Andro Tomić – nurturing Hvar’s autochthonous heritage

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“Tomić is both a source and symbol of the vitality of Croatia’s emboldened presence and popularity; nurturing Hvar’s autochthonous varieties and products…in the manner of his forefathers.”

At the end of the nineteenth century, the island of Hvar – located off Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, in the Adriatic Sea – possessed some 5,750 hectares of vineyards. Today, this number is only 300 hectares. Leading the island’s viticulture renaissance is one of its natives, Andro Tomić, who returned to Hvar after some twenty years pursuing professional training in France and elsewhere. Enticed by its climate, autochthonous varieties – Plavac Mali, Bogdanuša (meaning “God given”) and Pošip – and the location of its vineyards, Tomić is leading by example; building upon some 150 years of family winemaking tradition.

Tomić’s new winery, Bastijana, was established in 1997, and has quickly established a reputation of excellence and innovation. Situated in the small coastal town of Jelsa, Bastijana produces between 130,000 and 150,000 bottles a year. Tomić has also planted vineyards on Pakleni otoci – popularly translated as “Hells’ islands” – off the southwest coast Hvar.

Tomić’s wine repertoire is heavily-focused on autochthonous sorts. His Plavac Mali Barrique was awarded 89 points by Robert Parker back in 2010, and was awarded a silver Decanter medal that same year. The 2011 Tomic Plavac Mali, meanwhile, is “made in a more modern style, all bright, spiced plum and damson fruitiness with elegantly layered, ripe-fruit freshness.”

Tomić’s Plavac Mali is described as:

“above all the product of its terroir or the sum of natural influences in the vineyard. The extreme conditions of the steep and sunny slopes on the south side of the island of Hvar impose the organic approach as the only choice – in other words, manual labor, with minimal intervention in natural processes and resulting in small yields of the highest quality grapes…The final special quality of our Plavac mali lies in its “French” type of elegance, as this wine has a tendency towards preserving both the classic of the aromas of Plavac Mali, as well as the style of the Old Continent wines, focused on the structure, complexity and the duration of flavour.”

Tomić’s Bogdanuša is “characterized by exceptional freshness and a floral aroma”, whilst Beleca (meaning “beauty”) is a coupage of Pošip – with its minerality and fruit aromas, particularly apricot and peach – and Bogdanuša. Other wines in Tomić’s range include Caplar (made of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Plavac Mali) and Opolo nobile (a rosé made from Plavac Mali and modelled upon Beaujolais Nouveau).

AndroTomic_Croatia

Tomić himself embodies the eccentric spirit that continues to drive Croatia’s wine renaissance; recreating the inaugural voyage of the ancient Greeks who landed on Hvar back in 384BC. Tomic’s wine cellar, Triclinium, “is carved out of stone, with ceilings made out of tufa and pillars made out of travertine, which was the method of construction used in the Diocletian’s cellars.”

Tomić is both a source and symbol of the vitality of Croatia’s emboldened presence and popularity; nurturing Hvar’s autochthonous varieties and products – particularly Prošek, a traditional Dalmatian dessert wine made from dried grapes – in the manner of his forefathers.

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