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article imageChange at Plancic on Hvar, Dalmatia's first private winery

By Paul Bradbury     Nov 20, 2013 in Travel
Vrbanj - A change in direction for one of Croatia's most pioneering wineries, as Antun Plancic is replaced as CEO of the family winery he founded.
One of the most famous names in Croatian wine - the Plancic winery - has replaced its founding CEO after majority owners Croatia Lloyd reinsurance group decided on a new course of action, according to a report in the leading business portal, Poslovni.hr on November 19, 2013.
Antun Plancic, who founded the first private winery in Dalmatia, has been replaced by Split financier Tomislav Tukic, who has a successful track record of investment and company restructuring. Although Tukic took over in July, he only appeared publicly in his new role recently at an event in Rovinj, where it was revealed that he had hired some new people, including an Argentine oenologist with roots from the island of Hvar.
Croatian wine pioneer Antun Plancic promoting the island s wines at a fair in Zagreb  pictured with ...
Croatian wine pioneer Antun Plancic promoting the island's wines at a fair in Zagreb, pictured with Digital Journal (right) and a member of the influential Luksic Group (centre).
Plancic winery
Croatia Lloyd became 51% owners of the company in 2009, following a recapitalisation and cash injection of 7.5 million kuna (1 million euro), and they have decided on a new course after declining revenues and a period when the company account was blocked for 200 days, according to the report. Poslovni.hr say there were unable to contact Plancic for comment, although leading daily Slobodna Dalmacija quoted him as saying he had no comment to make and was talking to lawyers.
The top of the Pharos range from Plancic  one of only two Grand Cru in Croatia
The top of the Pharos range from Plancic, one of only two Grand Cru in Croatia
Miranda Milicic Bradbury
It is the latest turn of events in the colourful career of Plancic, whose political connections extended to former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and former President Stipe Mesic, who visited Plancic's most ambitious project, a 261 hectare vineyard the company obtained under concession, and which was planned to house some 1.6 million vines of indigenous varieties, making it the largest single vineyard on the Mediterranean islands.
Work on the largest vineyard on the Mediterranean islands  some 261 hectares.
Work on the largest vineyard on the Mediterranean islands, some 261 hectares.
Plancic winery
A true champion of the indigenous wines of Hvar, several of which - bogdanusa, darnekusa and parc - are only grown on Croatia's premier island, famous as the sunniest island on the Adriatic, Plancic enjoyed early success with these wines, winning awards at the Novi Sad wine fair in 1986 as one of the few private wineries. He was also the first to reengage with the important Serbian market after the regional conflict, and was a driving force behind the founding of Days of Hvar Cuisine, a gastronomy festival held each year in Belgrade since 2003, where the island's food and wine is celebrated.
The Plancic vineyard on eastern Hvar from the air  some 4.7 km long.
The Plancic vineyard on eastern Hvar from the air, some 4.7 km long.
Plancic winery
Financial challenges aside, the fundamentals of the business remain strong. Hvar wines are undergoing a renaissance, with exports as far away as California and China, while the improving reputation of Croatian wines internationally and the entry of Croatia into the EU last July can only help development.
The Plancic winery has some of the most picturesque and high quality vineyards in the country.
The Plancic winery has some of the most picturesque and high quality vineyards in the country.
Plancic winery
The positioning of the Plancic vineyards are among the best in the country, and produce - among others - one of only two grand cru in the country, while the potential of the large vineyard is plain to see, if properly exploited; Hvar the island of wine, with a 2400 wine-making history, currently has between 280 and 300 hectares of grapes under cultivation compared to the 5,700 hectares of the pre-phylloxera heyday of the nineteenth century. Currently only about 10% of the 261 hectares on the vineyard are under cultivation.
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