An American Sommelier in Croatia

I am an American sommelier who moved temporarily to Croatia in 2010. I took my dog and pony show on the road, and opened shop teaching wine classes in Zagreb, the capital city. This also offered an outlet for me to use my existing contacts and fascinations from previous days as an European wine distributor in the U.S., and I started leading wine based travel, through Italy at first, but now mostly in Croatia and sometimes in Slovenia.

I have fallen in love with Croatia, and here there is one particular region that sings to me louder than the rest: Istria. While I adore the crystalline aqua sea and pomalo attitude that marks Dalmatia, and the warmth of the hearth of Slavonia, Istria is for me sweet and seductive, having lured me in eagerly first through the landscape, people, gastronomy, then, via my weakest defense, through the wine glass.

A photo from our wine/gastonomy tour by boat. Here we’ve just pulled up fresh oysters from the Limski Canal. Bring on the bubbly!

As anyone can see, just by driving through this beautiful landscape, there’s much to love. In the interior, rolling green hills are covered by truffle-rich forests, stunning hilltop villages, and manicured rows of silvery olive groves or emerald green vineyards. The coastline of this peninsula entices with its own natural wonder. The blue-green sea laps the shore, in some cases crashing against the charmingly crumbled Venetian facades of brightly colored houses and marinas full of fishing boats in the seaside villages.

This is the Istria that I adore, and I do what it takes to get back here as much as possible.  Though the hourglass is nearly empty and it’s time to return to the States. I am now on a new journey, one that will take my business to a different level to offer tourism to international clients and to continue to serve my clients in and around Zagreb. One in which I can share the beauty and richness of this land and culture with those who also wish to engage in such hedonism, traveling through the company of well-selected wineries, agricultural producers and restaurants, specialized in ecologically produced products and marked with warm and amicable characters.

It’s a competitive market for travel and leisure, and many will chose to do it themselves, which is why I know that my tours have to offer strong value and access to one-of-a-kind producers who may be and often are very limited to the public.

I hope you’ll follow along and enjoy!

Warmly,

April

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