Home / Red Variety / Prokupac / Vinarija Ivanović – “under the sky” of Župa

 

“Of all autochthonous red varieties in the Balkans, Prokupac has quite possibly the biggest potential to give very noble wines.”

By Mariusz Rybak

This is not a big winery, but its Prokupac may be found in every self-respecting restaurant in Belgrade – most probably, because it expresses in a very classical way the virtues of the variety. Of all autochthonous red varieties in the Balkans, Prokupac has quite possibly the biggest potential to give very noble wines. For those, who would like to explore its taste, I recommend a bottle of Ivanović’s, which is also a great value for money, costing here around $9.

Also at this winery you can find a charming Tamjanika. Its usual spices – incense, cinnamon and basil – being complemented by pineapple and strawberry notes.

There is also a rosé – a must for every Serbian producer, as local palates are becoming more and more fond of this style. Ivanović’s is made from Prokupac and Pinot Noir grapes, and maybe as homage to the latter French variety the wine is called “Petite Rose”; although the Serbian variant, ‘Mala Ruža’, would also have sounded tantalizing.

As with many rosés in Serbia, this wine is produced in a style that reminds one of traditional clarets; a very dark rosé, not the common English synonym for Bordeaux reds.

Ivanovic_Prokupac

In the family vineyards Riesling is also grown and, in good years, the grapes are used for a late-harvest desert wine, ‘Zanos’. The name could be translated as “ecstasy” or “trance” and describes pretty much the beautiful honey freshness; a perfect accompaniment to either pate, or traditional Serbian (and generally Central-European) cake: strudel (in Serbian, štrudla or savijača), usually with poppy seeds or blended walnuts.

The cellar is situated under Mr. Ivanović’s house, which is protected as a historical monument. There is also a small and rustic tasting room in the garden. It was where I’ve learned from Mr. Ivanović that Serbian has a term that perfectly expresses the meaning of terroir, as we understand it nowadays – including the soil, climate and human elements.

This word is “podneblje”, which basically means “under the sky”. It is usually translated as “climate”, but in its broader meaning, used in the Serbian wine world, this describes everything that may be found “under the sky” in a certain area – soil, microclimate, relief, flora and fauna, people with their culture and knowledge.

Mariusz Rybak is currently researching Serbian wine culture and the notion of wine as a cultural good. His musings on such topics can be read on his blog, Kawa and Vino.

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