The Owners Tale

About twelve years ago I first set foot on the Island of Vis.

About twelve years ago I first set foot on the Island of Vis. It was after a rough and bumpy boat trip that I arrived in the small port of Kut on the Island of Vis. As body and brain found their balance again I went looking for the nearest restaurant in town to celebrate my survival after this eventful journey. Just a few steps away from the habour I found ‘Pajoda’.

As I sat down a huge plate of freshly caught fish was presented to me instead of the menu. The waiter advised me to have the sea bass together with grilled vegetables and of course a bottle of fine wine. As I’m a food and wine lover I did not hesitate to ask for the menu. While waiting for the fish a bottle of local wine, made from the Vugova grape, that grows and is bottled on the Island was poured. A wine I certainly never heard of, let alone tasted. What a great way to start dinner! Stanko, my waiter told me that the owner Zoran created a mythical aura based on the local cuisine and traditional dishes from Dalmatia. Passionate about food and his restaurant after many years Zoran still was the grill master and treats every fish with tender love.

As closing time was near I invited Stanko to share the rest of the bottle of wine hoping to enjoy more tales from the island. The island turned out to be a major producer of Mediterranean wine made from the local Bugova, Mali Plavac and Malvazija grape. More than a century ago the wine pest held the island and mainland in its grip and forced wine growers to emigrate with their remaining healthy wine vines abroad. War dominated the Balkan region and after an era of communism in 1991 Croatia declared independence. Slowly Croatia gained economic prosperity and the younger generation of wine growers returned with their vines from their foster countries back to the island to produce a tasty wine different from those I drank before.

The history of the Island of Vis is richly filled with ancient Greeks and Romans, Turks, Italians, English and even Germans. You can recognize it from the buildings in the Town of Vis and Komiza and from the many slangs being spoken in the islands villages. Even though they are only ten kilometers apart, a different dialect is spoken.

Lying approximately 30 nautical miles from the Croatian mainland, Vis is the remotest island of the Croatian archipelago and was therefore a perfect strategic lookout. After the WOII the island was declared a military zone and was no longer accessible for tourists. Residents lived in so called isolation and military entered the island. As for years the island was closed for people and it now results in an unspoiled, very authentic natural island where mainstream tourism has not taken place. Today Vis is still locally seen as one of the most beautiful, tranquil and slightly mysterious islands of Croatia. For me even more a reason to come back and discover more and more….

First I set foot on the island by accident, and then I decided to come back and enjoy my holidays with my loved ones. While renting a house in the Town of Vis during summer time I came across an amazing old and neglected konoba/house (vinary) right in front of the sea in between Luka to Kut. After three years the old konoba was totally restored and rebuilt. As more construction was allowed, over the past two years two more houses and a swimming pool were finalized on the property. Now 12 years after my first arrival on Vis I’m the proud owner of The Green House and Upper House and resident of the Island of Vis!

It’s your choice too!

Vis greetings,

J. Steinke