Distinctive WINE & CUISINE

Experience the Croatian Renaissance in wine & cuisine

Croatia is experiencing a wine & cullinary renaissance as vintners take their place on the internationl scene and new chefs across the country add creative twists to tradtional cuisine . . .

AE seeks out the best of Croatian cuisine and wines to bring you new and delectible experiences. From tiny family restaurants and wineries to Michelin star experiences, we personally vet them all before bringing our guests to meet the owners, the leaders and the little known.

Our inspiring wine & cuisine experiences represent our favorite local and most unusual – uncovering the secrets of regional specialties, new & unknown wines, master chefs in surprising places & vintners across Croatia.

Meet the Winemakers

Meet master wine makers of the Grand Cro, a group of passionate winemakers representing all the wine-growing regions in Croatia, who are working together to create the best wines, share their knowledge and promote the Croatian wine industry.

We’ll take you on a personal journey from Continental Croatia, through Istria and on to Dalmatia, the islands and the Peljesac Peninsula (the Napa Valley of Croatia).

  • Stay at wine estates and authentic boutique hotels along the way
  • Try premium wines, which are never sold outside their wineries
  • Share unique wine pairings at special chef’s table dinners
  • Veritical and horizontal tastings in Peljesac & Istria wine regions
  • Discover tiny boutique wineries and meet leading vintners large and small

Secrets of Dalmatian Cooking

Learn the secrets of Dalmatian Coastal cuisine with chef Ante at Gastro Mare restaurant, a well kept secret and possibly the best seaside restaurant in Croatia.

Gastro Mare restaurant twinkles on the edge of the sea with style and grace. The service is impeccable & hospitable, the wine list includes very good Croatian wines, the daily dinner menu is fixed and well worth the adventure.

Ante lovingly combines his international culinary skill with deep knowledge of local traditions, the best freshly caught fish, local shellfish, vegetables & herbs to create vivid, delightfully fresh dishes.

Private Tapas and Tasting

Be treated to a totally unique experience at home with master wine maker and chef. This family winery on Brac island is one of our favorite and truly unique experiences. The owner is the uncompromising master vintner and his wife one of the best creative chefs in Croatia. They make some very good wines and an unbelievable food pairing. This is definitely a unique and understated experience.

Dining on the Sea

La Puntulina Restaurant – seaside dining right on the rocks in Rovinj – most lovely at sunset.  Authentic Istrian cuisine, very good wine list and perfect setting make this a wonderful evening to soak up  Istria ethos.

The Traditions of the Hunt - Truffle That Is

Truffles permeate Istrian cuisine throughout the region. Legend professes the truffle to be an aphrodisiac and even a type of natural medicine.  Istrian truffles are served shaved over pasta, drenched in olive oil, infused in cheeses and an intrinsic ingredient in delicacies throughout Istria. They even make truffle ice cream.

You’ll hunt the truffle in the hills of Istria with a family whose traditions dates back 100 years, an earthy experience carried on as it has for decades by local families with trained truffle dogs in the woods surrounding Buzet and Motovun.

Dalmatian Tapas private cooking class

Enjoy a  Cooking Class and Olive Oil Tasting with young and talented chef Yolanda in one of Diocletian palace restaurants.  Yolanda specializes in taking traditional Dalmatian island recipes (many old family traditions) and giving them a new twist with local ingredients  &  secret family recipes.  Learn the secrets of cooking with local Olive Oil from Brac island – where they produce some of the best olive oils in the world – you’ll compare Brac olive oils with Istrian and other island olive oils.

Start with a trip to the famous Split Produce and fish markets as Yolanda choses the best ingredient’s for the day’s dishes.

Michelin Star Experience - Medieval Setting

Join us for a chef’s table dinner & wine pairing at Pelegrini Restaurant in tiny Sibenik – a Michelin star experience set in a 14th century courtyard.

Pelegrini Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Croatia, and representative of the creative Nouveau Dalmatian Cuisine.  This is your chance to experience first hand the Croatian renaissance in cuisine and wine in a spectacular medieval setting.

Pelegrini’s is located in the 14th century Villa Pelegrini in Sibenik’s St. James Cathedral Square. Top chef, Rudi Stefan, is a leader in the renaissance in Croatian cuisine. His Nouveau Dalmatian Cuisine – hits the perfect balance between traditional ingredients & dishes and creative cuisine & panache. Pelegrini also has one of the best wine lists in the country, including the top Croatian wines, some of which you cannot get anywhere other than at the winery.

The Art of Istrian Cooking

The foundation of Istrian cuisine is its various kinds of indigenous pasta, wild asparagus, truffles, famous dry-cured prsut, some of the best olive oils in the world, Lim oysters, and local wine varieties such as the white Malvazija and red Teran.

Start with shopping at the local markets, then learn the art of traditional Istrian dishes such as traditional Istrian pasta, brodet (a meat or fish goulash). Try your hand at beating the baccalà to create a fish paté, making carpaccio and grilling fish Istrian style.  Compare some of the best olive oils in the world and try wine pairing with indigenous Istrian varietals.

Choose among several options (we’ll advise you on the best seasonal choices) :

  • Art of Istrian pasta and brodet
  • Traditional Istrian cuisine goes vegetarian/vegan
  • Labinski krafi,fine Istrian ravioli dating from medieval times
  • Meat or seafood under čripnja – the traditional Istrian clay baking bell

History of Olive Oil - the island gold

Olive oil has been a valuable commodity throughout the ages to barter, signify wealth, heal all manner of ailments and a secret to long life. Olive Oil production on the islands goes back over 2000 years.

Get into the details of olive oil production past and future on Brac island.  Meet the first family to produce organic Olive Oil, who will take you through their family orchards, explaining in detail their methods.  Include a visit and lunch with the creators of the Brac Olive Oil museum – an age old Brac family.  The musuem features one of the oldest olive oil presses (donkey driven) on the islands.

From October to December try your hand at the olive harvest – gentle picking, field lunch and pressing – taste the oil directoy from the press.  Taste the difference between picks and pressing techniques.