Recommended by the Tourism Organization of Novi Sad
The wine stories of the region of Mount Fruška Gora originating from the tradition heated by love for the mystery of wine and which preserve the beauty, gentleness, as well as richness of the regions they are created in have openly been included in the tourism offer. Wanting to offer something new to the guests and inhabitants of Novi Sad, or at least to present the wine experience in a different way, the TO of Novi Sad have created six wine routes and literally presented all the wineries in the City’s closer or farther surrounding area.
“We believe that the abounding beaty, warmth, creativity and joy that we’ve come across on the routes of excellent wines, a part of which we’ve presented to the audience, will bring us new successes in raising the quality and content of the City’s tourism offer and new visitors to the wine producers,” says Branislav Knežević, the director of the City Tourism Organization and the “master mind” of the whole endeavor. On this occasion, and due to the wish to dedicate all due attention to all wine producers and offer our readers as many data and lively impressions as possible, we are only going to present the one-third of this interesting, inspiring and above all carefully created wine itinerary. All wine routes are presented on the internet pages of the TO of Novi Sad, and they will certainly continue on the pages of the printed and web edition of BelGuest.
“The journey we set out on relied on the need to make one segment of the life of and the work done by the wine producers of Mount Fruška Gora closer to the visitors who don’t have to be knowledgeable of wine at all. That was an endeavor where we ourselves were also learning how to see things and how to convey the most important thing, simultaneously yet keeping through the text and photographs the exact impression we’d just experienced. The impression of this research ‘pilgrimage’ that also overpowered all the wine pleasures that we gladly recall to our minds reflects in the love and dedication with which predecessors had preserved the vineyards and the knowledge of winemaking, having conveyed those on their grandsons (boys and girls), now successful wine producers.
If a monument is to be erected to wine producers on Mount Fruška Gora one day, I do believe that it will have the face of the predecessor who, in the difficult time when privately-owned wineries and planting certain grape varieties were being prohibited, succeeded in preserving the love for grapevine for the offspring and contributing to their children staying on the family estate,” says the authoress of the texts of this project of the TO of Novi Sad, Gordana Stojaković. “To more easily manage such a complex space and the abundance of wineries, we offered the audience to gain an insight into it through the six wine routes. There’s a clear connectedness amongst these routes, two exceptions included. The wine route of Novi Sad does not rely on the administrative borders, so it also includes the wineries of Rakovac and the wineries of Temerin.”
So, let’s start a journey towards wine, winegrowers, and wine producers!
WINE ROUTE 1 – SREMSKA KAMENICA-LEDINCI-RAKOVAC ROUTE
On the “Srem” side of the City, on the Danube right riverbank, starting from Sremska Kamenica, diverse wine worlds follow one another: the first is the Šukac Wine Cellar, where the sixth generation continues the tradition. The wines made in this wine cellar are Šukac Merlot Reserve, Šukac Merlot, Šukac Rosé, Šukac Italian Riesling and Šukac Sauvignon Blanc. Downstream the river, there is the Antonijević Family Winery, which takes pride in its Antonijević Riesling, Antonijević Rosé and Constantine Probus. The visitor will also be interested in their unique wine underground corridor dug in in loess. Even today, the earthen floor on which there are several rows of arranged tanks and wood casks with wines is still there. This is the space where wines are most frequently initially tasted as well.
For Art Lovers, Vegetarians and the Ecologically Dedicated
Miljević Family Winery awaits you on the slopes of Mount Fruška Gora in Stari Ledinci. The winery’s wines are Miljević Aromatic Traminer, Miljević Black Burgundy and Miljević Rosé. The Miljević family are the people of exceptional talents and real masters to make you feel comfortable – a fire lit in the fireplace and the photos of our famous painters giving a hint of a warm and exciting experience. Wine tasting is preceded by a welcome accompanied by a small glass of fruit brandies, which are included in the offer as well. The Miljević family’s estate organizes regular painters’ colonies. Many people of Novi Sad recognize this place for its “surprise lunch”, a healthy air weekend, the vegetarian understanding of gastronomy, and so on.
The owners of the Salaxia Winery and the Emperor Organic Winery of the nearby Rakovac share a similar business philosophy and philosophy of life. Salaxia’s offer highlights the White Crow red and white wines, as well as the aged Burlesque rosé and white wines. Everything the family do is subordinated to hedonistic pleasures – the food served includes mushrooms, goat cheeses, snails, organic vegetables. The Emperor Winery is connected with Salaxia with which it shares the tasting space and much more other things apart from that, too. What we mean is the same philosophy of life reflected in both wineries’ owners’ endeavors to make the wine that, as Bela Hamvas says in his Philosophy of Wine, will raise man from a demented world so as to make him return again to the place he deserves in the order of the golden age. The wines of the Emperor house of wine bear organic certificates and the names of the Roman emperors born on the Serbian ground: Decius, Maximianus, Quintillus, Claudius, Valerius, Flavius, Gratianus and Constantius.
