A Vinous Voyage: The Accent on Wine Food and Wine Tour

Italy, Slovenia and Croatia

Chef Richard Gruica
  • Email address verified
11 reviews
Jun 16 - 23, 2024
Group size: 1 - 18
A Vinous Voyage: The Accent on Wine Food and Wine Tour
Italy, Slovenia and Croatia

Chef Richard Gruica
  • Email address verified
11 reviews

Jun 16 - 23, 2024
Group size: 1 - 18

About this trip

  "A Vinous Voyage: The Accent on Wine Food and Wine Tour through Croatia and Slovenia"


Embark on an unforgettable wine and culinary journey with Stephan Peltier, the beloved owner of Accent on Wine, and the esteemed Chef Richard Gruica of The Gourmet Vacation and Captivating Croatia Tours as we venture to the captivating lands of Croatia and Slovenia for a luxurious week-long food and wine tour like no other.


From Sunday, June 16th to Sunday, June 23rd, 2024, prepare yourself for an extraordinary gastronomic adventure that will indulge your senses and leave lasting memories. Our expertly curated itinerary will lead us to some of the world's most stunning destinations, where we will bask in the raw beauty of Slovenia and explore the enchanting region of Istria, often referred to as Croatia's Tuscany.


Throughout the journey, we will immerse ourselves in the rich history and fascinating tales of these cherished regions. And what better way to savor the experience than with the culinary expertise of Chef Richard and the wine wisdom of Stephane by our side? Together, we will relish in the finest local delicacies, exceptional wines, and breathtaking sights, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and experiences.


Indulge in a luxury holiday that caters to your every desire, surrounded by the unmatched expertise and company of our talented chef and sommelier. This is an unparalleled opportunity to elevate your appreciation for food and wine while exploring some of the most exquisite places on earth.


Join us on this extraordinary journey, as we venture into the heart of culinary excellence and discover the magic of Croatia and Slovenia. Reserve your spot now and get ready to be captivated by the true essence of this Mediterranean paradise.


Day 1: Sunday, June 16th

Tour Kickoff - Venice to Slovenia

Discover Wine Country


Welcome to the Accent on Wine Savor Croatia/Slovenia Tour! Our journey begins in the charming city of Venice, Italy, where a luxurious van awaits to transport all our guests to Slovenia. As we travel, we'll whet our appetites in anticipation of an exceptional food and wine experience.


Our first stop takes us to Slovenia's renowned wine country, where we'll relish a delectable gourmet lunch filled with local delicacies. Amidst breathtaking vineyard views from a scenic terrace, we'll have the pleasure of sampling the world-renowned natural and orange wines of the region.

After an unforgettable day of wine and gastronomy, we'll head to Postojna, Slovenia's top tourist destination, and home to Europe's most visited cave system. Tomorrow, we'll explore this mesmerizing underground wonder.

Overnight Stay: Hotel Jama - 4 Star

https://www.postojnska-jama.eu/en/hotel-jama/

P

lease note that all guests are responsible for arriving in Venice, Italy, at their own convenience, prior to the tour's start on Sunday, June 16th. We plan to depart around noon from Tronchetto, Venice's transportation hub. Please ensure you arrive before 11:45 AM, as the bus will only be stationed for a brief period. For a seamless start to our adventure, kindly arrive no later than Saturday, June 15th, so we can depart together on the 16th. Any guests not present at the designated departure time will need to arrange their transportation to our first hotel in Slovenia. At the end of the tour, we'll return all guests to our central return spot, and from there, guests will be responsible for their ongoing accommodations and transportation.


Day 2: Monday, June 17th

Caves, Farms, and Culinary Delights

Check Out

The Caves are Calling…

Begin your day with a delightful and relaxed breakfast before bidding farewell to our previous abode. Today, we embark on an extraordinary adventure, starting with a visit to Slovenia's iconic natural wonder - the Postojna Caves. Hop aboard a scenic train ride that takes us deep into the heart of these captivating caves, where we'll indulge in a gentle walking tour, immersing ourselves in the enchanting underground world.

