Curating week-long luxury sailing trips and organizing custom winery experiences in the Dalmatian Islands, Wind & Wine Croatia — an innovative adventure travel company — is putting a new twist on travel.

Whether it’s taking in the views of the Adriatic Sea, visiting military tunnels on the island of Vis, or touring a state-of-the-art winery in the Dingač appellation, Wind & Wine Croatia is embracing all the islands have to offer.

In the summer of 2017, seasoned wine professional Lizann Grupalo was sailing the pristine waters of Croatia’s Adriatic coast when she met sailor and certified yacht master Ivan “Pale” Paškvan. Little did the two realize that this would be the start of a life changing partnership. Over a glass of Pošip, a Croatian white wine, the two began discussing their two passions — wine and sailing — and ways in which they could share these passions with others. The two later came up with the innovative idea for Wind & Wine Croatia, which now curates unique trips that allow travelers to sail on modern yachts, visit hand-selected wineries and explore historic islands and towns. We spoke with Grupalo, who shares a behind-the-scenes look into the success of her partnership with Pale and what inspired their collaboration — all while expressing her passion for Croatia and its wine.

 Photos courtesy of Marin Tironi

What has made Wind & Wine Croatia successful?

At the core, Pale and I are aligned in our vision, values, work ethic and desire to create a business platform with an intent to serve others — our clients as well as the community. We also clearly recognize each other’s talents and skill sets and work to capitalize on those strengths and rely on one another for our respective areas of expertise. There is also a candidness to our dialogue which is so refreshing and honest. Pale has many gifts but I most respect his entrepreneurial spirit and passion for sailing and desire to share it with others.

What is your favorite thing about your partnership with Pale? One of my favorite things about my partnership with Pale is how naturally and organically it has evolved. Our serendipitous meeting while sailing on a yacht in the Dalmatian Islands was so random and it happened at a time when I least expected it. I just love seeing the natural progression of Wind & Wine Croatia and I attribute this to our strong collaborative work ethic.
What inspired Wind & Wine Croatia? Full credit must be given to Pale for the idea to create Wind & Wine Croatia. Apparently, he had the idea for quite some time but hadn’t yet connected with someone who had the supplementary skills to partner with. While I don’t really know what inspired Pale to mention the idea of creating a “wind and wine” program to me that day sailing to Vis, I can only guess that he saw a kindred entrepreneurial spirit. … The opportunity presented itself and I just couldn’t resist partnering with Pale on a new venture that included all the things that I love — wine, sailing, travel and Croatia.

Co-Founder of Wind & Wine Croatia Lizann Grupalo

Why should travelers experience Croatia? Croatia should be on everyone’s list to visit. It really is that spectacular! Wind & Wine Croatia promises an incomparable experience and what we feel is the best way to experience Croatia — from the sea. It provides an incredible perspective and one of the most breathtaking views is approaching each island and city or town from the comfort of your sailing yacht or catamaran. Combining the best of our talents, Pale and I have crafted these trips as the professionals and experts in our respective fields. Thus, a new experience has been created — tailored to what we do best — sailing the Adriatic Sea and discovering both world-class wines and the hidden-gem locales where these wines are born.