On the meadows of Salaxia, from where a view of the Danube River “worthy of a million dollars”, there is yet another winery in which one may enjoy exquisite wines – the Dumo Winery, whose offer highlights the Dumo Pinot Noir wine of a marked fruit aroma that has been awarded several times so far.
WINE ROUTE 1 – BEGEČ-KOVILJ-TEMERIN ROUTE
Differently from the “Srem” side of the City, its “Bačka” side offers somewhat scattered wineries, yet worthy of setting out on a slightly longer journey by car. Begeč Area is already known for its Nature Park called Begeč Pit, its czardas and farm, and recently for its Vojnović Winery. The interesting thing is that this winery is a place were the winemaking traditions of Srem and Dalmatia imbue. Sava Vojnović’s wife Nina comes from Šibenik. A set of sails are their trademark – those Pannonian and those Adriatic ones, too, but they are also recognizable for being modern given the fact that new technologies are introduced to the existing tradition by their daughter Tijana Vojnović, the winery’s enologist. Those wines can be said to testify to a balance between youth and experience, new technologies and a tradition.
The Tastes of the Southerners’ Ground and the Black Soil of Bačka
The “To the End of the World” Wine Cellar which cherishes its vineyards in the Serbian south (in the areas of Leskovac and Bujanovac) is located in Kovilj, the town known for a monastery of the same name, the town were a great Serbian romanticist poet Laza Kostić was born. The basic series of wine is made on the example of the Bordeaux style, and the premium series is squeezed wine, which is made by squeezing crushed grapes. The winery organizes numerous attractions, amongst which the Great Tour of Kovilj that reveals many beauties and amenities of Kovilj to the visitor apart from wine tasting is singled out.
The Vineyards and Winery Vindulo are worth paying a visit to in Temerin, a small town in Bač, where the Hungarian and Serbian cultures imbue with each other. The family’s tradition was revived by Laszlo Dujmović, who also has diplomas in winegrowing, winemaking and wine judge apart from his diploma in stomatology. The plantations of unique grape varieties that are not chemically treated (the varieties of Bačka, Pannonian, Cosmopolita, Petra, Morava and Frajla) are raised together with the usual varieties on his estate – a small farm with a house lot – with the help of winemaking experts from Sremski Karlovci. The wines made by this house are an exciting blend of the characteristics of the selected grape varieties, the strength and richness of the black soil of Vojvodina, as well as the “alchemic” art of the winemakers. Worthy of mentioning are the offer’s labels Vindulo Peaceful Bačka, Vindulo Yet Another Liter, Vindulo Frankovka, and the liqueur wine Sweet Eva.
The nearby Craft Kabach Winery is also a family business started up by Janos Kanach and continued by Silvia Kabach together with her father a few years ago. The specificity of this wine house reflects in its cherishing gamay and muscat ottonel, the grape varieties rarely seen in the surrounding areas. All done here is done by hand and with love and attentively since mass production is not at the forefront, so the quantities of wine produced here are limited, simultaneously characterized by a high hand- and craft-made quality.
WINE ROUTE 2 – BEOČIN–ČEREVIĆ–BANOŠTOR ROUTE
There is an imposing wine “stocking density” on this meadow and pasture area downstream the Danube River – apart from about ten registered wineries, almost every house here makes its own wines. Because of the reflection of the Sun from the surface of the river, the grapevine ages earlier here and bears sweeter grapes, so winemakers are proud of not only traditional white wine, but excellent red wines as well. They often like to say that there are three Suns in a glass of their wine: the celestial, the reflection from the river and the silicate glittering soil.
Full Glasses of Ornated Srem
The Prekogačić Winery in Beočin is the first to come across on the densely marked winery map. For decades now, Sima Prekogačić, the owner of the winery, has been cherishing the probus grape variety which, according to the saying “nomen est omen” also bears an imperial fruit. The wines of the house are Prekogačić Probus, Prekogačić Riesling, Prekogačić Rosé and Prekogačić Bermet (red). We also recommend paying a visit to the Žabić Wine Cellar in nearby Čerević. Their offer contains the white wines Italian Riesling anid Sila, the red wine Muscat Hamburg and Rosé. All the wines made by the Žabić family are made free of chemical additives.
The Verkat Winery run by the sisters Vrkatić are also marked on the wine signposts of Čerević. The sisters fulfil their father’s legacy. Their father was wine lover, especially a lover of Istra’s Malvasia.
The ambience of their winery is quite another story – it is located on the former estate of the count Kotek of Futog where the old summer house, including also the “vanguard garden” as joy for all lovers of nature curiosities, has been preserved. The following can be singled out from the Winery’s offer: Verkat Malvasia, Verhat Grašac White, Verkat Rosé and the barrique Verkat Malvasia.
