Introduction

By Paul Caputo

Over recent years a small wine revolution has been taking place in Macedonia, allowing both the large, well-funded commercial players and the small, ‘boutique’ wineries to emerge from the last two decades of financial uncertainty with the solid aim of putting the Republic of Macedonia on the World map. Increased participation in international wine competitions has resulted in a steady accumulation of medals and is attracting an increasingly attentive audience of wine personalities from around the globe.

The country already has a lot to offer. As we all know, hot sunshine, of which Macedonia boasts in abundance, produces full-bodied, fruit forward red wines. It is this big, bold style that has put the dark skinned Vranec in people’s minds as a wine of quality. Yet there is more to Macedonian wine making than this. The influences of the varied microclimates, soils and wine-making philosophies mean that Macedonia is a rich haven of crisp, fresh whites, lusciously sweet hedonism, playful rose and even a small amount of sparkling wine.

This small territory is fascinating for both Macedonian consumers and a rapidly growing international audience. Those already familiar with grape varieties such as Vranec, Temjanika or Stanušina are going to witness a rise in quality unlike anything seen so far in Macedonia. Investment and travel are facilitating innovative changes to the way wine is made here. Regular feasibility studies are helping to determine where new vineyards should be planted and with which variety. New scientific approaches both in the vineyard and the cellar, matched with the latest technology are improving stability and increasing quality while at the same time, more clinical approaches to sales and marketing are building strong winery brands.

Districts of North Macedonia

Bitola

Bitola is a small district in North Macedonia. It doesn’t produce much wine but there is certainly some potential.

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Gevgelija-Valandovo

Located close to the Greek border in the south of Macedonia, Gevgelija-Valandovo produces only a small amount of wine. The most well known winery is Dalvina.

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Ohrid

Ohrid and its famous lake are quickly becoming one of the top tourism destinations in the Balkans. As yet there are vineyards here but no commercial wineries. It is surely only a matter of time before investment flows however.

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Ovche Pole

Ovche Pole is known for its two main wineries, Ezimit and Imako.

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Prespa

Prespa is one of North Macedonia’s officially registered wine districts. There are currently no wineries there however.

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Skopje

The Skopje district is situated in the north of the Vardar Valley and is home to Chateau Kamnik.

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