Farm-to-Table Experience

For the majority of the rest of the day, we'll have the pleasure of being in the company of the incredibly talented Chef Luka Kosir and his team. Chef Luka's culinary expertise shines as he presents traditional Slovenian dishes with a unique and innovative twist. A true farm-to-table experience awaits us, as we visit the very gardens where much of the ingredients are sourced. We'll even have the chance to see the heritage breed ducks he raises on his farm.

Artisanal Cheese and Michelin-Star Delights

Our culinary journey continues with a visit to one of Slovenia's top cheese makers, where we'll witness the artisanal craftsmanship behind some of the region's finest cheeses. An early dinner at Chef Luka's esteemed Brunarica Gric, boasting an impressive Michelin Star, will be a highlight of the day. Savor a divine 7-course tasting menu thoughtfully paired with exquisite wines, a true gastronomic delight.

Ljubljana, the Enchanting Capital

After our culinary escapades, we'll make our way to the charming city of Ljubljana, Slovenia's enchanting capital city with a history dating back to the 12th century. Upon arrival and check-in at our luxurious 5-star hotel, the Hotel Intercontinental, we'll regroup and set out for a delightful walking tour of the city. Ljubljana's picturesque charm and vibrant atmosphere promise an unforgettable evening, giving you the freedom to explore and enjoy the city as you wish.

Overnight Stay: Hotel Intercontinental - 5-Star

https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/ljubljana/ljuha/hoteldetail


Day 3: Tuesday, June 18th

A Little Taste of Chef Ana and Castle Bled and the Enchanting Lake 

Start your day with a light breakfast, for today's adventure begins with a delightful visit to Chef Ana Ros's boutique bakery, Pekarna Ana. Collaborating with some of Slovenia's finest bakers and pastry chefs, they showcase a delectable array of sourdough breads and assorted sweet and savory pastries, along with delightful coffee. Chef Ana Ros is a culinary icon, renowned as Slovenia's most famous chef. You can catch a glimpse of her exceptional skills on her Chef's Table episode on Netflix. Her accolades include being crowned the Best Female Chef in the World and heading up the prestigious 2 Michelin Star Hisa Franko, ranking as the 9th best chef globally.

Our journey continues with a scenic drive to the resort town of Bled, nestled in the picturesque Julian Alps. We'll explore the captivating Lake Bled, where a traditional wooden boat called a Pletna, dating back to the 1500s, will ferry us to Slovenia's only island. Here, the Church of Mary the Queen stands, a breathtaking sight and Slovenia's most photographed location.

As a special treat, we'll then visit an old homestead for a homemade Slovenian lunch, where we'll discover the secrets of "potica," Slovenia's most famous pastry. Live music will serenade us during this delightful experience.

Next, we venture to the charming town of Radovljica, where we'll participate in a chocolate making class, creating our own delectable treats. Explore the town's enchanting surroundings before heading to Bled Castle, a treasure trove of natural beauty, standing majestically for over a thousand years. The castle offers awe-inspiring views of Lake Bled and the surrounding Alps. We'll tour the castle before indulging in a modern interpretation of traditional dishes at the castle restaurant, concluding our unforgettable day.

Overnight Stay: Hotel Intercontinental - 5-Star

https://www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/us/en/ljubljana/ljuha/hoteldetail


Day 4: Wednesday, June 19th

1492 Will Have a New Meaning for You! 

Morning Checkout

As we continue our food and wine journey into Croatia's alluring Istria region, prepare for an extraordinary and exclusive experience that will leave a lasting impression. Our destination is the renowned BioSing, where we'll meet the master sausage maker, David Lesar. The origins of this culinary artistry can be traced back to 1492 when skilled woodworkers, traversing the lands to sell their crafts, craved delectable sustenance for their travels. Thus, they perfected the art of sausage-making, a tradition that David Lesar has transformed into a true work of art. His sausages have earned global acclaim and are savored at some of the world's finest dining establishments. Today, we have the privilege of savoring them firsthand.

