BALKAN BEETS: Sunshine wine – Stanušina

[In Kavadarci, in the heart of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, we meet Gjoko Naumchevski and Dushko Androv, both own a winery in the most famous wine region of the country. Here, where the sun shines 300 days a year, wine has been produced since the 4th century BC. As part of Yugoslavia (in the 1980s) the republic accounted for two-thirds of the Yugoslav wine production. After independence and the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991 wine production decreased dramatically because state owned wineries closed. But it recovered and the Tikveš wine region with around one third of all grapes grown in the republic is still today the most important region both in terms of quantity and wine quality for the country.

In the Tikveš region mediterranean and continental climates meet; the summers are long and hot, winters are mild and rain is sparse. The vineyards, growing on very poor and rocky soils are protected by three sides from mountains and highlands creating ideal grape growing conditions.

Over time some of the grapes became at risk because people stopped paying attention to them and because the vineyards were chardonnised, the traditional varieties got replaced by internationally well known varieties, as was the case of Stanušina Crna. This indigenous grape producing a high quality product has round and dark blue coloured berries and is highly resistant to drought which also causes the berries to bare high amounts of sugar. Its resistance to pests would make this grape very well suited for organic production. In good years, no treatment is needed at all. The colour of the Stanušina wine is characteristically light, it has a rich extract and high acidity level which give the wine an exquisite freshness!

Nicolče, national coordinator of the Slow Food movement explained that nowadays 25 farmers produce Stanušina grapes for 3 wineries. The production is in constantly rising, this year Gjoko Naumchevski alone produced 4000 litres, his cellar is full, some of the barrels even found their way into his private apartment.

Apart from the wine, producers also make juice and Stanušina Madjun, a sweet syrup. Madjun is used for producing sweet dishes and or as a dip. Stanušina wine is very popular on domestic market and little known outside its native country, this will soon change!]

Објавено на: 11/01/2018