Whatever you have to do to squirrel away the money to visit this magical winery and savor their insanely delicious 5 star, multi course, tasting menu-DO IT!
I usually plan all of the side trips, sightseeing, and excursions when we travel. But I always ask my husband if there is anything specific that he wants to do or see. The one place at the top of his Croatian bucket list was a visit to the Bibich Winery.
Yes, the place that Anthony Bourdain visited.
Located in Plastovo Croatia, it is a one hour drive from the city of Split. Closed on Mondays and only open from April to Mid-October. They offer a variety of tasting options from light snacks to the 13 course extravagant gastro molecular brilliance that we were blessed with.
After spending the day visiting Krka and Visovac Monastery we elected to spend the night in the stunning and very quiet town of Skradin at a local hotel called Skradinski Buk.
This was a great plan since we knew we’d be drinking the fantastic wine at Bibich so hotel rooms for the night were a must. Our son, who had joined us during our time in Split, was also along for the evening.
In order to make reservations for the winery you will need to call or email them. I emailed the dates that we would be there well in advance of our trip and received a very timely follow up with the available times and type of dinner they were serving that evening, along with the cost.
Parking is available directly across the small lane from the entrance. Upon arriving we were greeted at the imposing winery doors by our welcoming hostess. When you step behind those doors you will be struck immediately by the charming aesthetic of the place. Every care has been taken by the owners, Alen & Vesna Bibić, and their team to create a captivating evening for all of the senses.
This family owned business is over five hundred years in the making. Wars have ravaged the countryside during the generations, and yet the family rises up with determination and renewed purpose after each set back. The pride in their home is evident everywhere you look.
There is beauty bursting from every corner at BIBICh and you will feel instantly transported to a simpler time as you are led to your seat. But prepare yourself, there is nothing simple about the culinary experience you’re about to have.
Vesna Bibic and her team use seasonal and indigenous ingredients in their dishes. Time honored, tried and true, these inspired local recipes will have you wondering if there are any homes for sale in the area.
As each course unfolded, and the wine flowed, we were regaled with great wine philosophy, and the indelible life musings of Mr. Darko Petrović. Bibich Winery’s secret weapon for a great evening. He loves people with great energy, and is extremely knowledgeable about wine in general and the wine at Bibich in particular. Your evening will not be complete unless you’ve had an encounter with this bright lively soul!
He explained to us that the grapes that go into each wine are gathered from three separate vineyards in the surrounding areas of Skradinska, Nadinska, and Prominska. The attention to the care during picking, transportation, crushing and storage is evident in the clean, bright, organic taste that assault the senses upon drinking each vintage in turn. The determination to revive the wines after the Croatian war ended in the early 1990’s brings one almost to tears if you think about what could have been lost if not for the heroic efforts of Alen and his family.
Now if you’ve read any of my other blogs you’ll know that I don’t much care for wine, however, I did participate in all of the taste parings at this meal, which made me a bit tipsier then I’ve been in a long time. (Although not so much that I faceplanted in the garden like Bourdain did all those years ago).
And again, as you know, I am no expert on wine, but what I do know is that it was excellent, which, if you think about it, is high praise from someone who is not inclined to rant on about wine!
However, it is so good (According to my husband) that we’ve traveled to New York just to buy this wine since that is the closest place that we are able to purchase BIBIch wine on the East coast of the US.
As the evening wore on, and the meal was winding down, we reluctantly knew if was time to take our leave.
Darko brought us through to the indoor tasting room and store. Besides us that evening, there was a group from New Jersey who left a few minutes before us. As we were coming in to the store area, they were on their way out. I’m not sure if they recognized him, because they didn’t linger, but Alen Bibić was standing behind the counter.
We started talking to him and thanking him for such an incredible evening. Asking him if he would please convey to his wife and the kitchen staff that we thought our meal was extraordinary. He was very pleased that we would think of the kitchen staff and servers in such a positive way, upon which, Darko in turn spoke very highly of our “Energy,” which was an ringing endorsement indeed.
As we were the only guests left Alen spent a lovely half hour or so speaking with us. My husband, who is pretty wine savvy, was having a wonderful discussion about the types of wine we tried that evening. Alen then spoke to my son about traveling, he was particularly interested in knowing that our adult children like to travel with us, and thought it was great that our son was able to experience the evening with us. We thanked him for providing that memory for us.
I then spoke to him about how we are just normal every day people who prefer to spend our money on travel experiences, great food, and wine. He seemed to really connect to that, agreeing that that is what makes a good life. And shared that he and his wife prefer nothing more then to take their children on travel adventures themselves.
It was just a wonderful moment captured in time for us and we can’t thank the Bibić family and the entire team at BIBIch winery for such a tremendous experience. I never hesitate to recommend this gorgeous winery as a must see in any visit to Croatia. I hope you will also visit and create your own magical memories.