Wine of the week

Wine of the week / 05/06/2018 / 1002


despotika 2 Despotika Winery is located in the village of Vlaški Do in the vicinity of Smederevska Palanka. This winery features vineyards scattered across two wine regions: Šumadija and Belgrade. On this occasion, we will tour Despotika's vineyards in order to get better acquainted with the place where Despotika wines are born.

Visitors and tourists are prevailingly familiar with Despotika's vineyard covering 2.5 hectares right in front of winery building in Straževica (Krnjevo vinegrowing area, Šumadija). Still young vines (local varieties Prokupac and Morava) spread across gently sloping hill in front of the winery.

[caption id="attachment_7766" align="aligncenter" width="432"]despotika 4 Photo: M. Candir [caption id="attachment_7767" align="aligncenter" width="432"]Photo: M. Candir Photo: M. Candir

The impact of soil on wine mostly relates to distinctive features of the soil, such as: heat absorption, water permeability, nutrients, color, soil depth. Because of these, the type of soil in the vineyard affects the quality and characteristics of the grapes, and consequently the resulting wine.

Predominant soil type on this plot is cambisol. Cambisol in the vineyard affects wine's softness and fruit profile. It is the most common type of soil in the entire Mediterranean belt. Cambisol is an example of fertile land that is generally suitable for agricultural production. Taking into account the depth of soil profile and favorable structure and size of smaller and larger soil particles, we can say that Cambisol is suitable for development of vine's root system. On the other hand, taking into account geological formation of cambisol, the fact that deeper layers are often composed of limestone or other aggregates containing minerals can be considered an advantage. However, cambisol is not the perfect pair for Prokupac whose vigour should be restrained by less fertile soil. Because of this, Despotika Winery should count on labour intensive work with Prokupac throughout the vegetation period in order to tame its vigour and high yield. Prokupac is traditionally bush-trained, which requires additional workload in the vineyard.

Golobok Vineyard (Krnjevo vinegrowing area, Šumadija) is located just a few kilometers away from the winery in the village bearing the same name, and the plot is called Paučina. Vineyards cover 5 hectares, south aspect with a slight slope. Altitude 175 meters. Similar to Straževica, the prevailing soil type here is cambisol. Varieties found in the vineyard are Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Beside cambisol, Despotika Winery has vertisol in its vineyards. Vertisol is the most common type of soil in lower parts of Šumadija and in the valleys of large rivers. Vertisol is found in Umčari Vineyard (Grocka vinegrowing area, Belgrade) which covers an area of 5 hectares, southwest aspect and the altitude of 236 meters. Varieties found in the vineyard are: Muscat Ottonel, Pinot Blanc, Rhine Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.



Despotika Winery was visited on March 1, 2018 as part of promotional tour "Constantinople Wine Route" - a tourist route that combines wine tourism, cultural and historical monuments and natural beauty along the ancient route from Belgrade to Constantinople, which was originally created during the ancient Romans' times as Via militaris , while it flourished in the Middle Ages since it was one of the main trading routes in the Balkans.

This tourist route was launched by small wineries from central Serbia, but plans are developed to include Bulgaria and Turkey as well.

You can also witness for yourself that Constantinople Wine Route is more than a legend. Namely, if you visit Belgrade's Kalenić market on Sundays, you will surely notice polished stone slabs used for paving the market place. Keep in mind next time you walk there that these stone slabs were removed from the leftovers of actual Constantinople Road that stretched from today's King Alexander's Boulevard to Grocka. Hence, this could be your ideal place to inspire you to start discovering wine and gastronomy jewels along the road from Belgrade to Niš. One of the stations along this route is Despotika Winery.

[caption id="attachment_7768" align="aligncenter" width="349"]Photo: M. Candir Photo: M. Candir


Tomislav Ivanović

Awarded wine writer, wine critic and contributor to selected wine magazines. WSET3-certified author and editor-in-chief of Member of Vojvodina Sommelier Association. Juror in national and international wine competitions. Lecturing about wines of Serbia and the Balkans. Local partner of Wine Mosaic organization. Co-founder of International Prokupac Day.

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