Monday, October 19, 2009

Winemaker Small Cellar Radovanovic in Serbia

Serbia is still an undiscovered country in the heart of Europe, when it comes to wine making. It is not yet easy to find Serbian wines that are up to international standards in these days, partly due to 50 years of Yugoslavian-style socialism and 15 years of war and political repression and unrest. But there are exceptions. One of them is Small Cellar Radovanovic, a family owned winery that has started to make wine about 15 years ago and now produces outstanding wines. More generally, things are rapidly changing to the better in this lovely country in the Eastern part of Europe. See my posting of October 12 on “Wine Region: Serbia”

There are big producers (from the Yugoslavian period, when private wine businesses were not allowed to exist) and an increasing number of private, middle size, family owned wineries. Foreign wineries have unfortunately shown only limited interest so far so that foreign investment has been practically non-existent up to now.

The big producers are:
WOW Winery-Subotica
Vrsacki Vinogradi-Vrsac
Rubin-Krusevac and
Vino Zupa-Aleksandrovac.

Upcoming middle size, family owned wineries include:
Aleksandrovic Cellar
Winery Kovacevic
Cellar Jelic and
Small Cellar Radovanovic

The wine hedonism has a list of quality winemakers in Serbia, including web-links.

Small Cellar Radovanovic is in the Sumadijsko-velimoravski wine region, which borders on the rivers Danube and Morava. It is known for the Royal Wine Cellars of the Karadjordjevic dynasty, established in 1903. Further up the Morava is the village of Krnjevo where Small Cellar Radovanovic is based.

Miodrag Radovanovic, the wine maker and owner, is a Belgrade university-trained enologist, who had worked for NAVIP-Zemun for many years, before he started his own wine business in 1992. Initially, he produced wine only for his family and friends. Gradually, his private enterprise took on larger dimensions and he quit NAVIP-Zemun in 2002 to exclusively focus on his own wine business.

He now grows grapes on his own 2.5 hectare large vineyard, but also buys grapes from wine co-operatives. The annual production is around 400.000 bottles of wine. You find his Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon in many of the best restaurants and wine bars of Belgrade as well as in the Duty-free shop at Belgrade airport.

I tasted the

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Barique

at the Podrum Wine Art in Belgrade. It was dark red in the glass. Hint of vanilla and raspberries on the nose. A lush and fruity New World-style wine. I paid RSD 400 for the glass, which is about Euro 4. See my Posting of October 5, 2009 on wine bars in Belgrade.

Mali Podrum Radovanović, Dositejeva 10, Krnjevo, phone: (0) 26-821 085

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