Day-1.International Airport Skopje – Skopje – Kamnik winery (D) (20 KM)
Pick up at the airport. Accommodation in a hotel in Skopje. Orientation walk and time at your leisure. We will have welcoming dinner in the restaurant of the winery Kamnik with wine tasting. Transfer back to the hotel. Overnight.
Day-2. Skopje – Chateau Sopot winery – Skopje (B, D) (80 KM)
Breakfast. After the breakfast, we will start a walking tour, from the centuries old Kale – Skopje fortress. We will continue to the Old Turkish Bazaar, mingling with the locals, meeting different cultures and religions, old forgotten crafts, as well. After that we will go to the Museum of Macedonian National Struggle, with possibilities to visit the Archaeological museum of Macedonia, which has one of the biggest ancient coins collection in the world, exclusively from the Macedonian territory. We will walk across the Stone bridge, the landmark of the city, and stop in front of the biggest monument and fountain of Alexander the Great. The next stop will be the Memorial house of Mother Teresa. She was born in Skopje in 1910.In the afternoon, we will visit the monastery St Pantaleimon and Macedonian Ethno village. In order to have dinner, we will need to drive to the winery Chateau Sopot. There, we will taste wines from the Povardarie region and enjoy the perfect cuisine inthe restaurant. The owner will take us through the cellars and the winery and give us an explanation about the different varieties of their wine. Transfer back to the hotel.The Chateau Sopot is located in the surroundings of the Veles Lake, between the valleys and the fertile uplands of the wine region of Veles. This winery is one of the Macedonian chateaux, that is living its wine fairy tale in the book called Macedonia.
Day-3. Skopje – Kratovo – Tikves region – Popova Kula winery (B, L, D) (240 KM)
Breakfast. We will drive to Kratovo (95 km), a little medieval town, founded in the middle of a once-volcano crater. First, we will have the guided walking tour around the town, crossing many medieval bridges and towers. We will see a unique small museum with artefacts from the 20th century B.C. until nowadays. Then, we will have a chance to taste slowly-cooked food by the locals and a chance to taste the local home-made wine and rakija (Macedonian brandy). After that, we will drive to the central part of Macedonia in one of the most important wine regions in Europe, called Tikvesh. Accommodation in hotel in Tikves region. We will have a tour around the winery with an explanation about the wine producing process and the varieties of wine. We will have organised dinner that includes few varieties of its own wine, cheese and meat. Overnight in the hotel.
Day-4. Tikves region – Stobi, Ancient city – Stobi winery – Demir Kapija (B, L) (65 km)
Breakfast. We will drive to the biggest archaeological site in Macedonia-Stobi. The oldest synagogue in Europe, from the 1st century A.D. is found here. We will continue driving to the next winery that has the same name as the archaeological site, Stobi winery. We will take an organised tour around the winery, then we will have lunch and a possibility to taste some of the wines from this well-known winery. We will drive back to the hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Day-5. Tikves region – Tikvesh winery – Ohrid (B, L) (160 km)
Breakfast. We will drive towards the biggest and the oldest winery in Macedonia, and one of the biggest in Europe, the winery Tikvesh. The professionals from the winery will take us through the cellars, they will tell us the history of the winery and the whole wine making process. We will then have a chance to taste some of their wine in its own restaurant in a beautiful atmosphere with some specialities cooked from their chef especially for us. We will continue to the town of UNESCO – Ohrid. Accommodation and overnight in a hotel.
Day-6. Ohrid (B, D)
Breakfast. Start of the Ohrid City Tour. One of the oldest towns in Europe. Full of history with traces of four thousand years of civilisation. We will visit famous untouched medieval churches, the fortress of Tsar Samuel with a beautiful panorama, the ancient Macedonian-Roman theatre, sailing with small boats on the way back to the centre. Guide through history in the biggest open-air museum of the Byzantium. In the afternoon we will take a boat trip to the unique prehistoric settlement on water from the bronze age, the most visited site in Macedonia, Bay of the bones. We will have a guided tour through the place by the professional curator. We will continue sailing to the extraordinary monument of nature – the lake springs, and the monastery of St Naum from the 9th century. The first Cyrillic and Glagolithic alphabet were written in this monastery and they are still standing at the pillars there. Free time. Sailing back to the town. Dinner in a national restaurant. Overnight in the hotel.
Day-7. Ohrid – Tetovo – Skopje (180 km) (B, D)
Breakfast at the hotel. We will drive to the ethnically and religiously mixed town Tetovo to visit the unique colourful mosque, painted from outside and inside in different colours, presenting paintings of towns and cities from the 19th century, a kind of a Renaissance in the Islamic world. After that, close to the capital Skopje, we will visit one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe – Matka, with the river Treska. We will set sail by small boats 6 km upstream to visit the cave Vrelo, full of cave decorations, like stalactites and stalagmites. Accommodation in a hotel. Farewell dinner in a national restaurant with mixed types of wines.
Day-8. Skopje – International Airport Skopje (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Free time. Driving to the International Airport Skopje, about 40 minutes from the hotel.
The Republic of Macedonia produces wine on some 22,400 hectares (55,000 acres) of vineyards, and the production was 108,100 tonnes in 2008. There are also some additional 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of vineyards dedicated to table grapes. Red wine dominates the Macedonian wine production, with around 80 percent.
