From: Vardar River Valley, Macedonia
Varietals: Smederevka, Riesling, Roussanne, Marsanne
Taste: The strength of this wine is a balance between fruit, floral, and sea without being too fruity or too savory, yet true to its exotic nature. Aromas of citrus blossom, white flowers, and Granny Smith apples accompanied by zesty white peaches, balanced with a vibe of floating in the Meditterranean Sea. There’s a distinct note of juicy Castelvetrano olives at its core (not the canned kind!) highlighted with hints of thyme, rosemary, and oregano; its bright, saline finish will make you rush to the seaside.
Pairing: This wine would pair nicely with a Macedonian eggplant spread called Malidzano. It is traditionally served as an appetizer with a side of pita or baguette slices, and sometimes a slice of white cheese.
Wine from Eastern Europe is on the cusp of being the next big thing. All the elements are there: an ancient grape-growing tradition, great terroirs, indigenous varieties, new investments, and a youthful generation of farmers and winemakers who came of age after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Before this epic event, wine in Eastern Europe was mainly a bulk product from frightfully high yields resulting in quality on par with the Yugo or Trabant.
Founded in 1885, Tikveš Winery has witnessed the independence movements in the Balkans, two world wars, and one cold one. Yet, through it all, they have continued to make wines from grapes native to the region: the white Rkaticeli, which originated in the Caucasus, and Kratosija, Vranec, and Plavec, which are all indigenous red varieties to the Balkan peninsula. With the fall of communism and the independence of The Republic of North Macedonia, this historic estate was privatized, and investments updated the vineyard and cellar practices. Sustainable farming has replaced industrial agriculture, yields have been reduced, and indigenous varieties have been preserved and replanted. With guidance from the late Philippe Cambie, Tikves modernized their cellar practices by introducing temperature-controlled stainless steel for fermentations with concrete and French oak barrels as possible vessels for aging.
Belo is Macedonian for “white,” which may not sound terribly specific, but it is a valid and easy-to-pronounce name. Valid also because the principal variety in this blend (which includes a little Riesling, Roussanne, and Marsanne) is Smederevka, the most widely planted white grape variety in the region. Smederevka once had a reputation for neutral and acidic wines best served with a touch of sparkling water, but that was due to massive overcropping during the communist era. Now with lower yields, careful pruning, and a shift to organic practices, Tikves can coax out floral aromas with flavors of green apples and white peaches from this formerly maligned variety. Smederevka retains a pronounced acidity with a moderate alcohol level even though it usually gets picked towards the end of harvest – a good indication that this signature variety is perfectly adapted to the warm climate of Macedonia.
The grapes that went into this cuvée were hand harvested and directly pressed into temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks for fermentation. The wine then spent three months aging in stainless steel tanks prior to bottling.
Payment & Security
Your payment information is processed securely. We do not store credit card details nor have access to your credit card information.