Cracking Croatian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide

Charine Tan on Pag
Charine Tan on the island of Pag, Istria

After four years of deliberating and planning together, in May 2015, Charine Tan and Dr Matthew Horkey sold almost all of their possessions, dropped the comfort and security of their lucrative careers, and left Singapore to travel around the world. With a dream of building a location-independent business and to absorb the world’s lessons, they have explored over 50 wine regions and published four books (three of them are wine related) along the way. Cracking Croatian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide is the third in a series of ‘Exotic Wine Travel’ books that they plan to author. They also share wine travel tips, videos, wine-related stories, and exciting finds from lesser-known wine regions on, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Matt Overlooking Dingac Dalmatia
Matthew Horkey Overlooking the Dingač vineyard in Southern Dalmatia

When asked about the name ‘Exotic Wine Travel’, the duo explained that the problem with lesser-known wine regions and exotic wines is that, often, visitors bounce around a country swiftly and end up tasting some sub-standard local wines. Their experiences tend to be incidental and far from ideal. For that reason, Charine and Matthew aim to explore the unheralded wine regions of the world and introduce the readers to the best that those places have to offer. To achieve that, they usually spend a long period in a wine region or country, integrating with the local wine community to find out the ‘good, bad, and ugly’, and finally, share the vinous gems and stories of a place with fellow wine lovers.

Cracking Croatian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide

Charine in Kutjevo Slavonia and the Danube
Charine in Kutjevo, Slavonia

While Croatia is a young country, its wine history dates back to over 2,500 years ago. There are more than 130 indigenous wine grapes in Croatia; around 40 of them are currently used in commercial wine production. These autochthonous grapes are supplemented by numerous international ones. All in all, it is believed that over 200 varieties are cultivated in the country and vinified by about 1,600 registered wine producers.

Croatian White Wine Vineyard
Croatian White Wine Vineyard

Charine and Matthew say, “Croatia is making some of the most exciting wines in Europe. Let us help you find them!”

Cracking Croatian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide is a practical and informative guidebook, designed for people who enjoy wine either casually or with great curiosity and vigor. The couple spent eight months traveling through the country, visiting hundreds of producers, and tasting nearly 2,000 wines in preparation for the book. Cracking Croatian Wine is their way of helping wine lovers save time, money, and effort: the book will provide pertinent information to help wine tourists maximize their time in Croatia and identify the types of wines they will enjoy.

Lumbarda Korcula Dalmatia
The village of Lumbarda on Korčula island, Dalmatia

The book covers:

An Introduction to Croatia: An overview of Croatian wine history, wine regions, general climatic and geographical features, Croatian cuisine, and styles of wine available to complete the gastronomic experience.

Wine Grapes in Croatia: A rundown of the native and international wine grapes planted in Croatia, along with a pronunciation guide to help you order wine like a local.

Wine Label Interpretation: Croatian wine labels can have a lot of information on them. In this book, we offer a guide to understanding every line on the label.

Wine Recommendations: More than 150 wine recommendations, complete with tasting notes. This section is categorized into:

1. For the discerning palate and the connoisseur

2. For the adventurous palate and the wine geek

3. For the casual wine drinker

Featured Wine Personalities: These people will offer insights into the existing wine culture and the prospect of Croatia as a wine destination.

Saša Says: Saša Špiranec, renowned Croatian wine writer, offers an insider’s look at Croatia’s wine regions.

To purchase the paperback book:

To purchase the electronic book: