Wines of Montenegro: history, features, best representatives
Vineyards in the fertile mountainous country stretch for many kilometers. The wine berry is grown in Montenegro in large volumes and mainly for the purpose of making alcohol.
The history of local winemaking
Viticulture in Montenegro originated long before the country itself - back in the II century BC. э.
Primitive wineries were founded on the shores of Lake Skadar.
The Romans were the first to cultivate vines on purpose. They have replenished the treasury of local varieties and improved the process of wine production.
Industrial winemaking appeared here only at the beginning of the XX century: joint ventures were organized to produce alcohol from grapes.
Moreover, the start was very good: almost immediately, local drinks won recognition and received awards for high quality at exhibitions in London and Belgrade.
The further development of the industry led to the spread of vineyards across the country and the emergence of the local alcohol giant, Plantaze, which today is the main supplier of good wines.
In addition to the well-known producer, there are more than a hundred small farms in the country specializing in the production of alcohol from wine fruits.
The main centers of winemaking are concentrated in two regions:
In the valley of Lake Skadar and its surroundings.
In the coastal zone of the Adriatic Sea.
Features of Montenegrin wines
The natural conditions of Montenegro are very favorable for growing grapes: humid air masses of the Adriatic and Lake Skadar, mild Mediterranean climate, sufficient sun and heat - facilitate agricultural work and allow you to get the best quality raw materials.
However, there is no diversity of varieties in the country: the emphasis is on a few proven types, the main one being the famous dark-fruited Vranac, which gives rise to the wine of the same name and occupies more than half of the vineyards.
Local wines for an inexperienced tourist may seem specific at first.
This is due to the peculiarities of Montenegrin winemaking:
Fortified and dry wines, which have a sour taste and deceptive lightness, predominate on sale.
In fact, the drinks are quite intoxicating, so do not consume them in large quantities at once.
Sweet wines are less common and are represented mainly by fruit and berry products (blackberries, plums, cherries, peaches, apples, junipers).
Montenegrins often season drinks with spices in large quantities, so do not be surprised by their spicy and tart taste: it is normal for local products.
The most commonly used ingredients are coriander, cloves, bay leaf, ginger and pepper.
A wide range of Plantaze brand products is available in retail outlets, while wines from other wineries are presented in limited quantities.
Many small family wineries produce good affordable drinks.
To taste them, it is worth visiting small villages where travelers will be offered not only traditional alcohol made according to old recipes at a reasonable price, but also local cuisine that is also worth tasting.
In general, wines in Montenegro are made in almost every home: using special technologies, unique equipment and recipes.
One of the local customs says that any meal should be accompanied by an alcoholic beverage (a glass of rakia in the morning, 1-2 glasses of wine in the afternoon and evening).
According to Montenegrin beliefs, this approach will ensure a long and healthy life for the owner.
The best representatives
Undoubtedly, two local wines - Krstac and Vranac - are the hallmarks of Montenegro.
They are produced not only by the local giant of the wine market "Plantaze", but also by small wineries.
Among the worthy can be called:
Old Wine House Montenegro
Category: Wine and Vermouth