The Wines of Serbia

Serbia has been making wine since prehistory but during the time when it belonged to former Yugoslavia, wines were mass-produced and the focus was quantity rather than quality. Since the 2000s, the Serbian wine industry has started to recover with many small, family-run wineries entering the market with a goal of producing high-quality, distinctive wines.

Serbia Map
Map Data © 2017 Google

Location & Regions

Serbia is located at the intersection of Central and Southeast Europe. It shares its northern border with Hungary and its southern border with Macedonia. On the east, it borders Romania and Bulgaria, and on the west, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia. It doesn't have direct access to the sea but the Danube River provides shipping access to inland Europe and the Black Sea.

It lies between the northern latitudes of 41 and 47 degrees, a temperate area bounded by France's Loire valley in the north and Spain's Ribera del Duero in the south.

Northern Serbia is part of the Pannonian Plains and is dominated by the Danube River. Its tributary, the Morava River, flows northwards through the hills and mountains of southern and central Serbia before reaching the Danube.

According to a classification from the 1970s, Serbia is divided into three main wine-growing areas: Central Serbia, Vojvodina in the north, and Kosovo in the south. These areas are themselves divided into nine wine regions:
• the Šumadija-Great Morava region in central Serbia, the country's largest wine region
• the Timok region, in eastern Central Serbia, around the Timok river valley
• the West Morava region in central Serbia
• the Nišava-South Morava region in southern Serbia
• the Pocerina region, in western Serbia
• the Srem region around the Fruška Gora mountain in Vojvodina
• the Banat region around the Vršac Mountains in eastern Vojvodina
• the Subotica-Horgoš region in northern Vojvodina
• the Kosovo region in central Kosovo

Grape Varietals

White wines constitute about 64% of the country's wine production, and red wines about 36%. One of the major white varieties is the indigenous Smederevka. An ancient grape named after the medieval town Smedevero, it is most often blended with other local grapes. Another local grape is Tamjanika, a variety of Muscat à Petits Grains that has been known in Serbia for more than 500 years. International varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling, and Italian Riesling.

Prokupac is a red indigenous variety that dates back to the Middle Ages. Mixed with other grapes, it produces a traditional dark colored rosé wine called Ružica. Other red varieties include Vranac, Kadarka, and the international Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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