It’s Day #33 of 100 Days of Travel and I’m safely exploring Macedonia. When I heard that COVID-19 was crippling the Macedonian wine industry, I headed to Demir Kapija to do my part to save the industry…by drinking as much wine as possible.
A Short History
According to artifacts, people here in Macedonia have been cultivating the vine for 4,000 years. Alexander the Great even had a servant with the single job of pouring him wine. The oldest winery, Tikves, opened in 1885 and still produces wine today. Wine is the second-largest export of Macedonia, and while I’m not even close to being an expert, I can confirm based on numerous, numerous, tastings that it is delicious.
Where We Stayed
The bulk of wineries are located along the Vardar River Valley and we stayed at the regal Queen Mary Royal Winery. Founded by a Yugoslavian king in 1928, this historical winery sits on an estate with luxury apartments, wine bars, restaurants, and an oddly large population of peacocks. It’s also less than $60 USD a night to stay in an apartment fit for royalty.
Where We Drank
The Queen Mary has a large indoor tasting room, but the best spot to enjoy the sunset (and the safest) is up on the hill at the Popova Kula Winery. There is a large outdoor patio overlooking the scenic vineyards along with additional rooms if one can’t make the drive home.
More Places to Check Out
I didn’t have enough time to carry out my ideal plan of hitting up every winery in Macedonia, but my “to-drink” list includes Bovin Winery in Negotino, Venec Winery in Dolni Disan, and Lazar Winery in Palikura. You can explore your own future wine adventure options at the Wines of Macedonia official website.