Planted throughout the Balkans, Smederevka rarely finds itself under the spotlight. Generally its high yields give wines with with only basic flavour profiles and few producers treat it as any more than something to help the bottom line through volume sales. Yet Smederevka does have one characteristic going for it. It’s light, crisp and easy to drink.
Smederevka is Macedonia’s most commonly planted white grape variety. It is grown in almost all of the wine districts in country, primarily due to its high yields and good versatility. Although there are some very drinkable examples, it is responsible for much of the cheap bulk wine that makes its way to the bottom shelves of supermarkets throughout the former Yugoslavia.
Smederevka, also known as Plovdina or more commonly Dimyat elsewhere, is believed to be of Bulgarian or Serbian origin. DNA analysis suggests a relationship with Gouais Blanc, one of the most prolific white grapes of the medieval period.
Like many grapes of antiquated heritage, it has travelled around and found new homes; yet one possible explanation for the synonym Smederevka is its one time abundance in vineyards around the town of Smederevo, just along the river Danube from Belgrade in central Serbia. Although it is found in a number of other Balkan countries as well as Romania and Turkey, in Macedonia it can be found throughout the Vardar Valley.
It is a decidedly suitable blending partner, and has, if only for quirkiness, been seen sharing the tank with R’kaciteli.
At their best Smederevka wines are characterised by their simplicity and harmonic taste of generic tree fruit. More often than not though they are crisp everyday wines that are rarely memorable. With levels of sweetness usually bolstered to suit an indifferent audience seeking low prices, they rarely emerge as premium wines.