|The best wine of my life!!!|
Croatia has been on my travel radar for quite some
time. Why, do you ask? Perhaps it’s
because that after so many years of war they are experiencing the fruits of
being a liberated nation, or maybe it’s because of the significant amount of
tourist attention they’ve received lately, or it could be due to all the
pictures I’ve seen on Pinterest (that have constantly made me drool). This particular trip came about when my
brother, Matt, suggested we incorporate Croatia into our upcoming trip to
Matt had me watch the “No Reservations” episode where
Anthony Bourdain takes his Travel Channel show to the famed Dalmatian Coast. My mouth salivated as I watched each segment
of this enticing episode and visually experienced the impeccable culinary
cuisine and wine that is now prevalent in Croatia. Matt is nobody’s fool. He knows the effect of food porn on my impressionable
stomach. It is quite remarkable how
successful his strategy was. He managed to get me to, of my own free will, cut into
our days in Tuscany and the Cinque Terre to make this happen. Of course, I was
driven by a powerful incentive… Amazing wine and food. How could I resist?
After taking the 12-hour all night ferry from Ancona, Italy
to Split, Croatia, we rented a car and headed to the island of Pag in search of the Boškinac
and Winery ( http://boskinac.com/homepage.en.html ).
This was not as easy as one
would have hoped.
The fine folks at
Google Maps laid their tile in the wrong place (I’ll deal with that failure
Luckily when we showed a little
old lady running a fruit stand a picture of Boškinac
on the iPad, which by the way seemed to be
an entirely new concept to her, she responded by nodding and using her hands
dramatically to motion about ten turns for us to follow.
I must give props to the
fruit-slinging-Croatian granny… we went right to the winery without any
problems (Granny - 1, Google-0).
As we walked up the beautiful stone staircase to the front
of the Boškinac
Hotel and Winery, I have to admit, I was rather giddy. I knew I was about to experience food &
wine that Anthony Bourdain seemed to feel was life changing amazing. He said something along the lines of, “If you
haven't been here, you're a f-@$% idiot. I'm an idiot." That is not a decree I was about to take
lightly. This was potentially my
Jerusalem, but instead turning my heart towards her in prayer, I would be
raising my glass towards Tuscany and toasting (to God’s amazing creation of
Hotel and Winery did not disappoint, it was exactly as Bourdain described, “an amazing, crazy-ass spot.”
This beautiful property is tucked away on a hillside in Novalja, a town in the north
of the beautiful island of Pag, along the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded
by vineyards, olive orchards, and pine trees.
While it is just a short drive to the famous Zrće Beach, it feels like
you have entered an oasis far removed from the business of life and even the much
dreaded and hard-to-completely-avoid tourism traps. There is a distinctly Mediterranean feel to
the luxurious hotel pool, patios, and rooms.
The entire sprawl is gorgeous. This family-run establishment is by all
accounts a complete class act. There is
no detail forgotten or any part of their operation that has not been thoroughly
thought out and perfectly executed.
|This is where you turn off the main road - hard to miss.|
|The main entrance once you are parked and walking up.|
|Heading down to the wine cellar|
|Hotel lobby and bar. There is a nice sitting area and access to the patios |
|I thought this organ in the hallway was a classy touch|
|The bathroom in the suite was gorgeous|
Charcuterie plate and shrimp
The Boškinac red blend of Cabernet
Sauvignon and Merlot from 2009 is hands-down the best wine I have EVER had in my life. This is no exaggeration. Served with handmade pasta and lamb goulash, I could have stayed here forever.