Serbia - the largest of the former Yugoslav states - is a landlocked country in Southern Europe which is blessed with a diverse topography and numerous areas of outstandingly natural beauty. Arguably the most famous of these is the mesmerising Uvac River Canyon - a tranquil nature reserve of turquoise waters and impossible curves in the south-west of the country.
Historically, the region occupied by modern day Serbia has ranked amongst the world’s most prolific wine producers. However, immediately before and following the break up of Yugoslavia, the industry experienced a rapid decline due to economic and political instability and the emergence to international prominence of many New World wine nations.
Fast forward three decades and Serbia’s viticultural industry is unrecognisable. With around twenty-five thousand hectares under vine and a increasing number of boutique, family run wineries which are evidently thriving, Serbian wine is growing in both size and reputation. The vast majority of the nation’s wine producing areas are found in the regions of Central Serbia and Vojvodina, but there are also a number of smaller, less established zones scattered around the country, whose vineyards and wineries are equally ambitious and whose winemakers are intent on expressing the nuances of their unique terroirs.
White wine dominates production here and the local variety, Smederevka is the most widely planted grape. Other relatively well known indigenous varieties such as dark skinned, Prokupac (which is often used to make a dark coloured rosé) also feature prominently in the nation’s vineyards. However, diverse soils and topography across the various wine regions ensure that grape type and wine style are numerous and wide ranging. Tastes within Serbia have historically varied dramatically between regions, but with the increase in plantings of international varieties and a new focus on producing wine for a commercial and export market, these differences are becoming less pronounced. Today, the white grapes cultivated in Serbia’s vineyards include Chardonnay, Krastač, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Tamjanika, whilst Cabernet Sauvignon, Frankovka, Merlot, and Vranec are amongst the reds.