In the immediate vicinity, but slightly higher above the sea level, there is Belo Brdo (White Hill) of the Mount Fruška Gora and a winery of the same name. It is difficult to count all the prizes this house has been awarded at both domestic and international competitions. Aleksandar Zeremski, the owner, devised the four wine lines – each bearing one of the labels: white (the wine having aged in inox tanks), black (the wine having aged in oak casks), fun & clubbing (the wine intended for the young), and premium (a limited series of wine). The labels Infusion, Transfusion and Confusion attract our attention in the fun&clubbing wine line.
A Wine Hillfort
The Celtic fortification Quet, then also a Roman military camp and port Bononia Malata, after which today’s Banoštor was most likely named as well is a space which, without any exaggeration at all, may be called a fortress or at least a powerful “wine hillfort” – both according to the number of grapevine plants and the number of the wineries operating here. Our wine story of Banoštor starts in a big enterprise called The Vineyards of Mount Fruška Gora, owned by Gordana and Pavle Bašić. The wines made in this house rank amongst the most famous Serbian wines, namely those selected, with a seal of the geographic origin. They produce their own grapes in a hundred-hectare vineyard idyllically located on the slopes descending in waves all the way to the riverbank of the Danube. Then, closely supervised by domestic and French enologists, different wines are made from those grapes. Of numerous labels, the Quet and Three Suns Traminac (late picking) series may be singled out.
The Šijački Winery is also located on the Banoštor wine route, and is run by Ivana, BA in Enology, together with her family. She says she relies on the tradition started by her grandfather many decades ago. The Šijački family have a diverse range of wines, and the tourists are most interested in the original sorts, such as Neoplanta and Seduša. They take special pride in the Aldumaš Italian Riesling wine (aldumaš is a local word denoting a toast to all joyful occasions). It is also interesting that the wine labels bear the stylized faces of all the family lineage.
If there is anywhere any living example of the proud, yet again joyful and ornated, wine Srem at all, then it is the example of a winemaker Jovan and his son Vasa Stojković. Today, the Stojković Wine Cellar is run by the eighth and nineth generations who preserve remembrance of all the predecessors. Their names are written down on a large family tree the visitor first sees, equally as the wine toast dedicated to the “Wines with the three Suns”. The walls of the tasting hall are decorated with plaques, cups and medals for wine and broken tambura strings as well.
Tranquil Versus Robust Wines
The Ačanski Wine Cellar from Banoštor, too, is run by Jelena Lalović, the Cellar founder’s daughter. Everything in this place is proper, simple and unadulterated. They are famous for their muscat ottonel, the variety rarely grown in this region. The offer also includes Ačanski Muscat Ottonel, Ačanski Italian Riesling, Ačanski Chardonnay, Ačanski Muscat Hamburg… Their spacious tasting hall “hovers” above the Danube, so the view of the river gives the visitor an additional, unique charm of enjoying wines.
Contrary to the majority of the local winemakers relying on too long an experience, Akademia Modele is a winery established by Nemanja Popović about ten years ago, when he was an 18-year-old boy. Today, his winery unites into one the two generations of the Popović family, happily awaiting the third to come. The white wines produced in this house are Sol Nostri Riesling, Sol Nostri Chardonnay, Sol Nostri Rosé, Sol Nostri and Merlot Cabernet Faranc. The red wines of the house are powerful and represent a variant of Bordeaux coupage.
“I will tell you who you are”
The vineyards owned by the Urošević family also absorb the light reflected from the Danube. The Urošević Vineyards Winery inherits the centenary tradition modernized by Jovan Urošević and his wife Kata. Their offer includes Urošević Italian Riesling, Urošević Rhine Riesling, Urošević Rosé, Urošević Cabernet Franc, Urošević Black Horse… These are recognizable high-quality wines which always smell of grapes. All their wines are fresh and young, even those red ones. As their grandmother Leksa told them, and the Urošević family accepted that as a truth, wine tells everyone, both cautious wine tasters and wine drinkers: you just drink me, and I’ll tell you who you are.
The last winery on the Banoštor wine route is the Vinarium Winery, also a family endeavor, yet of the joint forced of the two families Bikicki and Šljivančanin. Of 26 hectares in total, organic production is organized on 10 hectares, and in the next five years, there is a plan to organize organic production throughout the estate. From their offer, we only mention some of the numerous labels that have received awards: Vinarium Župljanka, Vinarium Pinoranž, Vinarium Sauvignon Blanc – with a seal of the geographic origin – Vinarium Traminac, also with the geographic origin, Vinarium Dedovac and Vinarium Pinot Noir.
To be continued…of course.
Adapted based on the text by Gordana Stojaković
Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović & BelGuest Magazine Archive
INFO: More information about the wine routes, each individual winery, as well as the history itself are available at the web-address of the Tourism Organization of the City of Novi Sad (TONS) and on TONS’ social networks.