At BioSing, we'll delve into the depths of the cellar, immersing ourselves in the craft's technology and techniques. Prepare to tantalize your palate as we indulge in a myriad of exquisite sausage products, each thoughtfully paired with exceptional wines, enhancing the tasting experience. As a delightful addition, we'll relish a meal featuring "koznca," the region's local sausages, complemented by a delightful surprise treat exclusive to this locale.

Upon crossing the border into Croatia, we'll find ourselves in the enchanting town of Rovinj, a gem adorning the Croatian coast. Our home for the night is the luxurious 5-star Hotel Lone, where unparalleled comfort awaits. You're free to make the most of your evening, exploring the charm of Rovinj or unwinding at the splendid hotel.

Overnight Stay: Hotel Lone - 5-Star https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj


Day 5: Thursday, June 20th

From Roman Delights to Michelin Bites

Our day commences with a visit to Vodnjan, a charming town celebrated for two prominent attributes. Firstly, it is renowned as the home of Croatia's finest olive oil producers, with Istria consistently earning the title of the world's best olive oil region for the past seven years. We'll have the privilege of visiting Croatia's number one olive oil producer, learning about their remarkable journey, and savoring their exceptional olive oils.

Vodnjan's allure extends beyond olive oil, as it also boasts a vibrant street art scene. Annually, the city hosts a festival showcasing captivating artwork that adds a unique charm to its streets.

Next, we have arranged a private walking tour of Pula, where ancient Roman history comes alive. The highlight of this historical exploration is a visit to the famed Roman Arena, the world's most preserved Roman amphitheater. Following the tour, you'll have free time to further immerse yourself in the area's enchanting ambiance and do some gift shopping as well. 

Later, a short drive brings us to the serene fishing village of Banjole, where a culinary masterpiece awaits at Chef David Skoko's family restaurant, Batelina. Renowned and Michelin-recommended, this exceptional establishment promises a seafood dining experience unlike any other. Chef David's culinary expertise has garnered attention worldwide, even attracting the late Anthony Bourdain's admiration. (Check out Bourdain’s Croatian episode to find out more about Chef David https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j03qhsE7UcI )

Overnight Stay: Hotel Lone - 5-Star

https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj


Day 6: Friday, June 21st

Truffle Adventures and Hilltop Wonders

Day 6 promises a truly enchanting journey, from the thrill of truffle hunting to savoring the finest wines and delectable farm-fresh delights. Let the long and winding road lead you to paradise as we continue our immersive wine and food tour. Our morning unfolds with a picturesque drive, leading us to the heart of Truffle Country! Brace yourself for an exciting truffle hunt, guided by a local expert and their skilled dogs. As we meander through the trees, we'll eagerly anticipate the treasures that await us underground. After the exhilarating hunt, we'll be rewarded with a truffle tasting, savoring the rich flavors of this coveted delicacy.

Next on our agenda is a visit to one of the most delightful distilleries, a charming haven for liquid libations. Enjoy a fascinating tour, followed by a delightful tasting of their finest creations.

As we venture onward, we'll pause for a photo opportunity at Motovun, a hilltop town boasting Croatia's most scenic vistas. The enchanting landscape is sure to captivate your senses.

To elevate our wine and food experience, we'll then visit one of the region's top wineries for an exceptional tasting. Revel in the artistry of local winemakers as they present their finest vintages.

Our day concludes at the mesmerizing Kumparička, a magical place where goats feast on a bountiful array of over 200 herbs and botanicals. Prepare to be enchanted as we explore the farm and cheese production area. The highlight of the evening awaits us with a mouth-watering farm-to-table meal, set against the idyllic backdrop of Kumparička.

Overnight Stay: Hotel Lone - 5-Star

https://www.maistra.com/hotel-lone-rovinj


Day 7: Saturday, June 22nd

Eataly Exploration and Becoming a Master of Your Own Wine

Morning Checkout

Day 7 holds a grand finale of wine craftsmanship and culinary exploration, as we embrace the spirit of wine and food on this gourmet tour. As we bid farewell to our enchanting stay in Croatia, we still have a couple of delightful surprises in store on this gourmet wine and food tour. Our first stop takes us to the vibrant city of Trieste, a major maritime gateway connecting Northern Italy, Germany, Austria, and Central Europe. Here, we will immerse ourselves in the Italian way of life at Eataly, a true shrine celebrating all things Italian. Eataly is a haven for experiencing the finest Italian food and drink, allowing us to savor the essence of Italy in style.

