News from wineries

News from wineries / 07/19/2020 / 471

WEST SIDE STORY - ILIĆ NIJEMČEVIĆ WINERY

The slopes of Fruška Gora have always attracted visitors from big cities such as Novi Sad and Belgrade, offering them a perfect getaway, preserved nature, bounty of fruit and forest berries, hedonistic experience of natural flavours and aromas, stories about culture and history of this area. Wineries from Fruška Gora are to a large extent equipped for wine tourism. This type of tourism is showing increasing growth, especially this year when domestic tourists flock to tourist destinations in Serbia due to closed borders.

IN Winery (Ilić-Nijemčević Winery) recently presented its offer in the segment of wine tourism with which it presents itself to visitors to the western slopes of Fruška gora.

IN winery (Ilić-Nijemčević) is located in the village of Bikić Do. The village was established by Rusyns who settled down and found work in the vineyards of Privina Glava monastery. Therefore, this village nurtures a long tradition of viticulture and wine production. Even today, the Rusyns constitute majority population of the village, although the village is facing increasing emigration of its inhabitants to big cities.

In the very center of the village, in the vicinity of the local church, the road diverges and climbs onto a nearby hill. At the very top, there is a winery that combines centuries-old history of winemaking in Srem - the wine cellar of the Italian noble family Odescalchi built in 1826 and the former cooperative winery Erdevik housing concrete tanks with a total volume exceeding 50,000 liters, huge scattered wooden barrels that testify to strength of wine industry in former Yugoslavia. Together, two families: the Ilić and the Nijemčević restarted wine production in 2012, renewed winery equipment, renovated the wine house and turned it into a place where tourists have the opportunity to explore local flavours and aromas, all accompanied with the sound of Srem tamboura orchestra.

The vineyards in Bikić Do surrounding the winery cover an area of 10 hectares and consist of the following varieties: Frankovka, Chardonnay, Muscat Hamburg, Sauvignon Blanc, Grašac and Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition, 3 more hectares of vineyards (varietal composition: Merlot, Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay) are located in the vicinity of Mionica, in Vrujci (West Serbia). The winery's portfolio consists of 8 wine labels made from 8 grape varieties.

The wine cellar, whose length exceeds 100 meters, testifies to the period when Duke Livio Odescalchi nurtured vineyards in Srem. Some of the barrels (volume: 5,000 liters) were repaired and their interior was coated with stainless steel. The rest of the huge barrels that can hold 10,000 liters of wine are not in function. Red wine (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) is aged in barriques, used barrels, light toasting. The year-round temperature in the wine cellar is 14 degrees Celsius.

White wines of Ilić-Nijemčević Winery feature freshness and varietal character. Sauvignon Blanc 2019 is recognizable, linear, its herbal-spicy tones and white fruit aromas exude freshness. It will not win you over with its complexity, but it will bring freshness, youthful impression, crisp acidity.

Chardonnay from the vintage 2019 will not impress you if you expect distinct tropical character, intense aromas dominated by yellow fruit, banana, pineapple, mango. Chardonnay from Ilić-Nijemčević Winery has moderate intensity, medium body, delicate aromas of peach, yellow fruit, apple, citrus, kiwi with clear herbal notes that determine its character. On the palate, fruitiness is accompanied by vibrant acidity. Grapes for this wine originate from vineyards in Bikić Do and Banja Vrujci. Fermentation is done separately, and then the wines are blended.

Rosé 2019 made from Muscat Hamburg is straightforward, enjoyable, whilst fluttering muscat tones, strawberry and rose petal Turkish delights guarantee this wine's popularity among tourists. On the palate, flavours of cherry, hibiscus, strawberry with a fresh citrus trail in the finish.

We tasted Frankovka 2019, sample from the stainless steel tank. Frankovka 2019 shows intensity, spiciness, fruit-like character resembling gummy candies. In the mouth, red fruit, red currants, raspberry, sour cherry, spicy finish. Merlot 2018, in addition to a soft fruity impression and abundance of red fruit, raspberries, also shows a discreet spicy touch, hints of anise seed. Balanced, potent, fresh acidity.

After visiting the winery, be sure to continue to a nearby site of Privina Glava monastery. In the monastery, you will hear an interesting legend as to how it got its name. Namely, the Serbian despot Vuk Brankovic donated a huge amount of money in order to erect a monastery on that place. But the stone masons stole the money and fled. Local robbers followed them and killed them at the spot where the monastery stands today. Afterwards, the place got its name Pribina (Privina) Glava, which means "a beaten head". Historians believe that the monastery was built in the 15th century and relate its foundation to the Branković family. The most difficult period for the monastery was during the Second World War, because in 1941, the Croatian Ustashas robbed it and expelled the monks, but at the end of the 20th century, the monastery got renovated.

A few kilometers away from Bikić Do is the Lake of Sot. The trail around the lake promises a pleasant walk through nature, with a view of the other shore and an unforgettable sunset.

On the way to the winery, I suggest you visit the monastery of St. Paraskevi in Berkasovo. The Church of St. Paraskevi in the monastery was built in the second half of the 19th century. There is also a source of medicinal water in the vicinity of the monastery. The carved inscription on the marble slab, which originates from a certain citizen of Dubrovnik, represents gratitude for being cured of a serious illness by using that water.




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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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