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Luxury holiday at Bluesun Hotel Berulia

Stina Winery You Stole My Heart


As we arrive at the cellar we are met by Jeri, Stina’s head sommelier who takes us into the bar and wine tasting room. The room is beautifully decorated with the Brač Stone that the island is so famous for. We are then whisked away and taken on a tour of the winery by the head wine maker...
The Stina wine project began in 2009, when the company Jako vino leased a cellar from the Agricultural Cooperative of Bol in a town bearing the same name. Purchasing the grapes from vineyards owned and maintained by locals, the Stina winery now employ locals and work together to make wine in Bol.

Whilst Stina is a relatively new player in the vino market, wine-making in Bol is a centuries old tradition. We visited the vineyard on a warm May day, taking the drive up the side of the mountain with a Stina Viticulturist who kindly took some time out of his day to take us to the vineyards perched above the settlement of Murvica. The road is set on very steep terrain which made for a white knuckle ride for Mrs Ctd. The original vineyards have been completely re-constructed with new access roads, retaining walls and additional vines planted. As we turn off the main road onto the gravelled access road into the vineyard its clear that this is very steep terrain. So steep in fact that in areas it exceeds 45 degrees. High up in the mountain ahead of our vehicle the rows and rows of grapevines can be seen as far as the eye can see. It becomes clear that significant investment has been made and that a lot of the work that happens in this vineyard must be done so by hand.

Our guide tells us that this vineyard before us is the King of Dalmatian red wine, Plavac Mali. We complete the hair-raising ride to the relief of Mrs. CtD and stop for photos to soak in the impressive scenery. The view from the vineyard out to the Adriatic Sea with the island of Hvar in the background is simply stunning. On our way back down from the vineyard we make a pit stop at the old Stipančić convent. Our guide takes us on a tour of the local Dragon's Cave set amongst the vineyards. It’s at the Dragon's Cave where mysteries have yet to be answered, but that’s a story for another time. Cave tour complete, we make our way back to the town of Bol, and head over to the cellar.

Aerial view of Stina Winery, on the site of the historic First Dalmatian Wine Cooperative. Photo:

As I mentioned previously, Bol has a long history of wine production. A local cooperative was established around 110 years ago and a wine-making facility was established in the town centre. In 2009 Jako wines, the parent company of Stina, leased the existing facility and renovated it including a modern upgrade of all the wine-making equipment. As we arrive at the cellar we are met by Jeri, Stina’s head sommelier who takes us into the bar and wine tasting room. The room is beautifully decorated with the Brač Stone that the island is so famous for. We are then whisked away and taken on a tour of the winery by the head wine maker.

Walking around vineyards and hiking to dragons caves in the blazing sun, especially when carrying the baby donkey is hard work! Top that off with a cellar tour and a man gets very thirsty! I mean looking at all these vines and wine making equipment can make you go crazy. Fortunately for me, the time came for the Sommelier to show me why it is they grow grapes on the South side of a mountain above Murvica. Time to taste wine! The Stina company produce wine from four grape varieties, Plavac Mali, Pošip, Crljenak and Vugava, which are all native Croatian grape varieties.

Being so thirsty, we tried all of the wines but the real stand outs for me were:

Opol - A rose made from Plavac Mali. Lets just say this will be this summer’s wine in our house after we purchased many bottles. Its delightful and refreshing.
Pošip Majstor - Those outside of Croatia may not be familiar with Pošip. Since arriving in Croatia I have fallen in love with this white grape variety and if you get a chance you should give this wine a go.
Plavac Mali Majstor Barrique - Its the king of the red wine in Croatia and Stina have hit the nail on the head with this Plavac Mali.
Crljenak - Zinfandel’s daddy growing on its home turf.
Prošek - A desert wine primarily made in Dalmatia. Prošek is made from Plavac Mali and Pošip and is something special.
It was all so wonderful, I picked up a few cases to take home for the collection….

The Croatian origin of Zinfandel

Interestingly, you may know the Crljenak grape as the Californian Zinfandel. It’s now been proven that the Zinfandel originates from the Crljenak in Croatia!

Have you ever seen such a label?

When you buy a bottle of Stina wines you will notice that the labels are all white. The word Stina means stone for which Brač is world famous. As such the decision was made to make the labels on the Stina bottles representative of the Brač Stone. Further to this the labels are made from a special drawing paper which closely resembles the stone so it looks and feels like stone and Jeri from Stina told us they encourage people to take inspiration from the wine and draw on the label. Jeri said “the more people drink, the more creative they get”. They even have a collection of label drawings in the bar.

Clearly I’m no wine connoisseur so you should try the Stina wines with Jeri yourself. They are open in the afternoon as a bar and makes for a relaxing place to start your evening in Bol.

Bluesun Hotel Elaphusa

There are a number of accommodation options in Bol Croatia. Including private apartments, but your choice should be the Bluesun Hotel Elaphusa, where we enjoyed four star luxury with views to Zlatni Rat and the Stina Winery is just a casual 10-minute stroll along the shaded promenade. Hotel Elaphusa is modern and provides exceptional service. It also has one of the largest wellness centres in Croatia offering unique olive oil treatments.

Chasing the Donkey is the #1 Croatian travel blog, an award-winning project authored by an Australian expat and her Croatian husband who live in the Croatian countryside.


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