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Events / 12/09/2020 / 2684

SERBIA MOURNING DEATH OF LEGENDARY WINEMAKER FROM ŽUPA

Today, the winds have calmed down over the vineyards of Župa. One-hundred-year-old vines have started crying. Today, the vine-growing Župa is silent. Serbia has lost the famous winemaker from Aleksandrovac, a pioneer of modern Serbian winemaking. Dragoslav Gaga Ivanović passed away at the age of 61 after a short battle with a serious illness. We will remember him as the guardian of tradition and the name of Prokupac and Tamjanika from Župa. He proudly ccontinued the legacy of his grandfather Dragoslav and the famous winemakers' family of Župa, which produced annually more than half a million liters of wine in the period preceding the Second World War.

An old saying goes that "only a good man can make good wine". Gaga Ivanovic was one of the best. Unobtrusive, honest, fair and always smiling, with a glass of wine in his hand and with great knowledge he selflessly shared with other winemakers. He believed in Prokupac and Župa. He was happy that Serbia was returning to its roots, old vines of Župa and autochthonous grape varieties.

In contemporary Serbian winemaking, Gaga Ivanović has become synonymous with excellent wines made from Prokupac grapes. The vertical tasting of his Prokupac wines was the first proof that Prokupac could yield a world class wine by ageing. In 2014, Gaga presented his decade-long work to domestic and foreign wine experts:

"Silence echoed in the conference room of the Hotel Falkensteiner while the glasses were filled with Prokupac from Ivanović winery and the  legendary vintage 2003, followed by vintage 2004. Something in the air was telling us that we are witnessing a historic moment ... Prokupac from Ivanović Winery, vintages 2003, 2004, 2006 , 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012 ... the last bottles of 2003 and 2004, and a unique opportunity to assess Prokupac's capacity to withstand the test of time. Wines were technically correct and healthy, and surprise, surprise, it turned out that the vintage 2004 was in excellent condition ... The audience confirmed with loud approval that among all samples, the vintage 2004 is the best that Ivanović Winery ever delivered as a gift to Serbian wine lovers. Even Saša Špiranec stood up and commented (quote): "There it is , I still tremble while I am tasting this wine from the year 2004. Exquisite wine, certainly the best I've ever tasted so far from the Serbian vineyards. I am honored that I had this opportunity to taste it here. "This wine has definitely confirmed that Prokupac is able to spawn a serious wine, and finally shattered the view that Prokupac may mature up to 4-5 years. And winemaker Gaga Ivanović himself has paved his place on the pedestal of the modern Serbian wine scene." (16th June, 2014)

He passed on that love and joie de vivre among the vineyards and with wine to his son Ivan. He showed him and to everyone else who appreciates Serbian wine the way to go and left a testament that the winemakers' surname Ivanović from Župa should continue to shine on the labels of great wines.




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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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