As wine enthusiasts, we are always eager to discover more wines and explore exciting new wine regions. Today we are happy to raise a glass to the exceptional Serbian wine of Prokupac. The celebration of this red Serbian grape started in 2016, with Serbian winemakers, restaurants, and other businesses sharing discounts, pairing suggestions, and educating on this autochthonous variety.
Now Serbia has a fascinating wine story, and as Sarah Souli enthusiastically writes in her Travel & Leisure article, “In the 19th century, Serbia was one of the most important winemaking areas of the Austro-Hungarian Empire”. She also gives great recommendations on her favorite wineries like Vinarija Raj, Francuska Vinarija, Manastir Bukovo, and more.
The History of Wine in Serbia
Serbia is part of the Balkan region, and the mild climate means indigenous and international grape varieties can be easily grown here. According to a Reuters article, many believe that Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus began planting vineyards in the northern regions of Serbia.
Around the 6th century AD, Serbian people were beginning to accept winemaking practices when Christianity was introduced. It wasn’t until the 12th century that Serbian monasteries started producing substantial wine in the region. However, in the 14th century, the Ottoman Empire tried to destroy the Serbian vineyards based on the tenants of Islam, which prohibits the consumption of alcohol.
The Serbian people moved north to escape, and they took their wine and winemaking practices with them. Through many empires and a bad Phylloxera infestation in the 1800s, Serbian varietals endured.
The region’s winemaking practices brought a blend of international and indigenous varieties. After world wars and instability, the early 21st century brought an influx of Serbian winemakers who wanted to revive the old ways and local types to create better quality, artisanal wine varietals that were more true to its Serbian origins.
For more historic facts on Prokupac Wine, Sofia Adventures has a great guide.
The Zupa Region
The region of Zupa has crowned Prokupac as the King of Zupa, the wine variety most popular in the area (it is similar to that of the Bordeaux and Napa Valley regions). Throughout history, this region made wines for dynasties and generations of clergy. The town of Aleksandrovac is home to 3,000 hectares of vineyards, the largest wine region in the country. They host a wine festival that features a more laid-back, fair-like atmosphere every September – complete with grape stomping and a wine fountain. You can learn more about the festivities here.
What to Expect from a Good Prokupac
Exotic Wine Travel spent time in Serbia checking out the wine scene and found that Prokupac comes in three main styles:
- Modern – grown on a trellis and wire from younger vines
- Traditional-made from older bush vines in Zupa
- Blends – Prokupac wines blended with a more significant proportion of other red grapes
It also showcases Dr. Matthew Horkey’s list of 8 Prokupac wines to try.
One of the most highly recommended Serbian wines from Wine Sofa is the Budimir Sub Rosa 2009. It is a 60% Prokupac, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and sourced from vines that are more than 100 years old. This wine has a bright and lively essence, with blackberry, plum jam, rosehip, and sweet spice notes.
Our favorite wine mentioned is the Doja Prokupac 2015 – the white pepper, clove, and sweet spice sound like a perfect wine to feature at a fall dinner with some roasted lamb or a stew recipe. The Yotta Prokupac is also an excellent choice.
The genetics of Prokupac has not been entirely determined, but it has been suggested that it is a parent of Turkey’s Papazkarası.
Prolong Your Prokupac Adventures
The world, according to wine, is a vast and exciting place. Wherever your wine journeys take you, be sure to bring the Vinloq Slow Decanting™ and Wine Preservation System along.