4 days 3 nights
Like a short story, a sip of wine has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is looking and smelling. The middle is from the time you put the wine in your mouth until you swallow. The end is all the tastes and sensations that happen after you swallow.
Down there, to the southeast of the Old Lady of Europe, on the hilly Balkans, is the entrance to Macedonia, the wine country where the sun shines forever… Thanks to the bright sun, Macedonian wines are on the top of the world map of (un)discovered treasures, which conceal a centuries-old tradition filled with memorable authentic tastes and experiences.
Down here in the orthodox cultures of the Balkans is celebrated the day of love and wine also known as St. Trifun.
The tradition of St. Trifun is based on a saint who lived in the 3d century: Saint Tryphon. He is considered the patron saint of wine and of restaurant owners. The tradition is observed by the Orthodox Church where local priests bless the branches of a vine plant in order to bless the new grape growing season. The feast is orthodox Christian in its origins and can also be considered as a symbol of the connection between land and the spirits to wish a fruitful harvest. The Balkan countries celebrate this holiday on the 14th of February, an important day for all the wine lovers and all the ones that celebrate the most powerful feeling in the world – Love.
The starting point - Skopje, the capital of Macedonia where half of the nation is living due to the wide opportunities. One of it`s treasures is the old town which keeps so many stories and still exists in a specific way. Multicultural & multi-religious moments can be noticed along the city walk. One wonder gem is the modest from outside but having the peace of art, the church St. Spas- St. Savior or Ascension with the incredible iconostasis high six meters and long ten meters, entirely made with deep carving. Strolling through the Old Bazaar you can see and feel the smell of the tasty Turkish baklava and the smells of a fresh made Turkish coffee and tea that will make you want to grab a bite and a moment to enjoy. Continue to walk until you get to the very famous Bridge – the Stone Bridge which has acquired this status of symbol not only for its historical value, but also because it connects two very different parts of the city – the old and the new part of Skopje. Walking through the new part of Skopje, you can see modern cafes and restaurants different from the ones in the old part of Skopje. A unique opportunity to listen the incredible story about the Macedonian ruby, told by our local hero Deko.
After exploring the city of Skopje, it is time to have a rest in one of the best hotels and get ready to continue the tour the next day.
You ate your breakfast and drank your coffee that means you are ready to begin searching for the mystery of Macedonian wines. First on the schedule today before the start of the wine degustation is the visit of the Roman city of Stobi. Located along Axia Road, Stobi was one of the largest Roman cities in the region. You can have virtual gladiator fight thanks to the VR technology this archaeological park has to offer. Nearby is the Stobi Winery, located in the most famous wine region- Tikvesh. About 12,000 hectares are planted in the Tikvesh wine region, which represents approximately one-third of the total vineyards area in Macedonia. A tour around of the winery will help learn more about the process of making the wine. Then comes the best part, the wine degustation and the lunch, you will try different types of wine accompanied with delicious specialties served like in a 2 star Micheline Restaurant. While in Kavadarci, you will have the chance to visit the private wood carving workshop of our local hero Marjan who will show you his work and you can learn more about the technique of carving sculpture and especially wood. At his home he and his wife will welcome you with homemade rakija and wine and other specialities made of grape. Beautiful and incredible masterpieces. Another Macedonian story for you to better know the local and traditional customs, the Macedonian spirit and the heroes of today that enrich our country with their added value. The next town to visit so the picture of the good wine is completed is Demir Kapija. Small town where you can learn more about the soul and the aromas of the Macedonian wine and having the chance to connect with the untouched nature. Accommodated in one of the best hotels that have its own winery, you will have a wine degustation and an organized tour around the winery. Before the day is over spend a cosy evening sitting in front of the fireplace and drinking wine.
After you have enjoyed your delicious breakfast and drank your morning coffee you will continue to explore more about the Macedonian wine. Visit of the small town of Demir Kapija and the Wine Museum. The museum is comprised of three departments: archeology, wine gallery and an historical gallery for exhibitions and presentations. Artifacts in the museum reflect the history of Demir Kapija to the present. From here you will visit another winery with a wonderful story – Royal Winery Queen Maria. A tour to see the Winery and listen to the story. A vision old almost a century, Royal Winery Queen Maria is a realized dream that began with a Royal family. King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic decided to build his royal property there. His ambition was to create a wine and a place with extraordinary quality exclusively for the needs of the Royal Family. The king named the property ‘Queen Maria’ after his wife, Maria Karadjordjevic. It’s time to relax and visit the small village in Demir Kapija - Chiflik, visit a local family house and enjoy a lunch prepared by the local family. You have the chance to enjoy the typical Macedonian hospitality, enjoy the meals prepared by the locals and taste the homemade brandy - rakija original. After the lunch you will return to the hotel and have an organized tour of the Wine Cellar Popova Kula and wine education and after you will enjoy a delicious dinner accompanied with different type of wines. Hope you enjoy another night in the beautiful hotel Popova Kula.
Hope you had great time learning more about the Macedonian Wines and our traditional customs and the way we celebrate St. Trifun – the day of love and wine. Cheers to love!