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43° N, 16°E ….the island of Vis

OUR STORY

Just luck? Perhaps. Or maybe it was fate that brought a seasoned wine executive and lifelong sailor together that summer of 2017. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Lizann met Pale (Paul-lay) while sailing the pristine waters of Croatia’s Adriatic coast. One afternoon, over a glass of Pošip (a Croatian white wine), an idea was born to combine two passions: wine and sailing.
 
Vis was the perfect island for these two new friends and soon-to-be business partners to consider the idea… ”What if we created an experience that allowed us to share our expertise by combining the discovery of world-class wine while sailing the beautiful waters of Croatia?” Collaborating together, we have created an itinerary focused on discovering renowned local wines while transporting you by wind to all our favorite places and hidden wonders of Croatia.
 
With sailing options for both the adventure seekers and those who prefer a more luxe voyage, we invite you to join us in exploring the stunning coastal region and islands of Croatia, as well as the historic vineyards that grace these lands. With sails rising and corks popping, the journey awaits….all to be discovered in wind, wine and recreation.
 
Here’s to Wind & Wine Croatia -- Živjeli!
Lizann and Pale

MEET THE CREW
 

Lizann Grupalo
Co-Founder and Wine Director


With over 20 years in the wine industry, Lizann has served in sales and management positions with Robert Mondavi Corporation, Terlato Estate Wines and The Wine Alliance. Her most recent post as Vice President of Sales for Intervine, a global airline wine management company, brought her forefront into the global realm of international wines and travel.  Managing airline sales operations in North America and Europe, she was instrumental to developing new partnerships by providing comprehensive wine program solutions to valued air travel clientele.


Born and raised in northern California, Lizann holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Santa Clara University and an MBA in International Business from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.  She holds a Certification Level 2 with Wine & Spirits Education Trust of London, as well as certifications with the American Sailing Association (101 and 103).


When she is not hard at work, Lizann is most content sailing on the San Francisco Bay or walking amongst the vineyards in Napa Valley. Other interests include spending time with family and friends, attending basketball and baseball sporting events featuring her niece and nephew and traveling internationally to discover off the grid locales that just may be destined as the next best place to vacation.


Much the same way that Lizann discovered Croatia, she invites guests to escape their hectic lives for a memorable week shared with family, friends or colleagues.  With her effervescent and easy-going personality, Lizann welcomes you aboard and invites you to sit back, relax and enjoy as the crew transports you through the beauty and wonder that will define your time in Croatia!

 

  • Languages: native English, fluent Italian, conversational Spanish, conversational German

Ivan Paškvan - Pale

Co-Founder and Wind Director


A native of Croatia, Pale (pronounced, Paul-lay) exudes a love of life and people and lives most happily when leading an active lifestyle under the open sky. After completing college, Pale began traveling the world. He discovered his passion for sailing and finding life balance through unity with nature. It was through sailing that he learned the most about his country and inevitably fell in love with its coastline, islands, culture and people. Over the past 20 years, Pale has skippered boats sailing the Adriatic Sea in its entirety while discovering all of its exclusive bays and lagoons.


Together with his wife and life companion Suzana, Pale founded the Green-Blue World Association, which focuses on promoting healthy, active lifestyles through projects like Nomadria, Yoga-Sailing and Teen Sailing Camp. As a father to two young sailors, Maša (10) and Andrej (14), Pale is dedicated to sharing his love and knowledge of boating with the next generation and teaching the importance of living respectfully and in harmony with nature.


Pale’s mission is to provide you with an unforgettable and safe experience during your stay with Wind & Wine Croatia. You will discover the joy of sailing with a new-found respect for the ocean as well as the beauty of this old-world country. Sailing is a life experience and if Pale can impart the slightest inspiration to travel the world by sea, he considers it a grand success!

 

  • Certificate of Competency as Yacht Master, Category A (yachts up to 100 GT)

  • Association of Croatian Travel Agencies' Tour Leader Certificate

  • Languages: native Croatian, fluent English, basic German

Marin Tironi
Skipper


Boats and water have played an integral part in in Marin’s life. He hails from a Trogir family in Croatia with a long tradition in the sport of rowing. Although his grandfather, father and brother were national team rowers, Marin ultimately chose to pursue life on a different boat. Since 2000, Marin has been sailing the Adriatic waters while developing another professional passion: photography.


In 2006, after participating in many regattas as a crew member or photographer, Marin took the helm and became a professional skipper. Summer sailing keeps him happy and in the off season you can find him out exploring, camera bag in tow.
Marin’s driving passion is raising his two sons responsibly while encouraging them to reach for their dreams. His easy-going demeanor makes for great company on any boat. Highly skilled and professional, you’ll find Marin living in the moment surrounded by big smiles.

  • Certificate of Competency as Yacht Master, Category A (yacht up to 100 GT)

  • Languages: native Croatian, fluent English, basic German

Andreas Vilić
Skipper


From an early age, Andreas was inspired by nature and the outdoors. He avidly took up hiking, free climbing and soccer at an early age. Born and raised in Zagreb, Croatia, he majored in Agriculture and upon graduation, pursued an opportunity in England as a chef’s assistant. Upon his return to Croatia in 2003, he worked as a customer service supervisor for Adriatica, a leader in Croatian travel companies. This sparked his interest in sailing and led him to becoming a student of the Nautical Academy. Andreas became base manager for Nautika Kufner, a sailing charter company, and eventually started his own company offering skippered charter trips, sailing tours and a sailing school.

 

Andreas credits the sea for playing a major role in his life. He met his wife Ana while sailing and is now the proud father of two beautiful girls, Isa and Vita. This love of the sea is evident in naming his eldest daughter Isa, which is the ancient Greek name of his favorite island, Vis (Issa).


Sailing since 2003, his experience, easy temperament and open mind have served him well in providing the ultimate sailing experience to his clients. Incredibly respectful, Andreas is also a responsible steward of safety. Andreas is held in high regard within the local community. When you travel with Andreas, be prepared to make a friend for life!

  • Certificate of 30 BT Professional License for Monohull and Catamarans

  • Languages: native Croatian, fluent English, basic German
     

Marko Zurunić - Zurka
Skipper

Born and raised in Zagreb, Croatia, Marko has a storied career in professional handball. His accolades include being a three-time Junior Champion of Croatia and European Vice-Champion where he landed a player spot with the Junior National team. He retired from professional handball in 2008, and that is where his career as a skipper begins. Over the past decade, Marko has sailed the entire Croatian coast from Dubrovnik to Umag. As a result, he is well versed in the myriad possibilities it offers to travelers by way of recommendations on restaurants, entertainment and must-see locales.

Beyond Croatia’s Adriatic Sea, Marko has sailed many waters including the Swedish Archipelago, the Caribbean Sea, Belize and the Mediterranean Sea from Bordeaux through Gibraltar. He has also sailed through Sardinia, Sicily, and the Messina passage along the Italian coast to Split.

Outside of his sea life, Marko enjoys cooking Dalmatian specialties such as Peka, a blend of vegetables and meat drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with herbs and then baked to perfection. He also stays active playing beach volleyball, water polo and tennis. Most importantly, he cherishes time spent with his 6-year old son Vito. Marko is incredibly diligent, reliable and an effective communicator. His love of sailing will surely enhance wonderful memories of Croatia’s Dalmatian coast and surrounding islands with his guests.

  • Certificate of Competency as Yacht Master, Category A (yacht up to 100 GT)

  • University of Split - Faculty of Maritime Studies: Major in Maritime Technology of Yachts and Nautical Marinas

  • Languages: native Croatian, fluent English, fluent German, basic Russian