Tikveš Wine Vaults

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September, 2019

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On route between the two ancient cities of Stobi and Heraclea Linkestis, we stopped for wine tasting at “Tikveš Wine Vaults”:https://tikves.com.mk/en/home/, in Kavadarci which were founded in 1885. Having spent three days in the North Macedonian capital, “Skopje”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/203391-review-sightseeing-in-skopje-part-1-the-old-town, we’d already sampled wine from one of the country’s leading vintners, but were than happy to try more.

This is a popular place and we learned that only advance bookings are taken. Security was tight and our names checked off before we were allowed through to park. We then walked through cool, wonderful red brick wine cellars full of oak barrels with decorated walls. These led to a small elegant dining room, with colourful stained glass windows, and eight tables of varying sizes. Three men were already dining on one table, and after completion of the formalities, we tasted five wines and feasted on a beautifully presented and delicious plate of charcuterie and cheese, oddly and sadly accompanied by sliced white bread.

The wines introduced and tasted were:

1. Sauvignon blanc 2018 12.5% – a dry aperitif wine from their premium selection and only produced in stainless steel barrels.

2. Viognier 13.5% – richer flavours but still refreshing and, again matured in stainless steel. We were told this new venture used French grapes and new vines were being planted. Last year they made 5,000 litres to judge the potential and in 2019, were increasing production to 30,000 litres.

3. Rose – 2014 and 14% made in oak barrels to add a touch of spiciness.

4. Vrancic red – which I remembered from wine tasting in Montenegro was one of the oldest grape varieties in the Balkans and aged in oak.

5. Vrancic red – Barova 2016 and 14.8%. This wine has won Robert Parker medals. This wine had much more body than the first.

At the end, the waiter lined up the bottles on the bar for me to take a photo and I asked about the various shaped bottles and was told about the burgundy shoulders, which I knew about after my cruise through the “Loire Valley”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/blog/cruise-river-cruising/learning-in-the-loire

We were told we could buy Macedonian wine in Marks and Spencer although since our return, we’ve been unable to track it down.

We left via the low-key shop where we bought a couple of bottles (wine and a rose) for 165 MKD or £2.40 each.

Back in the car and on our way, we passed many tractors with trailers full of grapes.

Helen Jackson

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