Stobi Winery, located in Gradsko, is one of the key players in Macedonia and one of the most recognisable Macedonian brands now found in international markets. With six hundred hectares of vineyard and a brand new state of the art winery that boasts a production capacity of four and a half million litres a year, Stobi is the producer most likely to set the bar for accessible, value driven wines from both international and local varieties.
Although Stobi only released their first vintage in 2010, it’s a well funded venture that is likely to make an instant impact with consumers. Stobi’s wines are clean, modern and well packaged, with vivid references to Macedonia’s ancient archaeological and cultural heritage. The famous Stobi ruins, which lie almost next door to the winery on what was once the main road from the Danube to the Aegean Sea, feature a mosaic peacock, an image that has been cleverly incorporated into the company logo and is proudly embossed on the labels.
The majority of vineyards are also situated in Gradsko, 65% of which are given over to red varieties such as Vranec (200ha), Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Prokupec and Kadarka. The white varieties planted are Zilavka, Zupjanka, Rkatsiteli, Smederevka, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel, Italian Riesling and Rhine Riesling. Unlike many other wineries in Macedonia though, Stobi only produce wines from their own vineyards and as such the first. With an average age of twenty years these vineyards are now at an optimum age for producing a good healthy crop of fruit capable of producing good quality wines at all price levels.
The oldest vines and therefore probably the most interesting, are found in the villages of Ramnishte and Aerodrom in the area of Gradsko and are around 35 years old. Here Vranec is grown in alluvial soils, particularly clay and silt but there are also areas of sand and gravel based soils. This Vranec ultimately ends up in the two key red wine products, the Premium Vranec Veritas and the Vranec led blend, Aminta.
Stobi wines are available in four different categories; the Premium, Elite, Classic and Traditional and their range include 24 different wines. The winery has a beautiful and stylish new restaurant with capacity for 100 people, as well a wine tasting room overlooking the impressive 300,000 Liters barrique section of the winery. In addition, Stobi offers wine tasting tours, as well as visits to the nearby archeological site, Stobi, after which the winery is named.