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News / 12/01/2019 / 335

SERBIAN SCHOOL OF NATURALISM - WINE JAM TERROIRS 2019

The Metropol Hotel Belgrade has hosted Wine Jam Terroirs Wine Festival for the first time this year. After several years at Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, the Wine Jam Terroirs Festival has changed venue, collected new energy and evolved from its original concept (it started as a conference, then became a wine festival with an emphasis on indigenous varieties, and now it has settled in the realm of authentic, orange, natural, organic and all other definitions of wine that are moving away from conventional production). And it seems to me that Serbia needs such a festival. The wine audience has embraced the trend of authentic wines, but at the same time it cannot be said that the audience is educated enough to appreciate such wines. This is where the educational role of this festival lies: the audience can taste as many samples as possible in one place, build tasting criteria, to get an overview of the current Serbian wine scene, whilst winemakers can exchange experiences.

The enthusiasm and creativity of Serbian winemakers are simply amazing. Within a very short period, the wine scene where numerous young winemakers accepted principles of minimal intervention winemaking has evolved. However, we are still at the beginning ... We are still researching, experimenting, trying out ... And inevitably learning from mistakes. And this is a completely normal phase of growth.

In my notebook, after the first edition of Wine Jam Terroirs, a number of notes and comments were jotted down (and I am writing some of them here so I can get back to them after 4-5 years to better assess progress made by Serbian winemakers in the period to come):

- Two gurus of the Serbian low-intervention wine scene are Aleks Klinec and Oskar Maurer. Something like Peter Paul Rubens in the world of painting who had many students and followers ... so let everyone choose which school they prefer ...

- Oxidation is NOT terroir, and wine should not be oxidized if maceration lasts longer

- Not every grape variety is suitable for orange wine. Panonija in particular. There are more of them ...

- The fact that wine has no flaws does not mean that it is well-done. Wine also needs body, acidity, complexity, aromatic profile, balance, etc. Orange wines without faults can be either good or bad.

- Tamjanika definitely has the potential for natural wines.

- Sometimes "organic" is better than "natural."

- Oskar Maurer is the perfect educator because his student has become his peer.

- Erne Sagmeister and his white wines = respect!!!

- Plavinci Winery - I have tasted cellar sample of the best Pet-Nat in my life ... I hope the winemaker will be able to recreate it again (not to be merely beginner's luck)

- Kovačević Winery - thank goodness Serbia has a mainstream orange wine producer... Without leadership, society stands still.

- Baša Winery - some more patience so there will be no more presentations of cellar samples and wines that would have been great if they hadn't been consumed in the meantime ...

- Todorović Winery from Knjaževac - organic wines and French school ... promising, but let's wait and see

- Imperator - wines of consistent quality and proof that biodynamics can taste good.

- Wine that tastes as if a vineyard has been planted next to a glue factory - NO, NEVER , as Ruška Jakić would say

- Prokupac is great in this version as well!

So, see you at Wine Jam Terroirs 2024 to compare impressions and assess progress!




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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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