Press Wine Trip to Mačkov podrum and KIŠ Wineries Serbia
Serbia? But Where to Start? Fruška Gora and Sremski Karlovci is the Answer
by stasa cafuta trcek (text and photo)
I felt it is a time to explore wine from the region. Serbia but where to start? There are many great wineries with nice wines. I met Sava Jojić in Pécs, Hungary. He participated with his Portugieser at Portugieser Du Monde (international wine competition of this variety). He invited me to visit his winery called Mačkov podrum (Tomcat's wine cellar) located in Irig in Fruška gora wine route, Srem wine region. Another winery I visited that day is Kiš, located in Sremski Karlovci.
Carefully Cultivated Nature
Before I came, I checked on the Internet about Srem wine region. It’s interesting how Fruška gora wine route is described. »For centuries the European courts were fascinated with the top quality wines from Mt. Fruška gora, served even on board of the legendary Titanic. Since the time of Romans grapes from here have been transformed into the most beautiful wines.« When you read this you feel big respect. And when we drove through the countryside, where the slopes and valleys of Fruska Gora are covered with meadows, pastures, fruit trees and vineyards I felt that I am back to the pure nature. Near the main road to Irig I noticed Monastery Krušedol who gives a unique touch to landscape.
Winery Mačkov podrum
Mr. Sava Jojić welcomed me with open heart in his wine cottage. While he was talking about history and present of winery he offered 10 samples of wine: Akacija Sauvignon 2011, Incognito Renski Rizling 2009, Chardonnay 2011,Traminac mirišavi 2011, Traminac mirišavi 2012, Portugizer 2012, Pinot noir 2011, Merlot 2011, Camerlot 2010 and Pasito Traminec 2010. Wines are technologically sophisticated, I could say the taste is modern. If I have to choose 2 wines, I would recommend you to try first portugizer, because this wine variety was formerly quite common in vineyards of Mt. Fruška Gora. Nowadays is almost extinct from Serbian vineyards. However, Mačkov podrum winery is doing its best to restore the old glory and fame of this wine. From white wine I would recommend you to taste Incognito Rajnski Rizling. If you taste young one, you could find aromas of apple and vineyard peach, but if you taste older vintage like 2009, you can find Petroleum notes with lively acid. Sava is gentleman with a lot of life experiences. In his company man travels through his storytelling. I would like to go back.
I had only one day to explore Srem Wine region. I knew at the beginning that I will not be able to visit more than two wineries because I know that Serbs are very hospitable. I did not announce my arrival in Kiš winery, but it is usual that they are open for the public. In the yard I was welcomed by grandson Predrag Crnković. His grandfather Slavko Kiš is one of the most recognizable wine-maker in Sremski Karlovci (the fourth generation of vintners in the Kiš family), and now days he and his grandchildren continue this family tradition which dates back from 1830, the year when Stevan Kiš settled from Czech republic, bought his first vineyard and started wine production. Predrag offered me Italijanski rizling 2012, Misterija Rajnski rizling 2011, Rajnski rizling (off dry) 2011, Chardonnay 2012, Chardonnay 2011, Rose 2012, Portugizer 2012, Merlot 2012 and Bermet. If I have to choose 2 wines I would recommend you to try Bermet - Bermet is a dessert wine. It was originally intended for medicinal purposes (similar to the original digestifs), but later it was produced for regular consumption. It contains between 16 and 18% of alcohol. It is produced through maceration of 20 different herbs and spices. It can be made of red or white grapes. Kiš family takes great pride in their brand – Kišov bermet, which is produced according to an old family recipe. So it is a must taste wine. The second one I would recommend you to try again portugizer. Why? Because Kiš portugizer was made of more ripe grapes, which were 10 days macerated. So it is great to compare Portugizer: fresh, young and fruity (Mačkov podrum winery) and richer wine with more extract (Kiš winery).
Those two are just a small part of Serbian wineries portfolio. As for me I want to see more.