Wine culture in the region has been expanding in the last fifteen years, and the state should help wine producers in Montenegro much more.
This was assessed by the director of Companie de Vinos Montenegro Željko Uljarević, who, in cooperation with Hotel Lazure and the Municipality of Herceg Novi, organized the 4th wine salon in Meljine as part of the 54th Mimosa Festival.
He said that at this year’s edition of the salon, there is a 20% larger selection of wines compared to previous years.
– At the salon we have 45 wineries and distilleries from the region and Europe and about 350 different labels. We have many young wineries that have appeared on the market this year. So visitors to this wine salon will have the opportunity to try wines that have not yet been found even in restaurants. It is also interesting that a winery from Italy presented us with different years of the same wines – said Uljarević.
He pointed out that the wine culture in the region has been expanding in the last fifteen years.
– Croatia is leading the way. Serbia is following it, and Montenegro has drastically moved its border in the last five or six years. The state should help the wine producers in Montenegro a lot more, considering that these are small cellars that are still developing. On the other hand, winemakers would have to understand that big money cannot be made quickly. There must be patience, for years to pass and for history and tradition to gather in one place – said Uljarević.
Zoran Vukčević, the owner of the Sinjac winery from Podgorica, said that the winery was established last year, but that he is the sixth generation involved in the production of wine in the family.
– Now we have made a step forward, because the winery is equipped with all the necessary equipment. We use all modern technological procedures, but we also have family technological possibilities that give the wine a special aroma. We make coupage, it is a very demanding technological procedure, but taking into account our family tradition, we decided on this method of production – said Vukčević.
As he added, they currently have about 40,000 bottles, stating that the total capacity of the winery is about 100,000 bottles.
– We are in negotiations for the export of wine in the region, in Germany and Slovenia. We have hints that our wine will soon be available in Hungary. But we go step by step, as in any business. It is important for us to ensure continuity of quality, because that is the only way you can survive and ensure that your wines reach those who try them and continue to buy them – said Vukčević.
Alex Simčić from Edi Simčić Winery from Slovenia pointed out that the winery has existed since the end of the eighties, stating that in the first years they filled four thousand bottles of wine from three hectares.
– Now we have 13 hectares of vineyards and we fill about 60,000 bottles. We have our local varieties of Rebula, Malvasia, as well as internardona Chardonnay and Sauvignon. All our wines are fermented and aged in wooden barrels. We keep them in barrels for about three and a half years and after four or five years they come out on the market – said Simčić.
He said that they export wines to more than 20 countries.
– Our main market, after Slovenia, is China. We also export wines to Japan, the United States of America, Scandinavian countries, as well as to Montenegro, Malta, Israel – said Simčić.
Ivan Enjingi from Kutjevo from Croatia said that his wine list has existed since 1890, stating that he presented about 15 wine labels at the salon.
– These are ecological wines, so in addition to the quality that is provided, we also want them to be toastier. These wines are a reflection of the Kutjevac vineyard, the best in the world, where vines are grown in pure stone of Croatian origin, in which there are many minerals. I own 60 hectares and about 500,000 vines. The plan is to produce three to four thousand liters per hectare. Sometimes it’s a little more, sometimes it’s less, but the essence is to produce pure ecological wine – said Enjingi.
The representative of one of the oldest wineries from Sardinia, Contini, which was founded in 1800, Leonardo Nicotra, said that their winery is characterized by a traditional approach to winemaking, which once existed, but is now becoming less common.
– We produce both white and red wines. Our wines provide an aromatic experience and retain freshness. Cannonau is a grape variety that grows only in Sardinia and we make wines from it. Our wines speak of the character of Sardinia, an island that is specific for many peculiarities – said Nicotra.
Delčo Baltovski from the Dalvina winery from Macedonia said that the wine salon is an opportunity to present the entire range of wines to potential buyers in Montenegro.
– The Dalvina winery produces about four million bottles. We have prepared a special assortment for this year. As for white wines, we have sauvignon blanc and tajmanika. From red wines, we have Sirah, Vranac and Cabernet Sauvignon – said Baltkovski.
The representative of Kovačević Winery from Serbia, Tijana Latinović, said that they presented sparkling wines, rose and red wines at the fair.
– The premiere at this fair is a brut rose wine from 2011. It is a wine produced using the traditional method. Our winery is one of the largest in Serbia and we produced a million bottles of wine last year – said Latinović.
Toni Atanasov, representative of Pevac Cellar, said that they presented wines, liqueurs and brandies at the wine salon.
– The brandy we produce has become very popular in Montenegro. We have very good brandies made from all fruit flavors – quince, apricot, Williamovka, ten-year-old plum. We also have wines from autochthonous Serbian varieties – Tamjanika, Prokupac, and from French Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc – said Atanasov.
Andreja Vuković from Hotel Lazure said that attendance at that facility is at a high level, stating that space is being sought for more than exhibitors at the fair as well as accommodation.
– We also filled our hotels in the area because of the wine salon. This has become a very recognizable wine salon, which we enrich with programs and offers every year – said Vuković.
Lady Knight of Wine from Serbia, Lila Ražnatović, who attended the wine salon, said that she was delighted with the event and that it looked world class. She said that her love for wine was born in her childhood, because she was born in Macedonia.
– My grandmother had vineyards in Macedonia. I was going to Subotica and I found out that there is a knightly order of wine and that’s how I became part of it. Now we are trying to develop it. In Montenegro, a little more work should be done on this and it should be known what the knights of wine and lady knights of wine are who promote wine culture. 20 years ago, there were ten wineries in Serbia, now there are over 500 – stated Ražnatović.