Wines of the Tikveš Plains
© Marjan Lazarevski, Flickr
Within Macedonia, the Tikveš Plains produce some of their best national wines, making the Elenov and Popova Kula vineyards well worth a visit.
The entire course of the Vardar Valley from Veles all the way south to Thessaloniki is fertile grape-growing country, and within Macedonia the Tikveš Plain around Negotino, Kavadarci and Demir Kapija produces some of the country’s best wines. There are more than 50 small private wineries in Macedonia and the number is growing, as is the quality. A visit to one of the vineyards in September and October or around Sv Trifun Day in February is always well worth the time if you’d like to try out the season’s newest, or the best of last year’s stock.
Near Demir Kapija, the former boutique vineyard Popova Kula is well worth a visit or overnight stay at any time of year, and you might also want to pop into the historic Royal Winery Queen Maria. Kavadarci is home to the massive Tikveš Winery, while Negotino boasts nine vineyards in its vicinity. There are also vineyards further north around Skopje, and you’ll fi nd the local wines of smaller vineyards served in plastic bottles and cardboard cartons at local petrol stations and stores.
Macedonian wines are unique in European for being made with very little, if any, additional sugar or sulphite preservatives. They are preserved, therefore, mostly by the grapes’ own natural sugars and it is for this reason that almost all Macedonian wines are dry rather than sweet, and why you won’t get such a big hangover the next day after drinking a bottle of T’ga za Jug (Longing for the South) or Alexandria.