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North Macedonia, a viticultural resurrection

An amazing wine tour

A small landlocked country on the Balkan Peninsula, North Macedonia is at the crossroads of East and West. The country knows a unique wine wealth in the region, offering an unknown range of grape varieties. Come and discover Macedonian red grape varieties such as stanouchina, prokoupets, vranets, kratochia and kadarka or even white grape varieties such as smederevka and joupyanka during our circuit “Wine tour in North Macedonia”

The domains crisscross the valley with inevitably the same dogmatism: a beautiful house, green spaces maintained to the square millimeter, one or more restaurants as well as a tasting cellar.

Indigenous and international grape varieties

Macedonians cultivate indigenous and international grape varieties. Tivkes is the great wine region of the country with around 13,000 hectares planted, one third of all the grapes grown in the country. Before treading on the furrows, you should know that red wines represent 60% of the plantations, with mainly Vranec (38%), Merlot (4.4%), Carbanet Sauvignon (4%), Kratoshija (3.7%) , Prokupec (1.7%), Stanushina (1.5%), you can find spicy Syrah grown in the Skopje and Veles region. The whites represent a good third of the area planted, such as Smederevka (26.57%), Riesling (3.5%) or Chardonnay (2.9%)

Weather characteristics

According to the climatic characteristics and the classification of the EU, Macedonia belongs to zone III-Cb for the production of grape varieties and has adopted the oenological regulations of this zone. Basically, this means that the country enjoys 270 days of sunshine a year! The intense aroma of Macedonian wines is due to the combined influence of the Mediterranean and continental climates: hot and sunny days and cool nights, which help slow the ripening of the grapes.

The future of the industry

Macedonian wines on the international wine scene raised many eyebrows among the experts, putting the wines of this small country in the spotlight. The wine industry here has faced many challenges, but at the same time, quality is improving significantly. The biggest challenge remains the country’s territorial brand on the international market, indeed Macedonian wine is rare and little known. The advantage and the positive point is for visitors who taste completely exclusive wines.

The bottle to bring back home

As you know, Macedonian winemaking is not limited to a single variety, however There is no better expression of the terroir than Vranec, it is in a way the wine signature of the country, which makes it the pride of Macedonians and it is amply justified.

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A specific wine identity

North Macedonia has a know-how dating from Antiquity, however under the joust of communism the region was the stronghold of the wine production of Yugoslavia. During this period, the wines were designed with the aim of being inexpensive and sold in bulk … Since its independence, the quality of Macedonian viticulture has experienced boom and breathtaking development. The vine is the second agricultural production of the country with approximately 28,000 hectares of land dedicated to wines. The mild sun produces full-bodied and fruity red wines, which has given rise to very good quality wines. The country offers a rich haven of fresh and crisp whites, playful rosés and even a small amount of sparkling wine.

Our selection of “vinassiers”

Tikves is the most famous wine region of Macedonia. It is located in the very heart of the country and extends in latitudes similar to those of the Bordeaux region in France, Tuscany in Italy and the Napa Valley in California. Tikves, produces wine since the 4th century BC. The area is magnificent offering visitors, hilly vineyards, lakes, caves and mountains, as well as a rich cultural heritage such as archaeological sites and Orthodox churches.

Popova Kula is the winery that resuscitated the Stanushina with the help of French experts. For the moment Popova Kula is the only producer in the world to produce wine from Stanushina, a unique Macedonian grape variety. In addition to offering this exclusivity, the vineyard is one of the rare wineries in the Balkans that produce wine from the Prokupec, Zilavka and Temjanika grape varieties.

Stobi, The Stobi winery is surely the most modern production in the country which is located only 80 km from the capital, Skopje. The winery is located in the locality of Gradsko, near the ancient town of Stobi, where the two rivers Erigon (Crna) and Axios (Vardar) cross.

Bovin created in 1998, the first family winery in Macedonia is a local institution. The Bovin cellar has grown steadily to reach an overall annual production of 1.2 million liters of wine. The wine quality strategy aimed at targeting high-end consumers in the domestic market has paid off. Bovine wines are now found in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, a real reward …

Château Kamnik, founded in 2004, is an ultra modern winery with an advanced winemaking approach combining tradition and technology, nature and science, to produce wines of the highest quality which have won awards in several international competitions. The wine estate covers 13 hectares of hills with excellent micro climatic conditions all year round. Annual wine production is 100,000 L and most wines age in American and French oak barrels.

Macedonian dishes are tasted with a glass of wine

Macedonian cuisine is varied and there are dozens of local dishes to try. The food here is strongly influenced by Turkish cuisine, with lots of fresh and tasty vegetables, a good choice of cheeses and of course the tender trout from Lake Ohrid. Salads are perfectly associated with varieties of local wines such as Rkatsiteli, Zilavka or Grashevina. Tavche gravche (baked beans) or Selsko meso (a classic meat dish) go very well with Vranec. If you’re trying local goat cheese, be sure to tantalize your palate with a glass of Stanushina.

These traditional dishes are generally accompanied by different condiments: ajvar (cream of peppers and eggplants), pindjur (made with eggplant, tomatoes, onions, peppers, peppers, garlic and parsley) ), or the tarator (Macedonian tzatziki).

Indeed, Macedonia has a very particular cuisine in which its tumultuous history is felt.

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