Why North-Macedonia?

North Macedonia

Country of nature, cradle of european culture

The Republic of North Macedonia remains one of Europe’s last undiscovered winecountries: a natural paradise of vineyards, mountains, lakes and rivers, where lifemoves to a different rhythm, amidst the sprawling grandeur of rich historical ruinsand idyllic villages that have remained practically unchanged for centuries.Even though Macedonian wines might be new to many people, wine is not at all newto Macedonia. The country situated in the middle of Balkan Peninsula has beenmaking wines from Ancient times. In this area, the vine used to be cultivated even 4,000 years ago. Today Macedonia is drawing on its rich tradition of winemaking toproduce world class new age wines that compete well on a global scale. 

The Tikveš

The Tikveš is the wine region of northern Macedonia. As shown in the picture below, the Tikveš wine sub-region is on the same longitude as Toscana in Italy, Bordeaux in France and the Napa Valley in the USA. The south of the Tikveš region is dominated by a Mediterranean climate with long and hot summers. In the north there is a predominant continental climate with mild and wet winters. The average annual temperature is 13.3°C, while it is 18°C during the vegetation period. In the summer the temperature can rise to more than 40°C. The average precipitation during the vegetation period is 300-500 mm. The Tikveš region is “protected” on three sides by mountains that prevent the northern winds from reaching the vineyards.

Special grape varieties from Macedonia

Macedonia is known for its local Balkan grape varieties, such as Stanushina, Kratoshiya, Smederevka, Zilavka and the red variety Vranec which is the flag bearer. Macedonia has started a search for international recognition. Although the spread of these varieties has spread throughout the Balkans, it is believed that it has found its second home in Macedonia. There are also international varieties grown: a.o. the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Rktsiteli, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc.

Why is this important?

The production of good quality wine is strongly linked to the geographical characteristics of the region in which the wine is grown. The Tikveš wine region has the same geographical characteristics as Tuscany in Italy, Bordeaux in France and the Napa Valley in the USA. This means that it has a similar potential to produce wine.

Some figures about wine in Macedonia 

Total vineyard area 33,423ha (85% wines/15% table grapes)

Vineyards with vines: 28,213ha (represents 0.4% of the world’s vine area)

The harvest yields about 125000 tons per year via the winegrowers and/or their own vineyards.

Wine production is about 91 million liters, of which 40% is for the production of bottled wine and 60% is traded in bulk.

There are about 74 export-oriented wineries.

A piece of history about the Vranec grape variety

Originally VranAc (pronounced [ʋrǎːnats]), is a variety of native red grapes for Montenegro. It is a cross between Tribidrag grape variety (also called Primitivo, Kratošija or Zinfandel) and another grape variety called Duljenga, also from Montenegro. Although the variety is widely spread throughout the Balkans, it is believed to have found its second home in northern Macedonia, where it is considered one of the most important varieties.

In the Republic of Northern Macedonia, this breed is known as VranEc (pronounced [ʋrǎːnets]). This grape variety loves the sun. It is therefore no surprise that the Vranec found its second home here in the hot summers of Macedonia. With 280 sunny days in a year, this is a grape variety that gets the full space to ripen and enjoy the glory it deserves. Vranec means ‘Strong, black and powerful horse’ but at the same time the word Vranec also translates into raven; a bird… seen by the Balkan people as bad news, dead and grieving. These two elements capture quite well the history of Northern Macedonia, the glory and power of a nation intertwined with slavery, death and suffering… The wines made from the Vranec represent the character of the people who live in these areas; warm-blooded and strong, shaped by an eventful history.

Macedonia gives you an unforgettable feeling of solidarity when the attraction of the warm country pulls your body towards her. The cycles of the seasons here are clearly different with a warm summer and cool winters with a reasonable amount of (winter) precipitation. The land climate is temperate due to the influence of the Mediterranean Sea. This makes for warm and dry summers that are ideal for wine-growing in northern Macedonia. It is an ideal country for culture lovers. The historical culture and the wine culture make the country a place of interest that will enchant you with its beauty.