Serbian Wine Regions - Negotinska Krajina

Thu, 12/03/2015 - 14:11 By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Negotinska Krajina is a region located near the Serbian border with Bulgaria and Romania. The fertile ground of the region is elevated between the 60 and 480 meters. The Danube river flowing along the border, makes this region's climate stable, and also provides more sunshine due to the river's mirror effect. With such favorable conditions it's no surprise this region was known to grow grapes since the ancient times. The region of Bor, where Negotinska Krajina is situated is in the top 3 regions in Serbia by grape production, with more than 30,000 tons of grapes annualy.  

The most distinctive part of Negotinska Krajina is Rajačke pimnice (Rajac Wineries) - a candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage List. This architectural complex of rural compounds is dating back from the XVIII and XIX century, when winegrowers build their wine cellars close to their homes. It is assumed that there were even older constructions made of wood on the site of the present one. In some literature around 300 constructions are mentioned to existed. Wine cellars used to be so important to people of Rajac, that the village cemetery was located among the wineries, instead of village family houses. The cemetery is also a tourist attraction because of the stone-carved medieval tombes.

Today there are around 160 consturctions - some of it are still wine cellars, others are turned into distileries and museums. Nowadays, Rajac wineries produce white wines from local smederevka, bagrina and semijon and red wines from prokupac, vranac, gama and crni burgundac. More than 3,000 (45% of total number) farms in Negotinska Krajina grow grapes. 

Acorrding to the Wine Atlas published by Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia there are around 30 commercial wineries in Negotinska Krajina, most of them in the Rajac region. Some of the biggest wineries are shown in the pie chart below. The Matalj winery is the biggest producer with around 55,000 liter of wine annually, followed by the Raj and Dusa wineries. These 11 wineries produce more than 250,000 liter annually for commercial purposes. 

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