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Wine Traditions and Culture In Serbia

Wine tradition in Serbia Wine tradition in Serbia

Wine production in Serbia is linked to the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelianus Probus, born in the Roman emperor’s settlement Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica). In the 3rd century A.D., the first wine grapes were planted on the slopes of Fruska gora. Most of the Serbian rulers practised and improved grape growing culture. Pipes 25 km long were fashioned in order to distribute the wine to the cellars of the kings and the throne of Prizren (Kosovo). With the penetration of the Turks in our country in the 14th century, the town of Krusevac became both the throne and centre of wine growing. With the liberation from Turkish rule began intensive development of wine growing lasting until the end of the 19th century. Nowadays, Serbian wines are served in Vienna, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and even France!

Milos Obrenovic, leader of the Serbian uprising against the Turks and founder of the royal family Obrenovic in 19th century, planted the first vineyards in Smederevo where he had a villa. At the beginning of the 20th century, King Peter I Karadjordjevic, from another royal family, owned property and a mausoleum on a hill near Topola Oplenac where he also had a vineyard area of 10 hectares. Since that period of time, the production of quality wines has continued. It can be said that the history of our people followed the history of the development of viticulture in Serbia. Many cities in Serbia have festivals and events in honour of the local vintage. Wine festivals are held in Vrsac on the 18 - 20th of September for the grape harvest, in Sremski Karlovci on the 26 - 27th of September to celebrate their Karlovac vintage, and again on the 14th of February a wine celebration of the Orthodox calendar is held for their patron Saint Tryphon.

Other viticulturally interesting places are Rajačke and Rogljevske pimnice in Timocka Krajina as they are settlements which were built in the 18th century only to store wine, and today there are a handful that provide wine tasting and relaxing with gastronomic specialties in authentic atmosphere accompanied with music by local musicians.

Bermet is an authentic wine product from the slopes of the aforementioned Fruska gora. This is a special liquor created by a combination of more than 20 herbs and fruits. Production technology was wisely kept secret by the family in Sremski Karlovci. Exported to America 150 years ago, some say it was on the wine list of the Titanic.

Each wine producing region has wine routes that follow local roads to places where wine can be bought and tasted. Guests will also be offered bread, cheese, smoked meat and other traditional specialties. Visitors can also see the old barrels, some more than 250 years old. In some parts of Serbia, these wine shops have been converted into pubs (wine cellars) where you will undoubtedly want to go and feel welcome with a glass of good wine.

Most of the vineyards are situated along the three rivers in central Serbia, South, West and Great Morava, while in Vojvodina wines grown along the Danube, Sava and Tisa, on the slopes of Fruska gora, Vrsac mountains and in Palic. Fruska gora is a place of Italian Riesling production, some sources even naming this area as its original homeland. Fruškogorski Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Traminac, Ausbruh, Portugizer, flavoured Bermet… the authentic atmosphere of wine cellars Zivanovic, Kish, Vinum, Dulko, and Rosa, with hospitable hosts will offer you a tasting of these wines. A short break and rest is possible in the hotel Dunav in Sremski Karlovci, Pansion “Belilo 69″ and the beautiful Hotel “Andrevlje” in Čerević, 35 km from Sremski Karlovci.

On the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains are the famous Vrsac vineyards with plantations that extend to about 2,000 hectares and represent the largest wine region in Vojvodina. The most famous and indigenous species are the Kreaca old white grapevine varieties. Here are grown high quality grapes and good wines can be found like Helvetia, Banat Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Riesling Vrsac, Vrsac Traminac, and Chardonnay… for lovers of experiencing the real nectar of the god’s, a visit to and wine tasting in the small village Gudurica and Vrsac is a must. For accommodation in wineries you will find in the winery of Milutina Stojšić - Tine and the basement of Joseph Nedin, one of the oldest from 1947 with a cellar on the foundations of an original basement over 150 years old. Other accommodations like the family cellar “Selekta” with their private wine cellars, or in Vinik at Cellar Krstov where you can enjoy a drink and sleep in rooms decorated in huge old barrels assure a true Serbian wine excursion. Accommodation in Vrsac hotels offer you excellent service with Hotel Villa Breg, Hotel Serbia, and Motel Vetrenjača offering their cosy spaces to you.

Wine from Palic owes its popularity to its beneficial sandy soil. Recommended varieties are Riesling, Parishioner, White Burgundy, Ezerjo, Otonel Muscat, Muscat Krokan, the Black Merlot, Frankovka, Red Burgundy and Kabarnet to name a few. A large number of wine cellars produce quality wines and provide the opportunity to the listen to the sound of tamburitsa while enjoying your tasting, and include Wine Cellar Palace, Salas Čuvardić Wine, Cellar Dibonis, WOW Winery, and Lodi Vinum. In Subotica and Palic, elite tourist resorts with elements of Secessionist architecture offer guests accommodation in luxurious hotels- the Hotel Prezident, Hotel Park, Hotel Patria, and luxury villas such as Villa Villa Milord and Lujza, or authentic farms such as the Cvetni Salas and Guljaš Carda are all fantastic options for an unforgettable holiday full of rich Serbian wine tradition.

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Subotica, Palic, Fruska Gora, Vrsac, wine, Rajačke Pimnice

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