There’s a heightened awareness and increasing interest towards sustainability around the world – and that includes Serbia. Much more than just a passing fad, this trend is leading to a greater knowledge and a better appreciation of the country’s natural wines by wine professionals and amateur wine-enthusiasts alike.
The advantages of this type of wine production (which is still fairly niche) are respect for the land, working methods that involve as little intervention as possible in the vineyard and wine cellar, and an absence of chemical additives or artificial manipulation by the wine-grower.
Serbia is at the cutting edge in this sector and is home to some excellent wine-producers who have been using the best expertise and technologies for years to produce impressive, healthy and natural wines.
A perfect example is the Kovačević winery that boasts a family wine-making tradition dating back over a century. In 2001, Miroslav Kovačević took over the company, bringing his grandparents’ oenological expertise into the 21st century. Over the years, investment in new technologies and the purchase of additional land has allowed the company to grow and to develop new projects such as the opening of the Vinska kuća restaurant, a veritable gastronomic oasis that brings together natural wines and excellent cuisine.
Another excellent winery in Serbia is Plavinci, which produces natural wines in unspoilt surroundings along the Danube in Zaklopača, not far from Belgrade. The name Plavinci means “indigo hill” and is said to date back to olden times, when sailors travelling on the Danube between Belgrade and Smederevo caught sight of this hill planted with vineyards shining a brilliant indigo colour in the morning sun, as a result of the blue copper sulphate sprayed on the vines.
Cultivation was then abandoned for over a century, until a small plot of land was replanted with vines in 2008 and then in 2010 with the first organic vines. Gradually, plot by plot, the vineyards became established and the Plavinci winery was born.
The company pays extraordinary attention to each bottle of wine. As a result, each bunch of grapes is harvested by hand, pressed, bottled, and labelled with love, dedication and affection.