From the vineyard to the glass: Explore the top wineries on the island of Hvar

9 minute read

From the vineyard to the glass: Explore the top wineries on the island of Hvar

Ever since the first Greek colonizers set foot on the soil of Hvar in 384 BC, grapevines brought by them have been cultivated on the island. It all started from the fertile Stari Grad Plain, and the steep southern slopes of the island bear witness to the persistence and dedication of the islanders to vine cultivation and wine production. Centuries have passed, with both beautiful and challenging times, including wars and diseases, but wine has always held a special place in the gastronomy and lives of the islanders and often served as a main source of income. Bogdanuša, Darnekuša, Pošip, Plavac Mali, and Parč are just some of the grape varieties traditionally produced here. Due to the terrain configuration, much of the work is still done manually, and some family taverns have evolved into excellent wineries where tradition and experience merge with the latest knowledge from the world of enology. If you are visiting the island of Hvar for the first time, these are the wineries worth visiting. For the second, third, or fifteenth time, I have other lists because we have so many wineries that it’s impossible to visit them all in a single vacation.

Or let me prove you wrong. 😉

Winery Tomić, Jelsa

Let’s start with Tomić Winery, founded by Andro Tomić after years of training at renowned oenological institutes in France and other parts of the world. In their cellar located in the bay of Mina in Jelsa, they will introduce you to the magical world of their wines, which their family has been producing for 150 years. Tomić Winery is known for its unique cellar and an intriguing motto:

You drink it by the hour, not by the liter

Andro Tomić


Once you enter the Tomić cellar, you will understand why this location stands out. The cellar is built in the style of ancient Roman dining rooms and feasting chambers. With a prior appointment, they will offer you a tasting of 6 different wines accompanied by bread and olive oil. A special experience awaits with a private tasting of all the wines in ancient Roman togas.


The experience at Tomić’s Triklinium is certainly the most unique on the island. My suggestion is to definitely try Beleca, personally, it’s one of my favorite light and refreshing wines for the summer. Then there’s the blend of Pošip and Bogdanuša, or Opolo Nobile, a rosé made from the Plavac Mali grape variety. Don’t miss out on Illyricum as well, an organic dry red wine from the premium selection of Tomić Winery’s products.

Winery Carić, Vrboska

I have several friends who have been running successful businesses in the tourism sector for years. They don’t just operate on the island, but offer tours that stretch across the entire Balkans. In the past two years, I have only heard praises for this winery. Ivo Carić, the director and owner of Carić Winery, previously ran the successful restaurant Kod komina in Pitve. Now, together with his wife Ivana, he has dedicated himself to viticulture and winemaking. This has proven to be a wise move as their wines have won numerous international awards and recognitions.

Among them, Plovac Ploški and Plovac Ploški Barrique stand out, which require a minimum of two years of aging in barrels. Of course, there is also Bogdanuša (my top choice for bottled wines in restaurants), a varietal light and fresh wine. I recommend trying the blend of Maraština and Kuča known as Cesarica.

From the grapes grown on the northern side of the island, the rosé wine Marino and the red wine Jubov are produced. Thanks to their different composition, they possess a completely different terroir. Ivana Krstulović Carić is also the president of the Hvar Island Wines Association (Hvar Otok Vina). This association works hard to promote the Hvar wine culture and regularly organizes tastings and various workshops on the island and beyond.

Winery Zlatan Otok, Sv. Nedelja

If you head to the southern side of the island of Hvar, in Sveti Nedjelja, you will notice vineyards that are true monuments to the persistence and hard work of the islanders. On steep slopes with an incline of 40%, in untouched nature without traces of pesticides and pollution, vines grow and are cultivated by hand, just as it has been done for centuries.

With the Hvar sun and the flow of sea breeze, precious grapes of Plavac Mali ripen there. And the life story of the late Zlatan Plenković, the owner of the esteemed Zlatan Otok winery, is worthy of a movie script. The pioneer of Croatian modern winemaking had a difficult childhood in extremely modest conditions, and today he has left behind a true wine empire as his legacy.


In addition to the winery, the family has also established a marina, which is a true tourist and nautical attraction in a beautiful location overlooking the sea. In their unique restaurant, Bilo Idro, alongside an excellent gastronomic offer, wine tastings of Zlatan Otok wines are held.


Explore the underwater wine cellar – another unique experience on the island, and from the rich selection of Zlatan Otok wines, be sure to taste some of the most esteemed varieties such as Plavac, Crljenak, Pošip, and various blends. Their most famous and award-winning wine, Zlatan Plavac Grand Cru, has gained cult status among those who appreciate only the finest drops. This exquisite wine is made from carefully selected Plavac grapes, and its taste, infused with aromas of dark fruits, Dalmatian herbs, tobacco, wood, vanilla, and pepper, will leave a lasting impression on your palate.

Winery Vujnović, Sućuraj

This winery, along with its vineyards, is located in Sućuraj, on the other end of the island, which can be quite far for the average visitor of Hvar. Therefore, I won’t write much more, except to kindly ask you to allocate some extra time to visit the island and explore the paths adorned with lavender, laurel, and breathtaking views of Hvar’s untouched nature. Choose Sućuraj as your port of arrival and visit the Vujović cellar, which also houses a restaurant-pizzeria. Try their prč, a traditional Hvar wine variety that the Vujović family produces to perfection.


Small compact clusters resembling male genitalia probably earned Prč its name. In the past, Sućuraj locals were nicknamed “kilavci” due to the belief that they had issues with kilo (hernia) due to excessive sexual activity. Now you really know everything.

Try these hidden gems as well, they jjust might surprise you

There are approximately twenty wineries on the island, some smaller and some larger. Honestly, it took me quite some time to gather them all in one place because they don’t have very visible social profiles or websites. Not all of them have tasting rooms or the kind of offerings you might be accustomed to when exploring the world, but I find that to be part of the island’s unique charm. Indeed, things that are hidden from the eye often hold a special allure and retain their mystique over time. Don’t you agree?

Small boutique wineries, often off-the-grid, but which you MUST explore, can be found here

Inspiration for your travel