A group of friends, 28 hectares of land and one mission – introducing the wine-growing estate Virtus calling the Serbian village of Viteževo its home.
After skimming the July part of our travel diary, which told us a story of the prosperous wine-growing country Slovenia, we turn our gaze to the south – to be precise – to the likewise ex-Yugoslavian Serbia.
Serbia? Most certainly! Similar, to its more known neighbours Croatia and Slovenia, the Balkans heartland looks back on a 2000-year-old wine-growing history repeatedly finding itself in difficulty, either through the Ottoman conquest in the 14th century or, regarding quality, through the large-scale production while being a part of Tito’s Yugoslavia. Also, the bloody civil war of the 90s crosses our mind when we hear the name of Serbia, whereas many desiring success wine makers – continuing the great wine tradition of the country – as well as inviting wine-growing regions and until today existent indigenous grape varieties are not much known.
From among roughly 54.000 hectares of vineyards, regions of the Croatian border close Fruška Gora, East Serbian Timočka Krajina, Toplički okrug near to Kruševac and the areas of the Great and South Morava belong to the major wine producing territories of the country.
The province of Great Morava – to be more precise – the beautiful place called Viteževo, located 50 km southeast of Belgrade, is the home of 2010 established imposing wine-growing estate Virtus, in 2016 successfully participating in the first PAR® Wine Award International. Friends and wine enthusiasts created a working team to let the grapes of the climatically favoured terroir shine in new splendour. In this interview, Milorad Halavanja reveals their approach, the choice of the varieties and their vision for the future of the wine tourism in Serbia.