Marina Jakas: I love everything about wine

Marina Jakas, featured in our inspirational series on women in wine, shares her journey and the challenges she faces as a woman in this dynamic industry. With a fervent passion for winemaking, Marina has become a distinguished figure, blending tradition with modern techniques to craft wines that embody the spirit of her region. Dive into her compelling story to learn about her approach to winemaking and her advocacy for women’s roles in the industry. Discover her full story and insights by reading the interview below.


What is wine for you? 

I love everything about making wine. I love seeing the very first sign of life in the vineyards…
Winemaking is probably the most varied profession in the world and you can accompany a wine from the plant to the bottle. The other great thing is the freedom we’ve gained for ourselves in winemaking. Each harvest is an incredibly creative process with lots of experimentation.
For me wine ended up turning into a way of life that has allowed me to grow intellectually and discover myself physiologically at sensory level. I’m very grateful to wine.


How did you enter the wine industry? 

Well I want to thank my parents for introducing me to wine and the prospect of pursuing it as a career. They studied agriculture and engaged in producing wine and olive oil for their own needs so I think that’s where the initial love for the outdoors and nature started. My parents were always really into wine, not in a professional sense, but we always had wine open for dinner. While I was studying Oenology and Viticulture at the university of Zagreb, I realized I had the possibility to incorporate many of my passions: the sciences, working outdoors, working with my hands, food, and travel. When I got my Master’s degree I decided not to waste my time and got a job as a an intern in Tomić winery where I experienced every aspect of winemaking and fell in love with wine. I joined the team on summer 2018. and I’ve been here ever since, growing with the company, creating wines..


What is your philosophy in making wine, and how is it reflected in your product?

I passionately believe that although we all have our own styles there is no point making wines that your customers don’t enjoy drinking. Every winemaker is different. Every response to vintage is unique and I believe that in order to make a true wine, we need to know when to do less and allow nature to work. I would say it’s a combination of the people, passion and vision. I learned from an early age to look for essential things like elegance, finesse, balance and typicity. I am part of a great team and while we are always evolving , we remain true to  who we are and the vision Andro Tomić (the founder of the winery) had over 30 years ago.


How important do you consider education and training in the wine industry, and are there any special programs for women?

Having a winemaking degree doesn’t enable you to make good wine. You need both the knowledge and the craft. If someone is serious about becoming a professional winemaker the best advice I can give is to try to find a winery or a vineyard to work in before pursuing formal education. This will give you a taste of winemaking and then you can decide if that is your true call. That’s a great way to do it, especially if you can connect with a good mentor and you’re interested in learning. The first step can be really hard, especially if you don’t live in a wine region.

If you’ve decided to get a formal education, there are several agricultural faculties in Croatia with a focus on viticulture and winemaking and for years there has been a great interest in them by women. In Croatia, women weren’t usually under the spotlight, but although it is still not common, female winemakers do have tradition on Croatian soil. Hopefully one day, the fact that a certain wine was made by a woman winemaker won’t have to be a talking point. Of course women make wine, of course women make great wines.


What advice would you give to young women who want to enter the wine business?

There is nothing you can’t do and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I would tell them to be curious, taste wines, visit as many wineries, get to know people and grab the opportunity to learn from them.  If you never try, you’ll never know. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can. Your attitude and mindset should always be towards learning something new.  Life is an adventure and it is when we step out into the unknown that magic and growth happens.