We were staying at the “Nikolic Winery”:http://www.vinogradinikolic.rs/ for one night during our tour of Serbia. Neither it or its location rated a guidebook mention, and as there were no clues on the website, we didn’t know what to expect. However, the thought of it was hugely appealing to a couple of oenophiles.
Our accommodation was virtually a self-contained space and having gone through a small kitchen, we found the bedroom upstairs. This was vast with lots of ‘stuff’ in terms of bric a brac or antiques depending on your perspective. There was a double and single bed with colourful bedding, TV, large unlit wood burning stove, huge armchairs covered with sheepskin rugs and lots of low beams.
The upstairs bathroom had a modern free-standing oval bath and a loo, but no basin and rather quirkily, a sauna. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to use either. The downstairs bathroom had loo, stone basin and excellent shower but no hairdryer.
Our wooden balcony, carved with vines, had a couple of chairs and stunning views.
Although our stay was short, we fully explored the small family winery including a large building which will be used for making rakija (a fiery spirit made from grapes) and a cellar with two very out of tune pianos and lots of wine in traditional glass bottles and large party-size plastic containers. Wine was everywhere and even the jolly workmen we met had a bottle by their side, no wonder they were jolly.
Our tour over, Miroslav, our guide, brought out a huge bottle of rakija, and small cubes of a feta-like cheese and we sat outside enjoying our aperitifs and the spectacular vineyard views in the late afternoon sun.
The dining area had a communal table for around 20, leather sofa and chairs and a tall green tiled wood burning stove which was lit before dinner. The three of us were well looked after by Velibor and Olivera. The table was laid with a salad of cucumber, tomatoes and spring onions topped with a slaw, gibanica (a baked cheese and egg pie with filo pastry), a huge bread basket and a large platter of four different charcuterie and kajmak (a salty cream cheese spread unique to Serbia). With this course we had a white Riesling.
Next was a clay dish of ribs and sarma (pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice) which was my favourite. A bottle of rose was opened.
The main course was a huge platter of grilled meat: beef kebabs, pork chops, long thin pork sausages, and bacon chops. A decanted red accompanied the meat fest.
We then had a slab of a very hard Parmesan-like cheese which had something to do with wine but by this stage, we were too full of food and wine to follow. We enjoyed chocolate cake and coffee on the sofa before being encouraged to finish off all the bottles we’d opened! At 9.30pm, we waddled up to bed and found Olivera had kindly left a chilled bottle of sparkling water and two glasses in our room. We slept soundly!
Breakfast was taken at a beautifully laid table in the tasting room with its lovely vineyard views. Velibor brought out raspberry juice and the bottle of rakija and of course we had to have a shot. The previous night’s leftover charcuterie, gibanica, kajmak, salad and bread were brought out although the latter had been lightly toasted. We had very good coffee followed by excellent scrambled eggs and a dollop of the ubiquitous kajmak. Final coffees were enjoyed on the terrace before we left clutching a bottle of white wine as a gift. Unforgettable and highly recommended.