14th February is the day when the Macedonian viticulturists officially start working on their vineyards. On this day is celebrated the Orthodox holiday “St. Trifun “the day when all the viticulturists visit their vineyards, read a prayer, prune the first vines and by pouring wine on the pruned vines mark the beginning of the new harvest, and thus the start of viticulture activities.
In Macedonia, it is believed that such a religious act will bring more fruit and better quality grapes, and on the other hand, viticulturists in this way respect their tradition.
The viticulture and the winemaking is the second most profitable agricultural branch in Macedonia. Hence, the Macedonian viticulturists aspire to be side by side with the world producers by using more sophisticated ways of growing the vineyard.
This time it is our pleasure to introduce you to Blazе Minevski, a young winemaker who has been learning about viticulture since he was a child, and today he has his own winery. Blazhe starts learning about the viticulture from his grandfather on their own vineyards, and become an owner of the winery “Badi” in Kavadarci. This city is in the heart of the Tikveš region – the largest wine and wine-growing region in Macedonia and in the Southeast Europe.
This young winemaker says that the tradition and the customs are respected by everyone in the region. Following the tradition all the families should have vineyards and produce grapes and wine for their own needs or sell some of them to large wineries.
He learned to work in the vineyards from his father and grandfather since he was a young boy. He says that even in his high school days he knew what he wanted to do, open his own winery and to continue the family tradition with the viticulture. Blazhe and his family decided to go one step further and start producing wine, brandy and other grape products such as the widely known Tikveš madzun which is considered a natural medicine and sweetener from unsprayed grapes, without added preservatives, additives and sugars.
The story of the Madzun is as old as the grapes, and in Tikveš, according to the archeological excavations the cultivation of the vine builds its tradition of more than 2,000 years.
Madzun is a traditional and national Macedonian product that was produced and used until the commercial sale of white sugar. It is made from high quality white and red grape varieties. This product, which is used as food, in Macedonia it is highly demanded as a medicine.
For him, the wine is the “Drink of the Gods” and will always remain something he will focus on all his life to achieve the best possible quality and to surpass himself.
The Tikveš region in Macedonia has a huge potential as a wine region. The vine as one of the most durable plants is in abundant here, so the region itself is one of the most successful in the Balkans.
Blazhe adds that the foreign tourists are his regular visitors. They are very curious and interested in the viticulture in the Tikveš region. They are fascinated by the beauties of our region, visiting the vineyards, camping in the vineyards, picnic tastings in the vineyards and enjoying the nature itself.
For him, the most important thing is to develop the rural, the ethno-tradition and the wine tourism, building facilities, castles and hotels on the vineyards, where the tourists can enjoy the untouched nature.