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The history of wine in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has distant roots that date back to Alexander the Great - who practiced the cult of Dionysus - and to the time of the Roman Empire - when it became one of the most important regions for the cultivation of the vine. The tradition continued also after the invasion of the Slavs and during the Ottoman Empire, within the numerous monasteries. Even at the beginning of the XX century caravans of horses and camels laden down with wineskin entered Kavardarci, while from Strumica the others left on their way to southern Serbia. The Tikvesh Wine Route crosses the heart of “wine” of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, linking four cities of Kavadarci, Negotino, Demir Kapija and Rosoman in an ideal itinerary made of vineyards and traditions.

Starting from the vines: the vranecwhose name means “black, strong and powerful horse”, which gives a dark ruby red wine, with aromas of chocolate, licorice and plums, perfect to be combined with shopska salata, burek, selskomeso or cheeses like sirenje or kashkaval; the traminec, golden yellow colour, sometimes characterised by violet shades and intense aroma, floral with hints of spice, it is excellent by itself but also with sweets like baklava; the zilavka, from which a fresh and acidulous wine of pale greenish yellow color and a strong apricot scent is obtained, it goes well with taraur, pizdur or the famous trout of Lake Ohrid.

We can endwith the opportunitiesnot to be wasted to savor the intense bonds that these landscapes still live between land, man and wine. In Kavadarci, on February 14th, on the occasion of the Vine and Wine patron saint’s festival, Saint Trifone, the morning liturgy in the Orthodox churches is dedicated to pruning the first vine and each worshipper preserves a blessed piece to ensure prosperity and fortune during the rest of the year. The festival continues throughout the day in the houses and in the streets, among dances, street musicians and tastings of rakija, wine and desserts made from grapes and wort. After the first half of September the harvest festival, which lasts for several days, traditionally starts mass harvesting throughout the area. Then there is the Wine Fair, which recalls the wine cellars of the region, the companies specialized in equipment for winemakers and producers and visitors interested in tasting high quality wines, many of them winners of national and international competitions.

Info: Violeta Jankova – Tel. +389 (0)70 839 860 – dukat@t-home.mk

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