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Events / 12/26/2014 / 472

NEW CLOTHES FOR NEW TRIUMPHS

Klub ljubitelja vina                 In today's dynamic world of wine, wineries are fiercely competing for each percentage of the market that will bring them more profits. The world as a global village has made wines from any wine region of the world readily available to us only a few clicks away. Serbia still lags behind these global trends, however, we may expect as time goes by that these trends and tendencies will flood our market as well.

If you observe the Serbian market, you may notice that the number of local wineries keeps soaring year after year, which is consistent with a growing number of wine lovers in the market and the increasing consumption of wine per capita. At the same time, the quality of Serbian wine continually improves. At the very beginning of modern Serbian wine story, the Big Three (Kovačević Winery, Aleksandrović Winery and Radovanović Winery) ruled supremely. There was a huge gap between them and other wineries. Nowadays, fortunately, this gap has disappeared ... Both small and large wineries are equally entitled to high quality wines ... The news that a tiny winery somewhere in Serbia has achieved success on the world stage and its wines fascinated both local and foreign wine lovers no longer stirs excitement. The disappearance of the gap between small and large wineries can be primarily felt in our wallets. Fortunately for us, wine lovers, wines of the Big Three have become more affordable, so we can now raise a toast with a glass of quality wines awarded in all major wine competitions in the world  more frequently in the company of friends or family at home.

10 years ago, the Big Three could be lulled by  success in reaping the fruits of hard work in the vineyard and cellar. There was high demand for domestic wines, and there was no real competition ... Today, even the large ones need constant innovation, entry into new market niches, fight for each consumer in the market ... No sleeping, no idle walk ...

Aleksandrović Winery from Topola (Šumadija wine region, Central Serbia) has delivered a full range of wines in their portfolio ... In addition to "Šumadinac" - sparkling wine that made Šumadija widely-known in the past, Triumph Late Harvest 2013 has recently been added to the portfolio of this winery... Thus, even the most demanding wine lover can meet his/her needs in the portfolio of this winery and fully satisfy his/her wine appetites. And now it’s time to deal with channels of communication with customers. Serbia is a country where 50% of the population is active on Facebook. Almost 60% of households in Serbia have internet access, and this year Serbia has become the first country in the region where a bank with fully mobile and online business model was launched. It just shows that wineries need to think about their future customers in Serbia who are quite open to new technologies. They need to understand that information about wines and wineries is usually sourced online, and visits to a winery are preceded by online search for location, navigation instructions, travel info, working hours.

Aleksandrović Winery has summoned media, friends and associates of the winery to reveal the new image that will be communicated to customers. The name PODRUM ALEKSANDROVIĆ (Aleksandrović Cellar) will no longer exist because it has been replaced by VINARIJA ALEKSANDROVIĆ (Aleksandrović Winery). The new website, completely redesigned (http://vinarijaaleksandrovic.rs/) with a plethora of new content and attractive photographs that will appeal to visitors and invite people to experience the beauty and charm of Oplenac vineyards and Šumadija wine region, has been launched. Then online shop, where you can purchase wines at cellar prices from the comfort of your sofa and get them delivered to your home.  And finally, Aleksandrović Wine-Lovers’ Club (loyalty club), which offers numerous benefits to loyal wine fans. During the gala dinner at the Hotel LifeDESIGN in Belgrade, the first membership card of Aleksandrović Wine-Lovers’ Club was given to the legend of Serbian football and FC Red Star Belgrade, Mr Dule Savić.

klub ljubitelja vina Aleksandrović

 

Despite the new visual image, the identity and distinctive features of Aleksandrović Winery  have been preserved. Therefore, consumers will not find it hard to get used to novelty features from this Šumadija winery.

The silencing of voices that launched strong marketing campaign in order to position Šumadija as “Serbian Tuscany” is highly commendable. I understand desire that urged creators of this pitiable slogan to position Šumadija equally to Tuscany in Italy. However, anyone who knows the history of Tuscany and how it became what it is today realizes that simply it is not possible to accomplish. Šumadija will never be Tuscany ... And it shouldn’t be. Tuscany had the good fortune to become in the 19th century and early 20th century a favorite holiday destination for European aristocracy and artists, and it has maintained this status until present days, the sole difference that instead of aristocracy, today’s property owners are rich people from around the world and film and music stars .The chance that Šumadija will ever reach that status remains meagre, so if you say Serbian Tuscany, I already bring to my mind some cheap tacky replicas of castles and rural mansions surrounded by vineyards and fields ... (something similar exists in Eastern Serbia – “gastarbeiter”villages around Veliko Gradište and Žagubica, but no one ever dared to call these "Serbian Beverly Hills"?!?). I doubt that anyone’s ambition is to turn Šumadija into a cheap replica of Italian Tuscany. The Chinese have already done it in China ("Chinese Bordeaux"), but I do not see any significant contribution to development of wine tourism in China.

Perhaps the idea was that one day Šumadija will become what Tuscany is in Italy’s wine world. But then, there is the problem of correlation: if we describe Tuscany as wine region, then we see prevailingly red wine region (more than 80%), dominated by local variety Sangiovese. Predominant soils are galestro and alberese. So, everything that Šumadija is not: Šumadija made a break-through on contemporary Serbian wine scene primarily due to the quality and identity of its white wines, and Trijumf wine from Aleksandrović Winery takes great credits for this. Then, if you look at Sauvignon Blanc wines from Šumadija that can be found on the market, you will realize that this region is perfectly suited for this variety ... International varieties prevail in vineyards of Šumadija, so choice of varieties also differentiates it from Tuscany. When it comes to soil types, the term micro-location can nowhere else in Serbia be as important as in Šumadija region... A plethora of diverse soil types alternates in small plots, which again makes it quite different from Tuscany.

So, Šumadija has its own identity that should be proud of. Šumadija Winemakers’ Association has already made significant steps to make Serbian Šumadija wine region and quality of its wines recognizable both here in Serbia and abroad. And they should continue these efforts.

We wrote earlier about Šumadija wine region on our website:

http://www.vinopedia.rs/?p=3513&lang=en

 

 



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Tomislav Ivanović

Awarded wine writer, wine critic and contributor to selected wine magazines. WSET3-certified author and editor-in-chief of www.vinopedia.rs. 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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