The name "Trieste" itself has an interesting origin, derived from the Latin word "Tergeste," likely of Venetic origin. The first element, "terg," means "market," while the second element, "-est," means "place." Our visit to Eataly in Trieste is perfectly fitting, a delightful intersection of history and culinary indulgence.

Next, we venture to Slovenia's esteemed Vipava Valley, a region likened to Napa for its exceptional wine production. Here, we will be treated to a unique wine experience of a lifetime – becoming winemakers for the day. We'll learn the art of wine crafting, from tending the vines to the harvest, pressing, barrel-aging, and finally, bottling. This hands-on experience allows us to create our custom wine blend, tailored to our individual tastes and desires.

As the sun sets on our magnificent journey, we will gather for a wonderful dinner at a superb restaurant, savoring the last flavors of this unforgettable adventure.

Overnight Stay: To be determined (TBD)


Day 8: Sunday, June 23rd

Farewell to an Unforgettable Culinary Adventure

Check-Out

As the sun rises on our final day, it's time to bid adieu to the captivating lands of Croatia and Slovenia and make our way back to Venice, where our extraordinary tour comes to a close. Throughout this gourmet wine and food journey, you have delved into the world of gastronomy and oenology, immersing yourself in the rich flavors and traditions of these two remarkable countries.

As we say our farewells, we are confident that the memories created during this unforgettable culinary adventure will stay with you forever. Your palate has been enchanted, your understanding of wine refined, and your appreciation for the artistry behind exceptional cuisine deepened.

As you embark on your journey back home, carry with you the joy of discovering new tastes, the warmth of shared moments with fellow food and wine enthusiasts, and the knowledge that the world of culinary delights will always welcome you back with open arms.

Safe travels, and until we meet again, may your passion for wine and food continue to guide your path.


Culinarily yours,

Chef Richard Gruica, Stephan Peltier, and The Gourmet Vacation Team 

What’s included

  • Sommelier and Chef Tme
    The chance to eat, drink, explore, experience, interact and learn alongside Stephan and Chef Richard personally throughout the trip.
  • 7 Night's Accommodation
    Luxury accommodation 4 stars or higher
  • All Excursions
    Including food, tastings & classes
  • All Transportation
    All transportation after pick-up in Venice is included
  • Meals
    All Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners-Including one 1 Michelin star meal, and another Michelin recommended stop!
  • Private Guide
    Your guide (Chef Richard Gruica) is Croatian-American and also a chef!

What’s not included

  • Airfare
    Airfare is not included
  • Travel Insurance
    This is very STRONGLY recommended
  • Extra Tips/Gratuities
    Any extra you wish to tip on your own for guides, servers, drivers, hosts
  • Extra Food/Drink
    Any other food/drink not provided on the tour
  • Private Water Taxi
    Private Water Taxi

Available Packages

Trip Price
Available until May 17, 2024
$4,949
Deposit: $1,000

Available options

Itinerary

Day 1
Tour Kickoff - Venice to Slovenia-Discover Wine Country

Day 1: Sunday, June 16th

Tour Kickoff - Venice to Slovenia

Discover Wine Country


Welcome to the Accent on Wine Savor Croatia/Slovenia Tour! Our journey begins in the charming city of Venice, Italy, where a luxurious van awaits to transport all our guests to Slovenia. As we travel, we'll whet our appetites in anticipation of an exceptional food and wine experience.


Our first stop takes us to Slovenia's renowned wine country, where we'll relish a delectable gourmet lunch filled with local delicacies. Amidst breathtaking vineyard views from a scenic terrace, we'll have the pleasure of sampling the world-renowned sparkling, natural, and orange wines of the region over our multi-course meal.


After an unforgettable day of wine and gastronomy, we'll head to Postojna, Slovenia's top tourist destination, and home to Europe's most visited cave system. Tomorrow, we'll explore this mesmerizing underground wonder.


