Dry planks are folded by the use of direct fire, and then, with the help of a metal ring formed in the barrel. The barrels are then slowly and gently burnt (toasted), to highlight the aroma of wood. The level of toasting (combustion) can be low, medium or high.

Oak wood consists of several dominant substances which decompose by burning, thereby generating new substances exceeding the wine. Therefore, the quality of the barrel depends on the type of wood but also on the success of toasting. The barrels that are more toasted release aromas faster and more intensely into the wine.


In order to have “barrique taste” in the wine, the following characteristics of the barrel are very important: size, thickness and charring staves, and in particular the quality of the oak wood which enriches the wine with tannins and vanilla.

The strongest flavor comes from the most aromatic type of oak, and the more porous wood is, the stronger is the flavor. The most porous wood is usually one that is growing the fastest. As oak in the forest Limousin in France is growing very fast, it’s extremely aromatic and gives the wine a distinct flavor "of oak". American oak from wet coastal forests of California gives the wine a sweet taste of coconut and vanilla, and French oak from the cold Baltic forests has low porosity and gives the wine delicate aromas. The slowest-growing oak comes from the Tronco forests in France, and many consider it to be the best one.

Barrels are like lungs for wine that is aging. Oxygen slowly enters through planks of the barrel causing the oxidation of wine. This process allows the stabilization of wine color and gives the wine a richer flavor. At the same time, alcohol and water evaporate from the barrels. Yeasts are settled at the bottom of the barrel, and the sweetness and tannins from the oak slowly mixes with the wine, giving it a special flavor. The aroma of wood that wine takes from the barrel is precisely the scents like vanilla, toast, smoke and various spices. These aromas are more complex as the barrel is more toasted. Also, more toasted barrels mean stronger contribution of the coconut aroma. When barrels are toasted most strongly, the aroma of the wood itself is reduced, and the scents of smoke stand out. 

Bastijana to Host Major Press Trip with Journalists from 18 Countries

The tourist season may be over, but the work to promote Tomic wines continues.

Next week sees the arrival of a major press trip to Hvar's vineyards and wineries, organised by the Hvar Wine Assocation, with journalists from an impressive 18 countries visiting the island and its winemakers for 24 hours, ahead of this year's Zagreb Vinocom fair.

The doors of Bastijana will be open to our welcome guests on November 25, where Andro will be hosting a wine tasting and dinner. The journalists are coming from the following countries, in addtion to Croatia: Germany, Poland, Austria, Finland, Switzerland, Hungary, Russia, Spain, Luxemburg, UK, Israel, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Serbia, Denmark, Macedonia, Indonesia.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bastijana Through the Lens of Vedran Segvic

There was a lovely surpise in the Bastijana inbox this week, as Jelsa photographer Vedran Segvic sent in these excellent pictures of one of the great occasions of the year at the Tomic winery - the traditional Vela Gospa lunch in mid-August, where friends and employees are invited for a meal and a glass or two of wine by Andro and family. 

It was a great occasion as these pictures show. Thank you, Vedran! Great shots! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Which Wine Glass Should You Use?


In order to really enjoy wine, one should have a good wine glass. Wine lovers often say that a glass is final clothing of some wine. To demonstrate the right color of wine in it, the glass should be thin, colorless and smooth. Wall wine glasses must be cone-shaped, with a wider bottom and narrower tip. This form ensures that (when gently swirling the wine in the glass) aromas of a wine concentrate on the top of the glass, which allows us to better and easier evaluate the wine. Also, if we swirl the wine too much, a cone shape makes the wine more difficult to "escape" out the glass. 

The height of the leg is important because it determines how much heat from the hand ie. the palm will cross on the glass (preferably less). That is why wine glasses are held by the leg, to prevent heating of the wine. White wine glasses have less capacity compared to those from which we drink red wine. The reason lies in the fact that white wine is drunk cooler than red, so we can drink this smaller quantity of wine before it warms up. The glass should never be filled to the brim, and when you are pouring the wine into glasses you should be careful that the neck of the bottle is never pressed against the edge of the glass.

From left to right: white wine glass, red wine glass, rosé wine glass, sparkling wine glass, dessert wine glass.

Tomic Attends Sabatina 2014 in Dubrovnik

The grapes are harvested, the hard work of processing the 2014 vintage is mostly done, and attention once more turns to promoting the wines of Bastijana.

Andro Tomic headed south to Hotel Asterea in Mlini, near Dubrovnik this week, to take part in the annual Sabatina wine festival, which was held on Hvar last year, with Andro receiving the 'Stjepan Bulic' award.

Sabatina 2014 continues for two more days - click here for more information

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What to Do When It Rains on Hvar? Wine Tasting at Tomic

Life on a sunshine island has its attractions, and there is a reason why the beaches of Hvar are one of its most popular attractions.

But what is there to do on the rare occasions when Hvar's famous blue skies cloud over and it rains?

Rain, wind, or shine, the Tomic wine tasting experience awaits tourists and wine lovers who want to discover something a little different. In the Romanesque wine cellars at the Bastijana winery in Jelsa, tasting wine is not dependent on the weather, but it makes for an excellent way to spend the time while waiting for the traditional blue skies to return.

Wine tastings, from two persons to groups of more than 100, can be made by appointment throughout the year. For more information and to book, visit the Bastijana website

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.