While part of Yugoslavia, Macedonia was a major producer of wine. In the 1980 s, it accounted for around two-thirds of the Yugoslav wine production. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Macedonian wine production decreased dramatically, from 1.8 million hectоliters in the mid-1990 s to 447,000 hl in 2002.
Macedonia has three wine-growing regions:
- Povardarie, in the valley of the river Vardar, mostly around the towns of Negotino and Kavadarci. It is the most important region both in terms of quantity and wine quality;
- Pčinja-Osogovo, to the east on the border with Bulgaria;
- Pelagonija-Polog, around the Lake Ohrid, to the west on the border with Albania.
The grape varieties common in cultivation include a large proportion of indigenous varieties and varieties common to Central Europe and the Balkans, as well as some international varieties. Red varieties include Vranec (the most common variety of Macedonia), Kratoshija, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It should be noted that Stanušina Crna is a unique variety of grape from Macedonian origin, capable of producing very high quality wines, which are very popular on the local markets, while little known outside of its native country. White varieties include Smederevka, Welschriesling (usually referred to as Laški Rizling),Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Žilavka.
It all started as a very personal fascination with the wine-making art that the founder,a wine enthusiast from Skopje, has always had; everything else came as a completely natural nowadays expression of the authentic Macedonian wine-making traditions. From collecting wines from all over the globe, through the first vines planted and their transformation into vineyards, through the foundations of the boutique winery resembling a castle, and the first barriques in it, to the first wines bottled, and then many more travelling around the world, some winning great awards, this man shared his vision with a team of excellent people and turned it into a quest called Kamnik Wines, our creations combining past and future, now; keeping our story alive.
The Chateau Sopot is located in the surroundings of the Veles Lake, between the valleys and the fertile uplands of the wine region of Veles.
This winery is one of the Macedonian chateaux that is living its wine fairy tale in the book called Macedonia.
The winery has its first harvest as early as the following year. It disposes 100 hectares of wine plantation, and the selection of sorts includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Temjanika.
Holding its ideal location in the wine region of Veles, at the altitude of sea level of 150-220 meters, the wines of Chateau Sopot have tendency to be sold on the domestic and the foreign markets, exclusively to the ones that really want to be indulged in the feast of the premium wine.
Popova Kula winery
Demir Kapija valley lays on the south-east part of the Tikveshiya grape growing sub-region that is a part of the Povardarie region. The oldest archaeological findings proving that people in this area have grown vineyards and have made wine, date back to 13 century B.C. It is a location with excellent climate and perfect soil for grape growing. The king of Yugoslavia, Aleksander Karadjordjevic, who ruled one century ago, had vast possibilities to choose from, for the location of his vineyard. However, following the advice of trusted consultants, King Aleksander chose wisely and planted his first vines in the micro region of Demir Kapija on exactly the same location where we have our vineyards today.
Stobi winery is the newest and most modernly designed Macedonian winery, located in the municipality of Gradsko, next to the ancient site Stobi, where it gets its name from. The wisdom and experience of the first inhabitants transferred from time immemorial until today are reflected in perfect harmony with the modern technology and the knowledge.In order to maintain and preserve the quality of the grapes, they nurture it with the most modern methods in agriculture and strictly control the fertility and the yield. They cut out every vine correctly and accurately to match the growth and maturation. During the maturation of the vines, they monitor the growth of all bunches, because we know that every grain of grape is important for the uniqueness and the splendour of the taste of the Stobi wines. Then, only the best grapes from the plantations, through a process of perfectly controlled system, in the peak of its maturity, arrives in the most modern winery in the country and beyond. This contributes for Stobi winery to produce wines that are clean and non-contaminated concerning pesticides, heavy metals, residues and contaminants. The use of SO2 is 30 to 50% lower compared to the average. Therefore, the pleasure in these wines does not cause any headaches, but just pleasant bliss.The result of all this attention, knowledge and expertise are 4.5 million litres of high-quality Macedonian wine per year, allocated among four categories – Premium, Elite, Classic and Traditional.
As early as in Roman times, a tradition in Macedonia was flourishing – a tradition to craft enchantingly powerful wines exhibiting the scent of the south, having a symphonic flavour and epitomizing the joyfulness of Macedonians. Tikveš Winery is one of the most important creators of this tradition. For more than 125 years, the sky, land, sun and vineyards in the south of Europe, each with its own share, have been a part of the story about Tikveš wines. Tikveš Winery has been crafting and aging premium Macedonian wines … ever since 1885. At the late 70’s of the 20th century, agro-combine Tikveš is founded by merging several smaller agricultural cooperatives. Tikveš becomes the largest winery in Southeast Europe. In 1973, the wine T’ga za jug, in honour of Struga Poetry Evenings, is crafted. Thus, a star is born. Tikvesh winery produces 24 types of wine, out of which the most attractive are: T’ga za jug, Traminec, Kratoshija, Chardonnay, Alexandria – Cabernet Sauvignon and Alexandria – Riesling, and the famous Tikveš grape brandy – Lozova rakija – Zholta. At the Wine Innovation Forum in Paris – 2008, Tikveš Winery is ranked among the world’s 30 most innovative wine brands.
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