Overnight Stay: Hotel Jama - 4 Star

https://www.postojnska-jama.eu/en/hotel-jama/


Please note that all guests are responsible for arriving in Venice, Italy, at their own convenience, prior to the tour's start on Sunday, June 16th. We plan to depart around noon from Tronchetto, Venice's transportation hub. Please ensure you arrive before 11:45 AM, as the bus will only be stationed for a brief period. For a seamless start to our adventure, kindly arrive no later than Saturday, June 15th, so we can depart together on the 16th. Any guests not present at the designated departure time will need to arrange their transportation to our first hotel in Slovenia. At the end of the tour, we'll return all guests to our central return spot, and from there, guests will be responsible for their ongoing accommodations and transportation.

Your Organizer


CR
Chef Richard Gruica
11 reviews
From an early age, Chef Richard Gruica saw how food and drink could unite people, regardless of their backgrounds, making everyone happy. With his passion for gastronomy, he decided to create the most incredible of edible journeys. Through extensive research, he presents some of the finest examples of tradition, craft and small producers from across the globe to the guests of his tours. More significantly, guests get to meet and enjoy the people that have a true passion for what they do. Forget ordinary, experience extraordinary!

Reviews

FG
Excellent food and wine knowledge. Chef Gruica was a great guide. Chef Ricky Moore is amazing and curated a feeling of togetherness in a tour of what was primarily strangers. Over that week we became friends. Many stepped outside of their comfort zones and tried (and loved) food that they'd never before imagined. Croatia is beautiful! I look forward to the next food & wine (and Pepsi!) tour!!
By Felice G for The "Kroatia Kool" Thousand Island Food & Wine Tour w/Chef Ricky Moore on Nov 07, 2023
This was not just any ordinary trip. It was a culinary adventure in a beautiful country with amazing people unlike anything we have ever experienced. Every day Chef Richard curated unique tasting experiences off the beaten path. His delicious collections blended the freshest local food from small wineries, local eateries, and farms in stunning surroundings. Every day presented unique activities exploring the real people and places that most tourists never see. I would have never imagined eating a spectacular meal in a charming winery that was prepared by the owner and his family or hunting for truffles out in the woods and having an al fresco dinner prepared right there at dusk. Day after day, the combination of food, wine, and activities was unique and different from the previous day. We absolutely will be returning for more tours with Chef Richard and definitely this Croatia tour is one of a kind and not to be missed!
By Joseph M for A 'Taste of Southern Grace' Croatia Tour w/ Chef Steven Greene on Oct 14, 2023
Beyond what we had anticipated! The immersion in the local culture made this a very special trip! We would definitely travel with Richard again!
By Karen F for The Chef Chris Coleman Taste of Croatia Tour on Aug 01, 2023
I will literaly remember these countless experiences for a lifetime. Richard's genuine enthusiasm for food, wine, and culture shined bright. My wife and I truly experienced what it means to be a world traveler. We would do another trip in a heartbeat. Thanks Richard!
By David W for Chef Sam Diminich Back to Roots Slovenia & Croatia Tour on May 06, 2023
Thank you so much for those super kind words. I love doing what I do and crafting wonderful experiences for my guests. It was a pleasure having both of you guys. Peru in 24!
By Chef Richard Gruica on May 08, 2023
I met 12 Fantastic people who have become friends and Richard was fantastic, well informed and not a "boring tour instructor". The buses that we had were extremely comfortable and classy. We were able to take our time at each spot which was important to me. Excellent time.
By Diane E for Chef Sam Diminich Back to Roots Slovenia & Croatia Tour on May 04, 2023
Thank you Diane...it was wonderful having you and so appreciate you for coming on the tour. He re is to a great trip, to new friends...loads of memories and to what the future has in store for us.
By Chef Richard Gruica on May 08, 2023
Show More Reviews

References

What a trip! Richard created an amazing itinerary that included something for everyone. His connections to local chefs, farmers, tour guides, etc made this an unforgettable trip. Accommodations were first class, beautiful hotels and very comfortable transportation along the way. We look forward to another trip with him!
By Lewis W on 10 May, 2023