Tucked away along the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula lies the hidden gem of Montenegro, a country brimming with natural beauty, rich history, and a burgeoning wine scene. While it may not be as famous as some of its European counterparts, Montenegro has been quietly making a name for itself in the world of wine. With a long winemaking tradition, diverse terroirs, and a growing number of boutique wineries, Montenegro is fast becoming a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts looking to explore new and exciting wine regions. As Montenegro advocates, the team at Royal Town Kotor is always looking to bring exciting information about this Balkan jewel to our clients. So, join us on a journey to discover the flavors of the Balkans through a Montenegro wine tour.
A Glimpse into Montenegro’s Winemaking Heritage
Montenegro’s winemaking history dates back thousands of years, with evidence of grape cultivation and wine production found throughout the country. The Illyrians, Romans, and Venetians all left their mark on Montenegro’s viniculture, shaping the unique characteristics of its wines. Montenegro’s diverse terroir, which includes coastal areas, mountains, and valleys, provides the perfect conditions for cultivating delectable grape varieties. Today, you can still find traditional wineries that honor these age-old winemaking techniques, producing wines with a distinct sense of history and place.
Does Montenegro have vineyards?
Montenegro is home to many vineyards and the largest vineyard in Europe. Ćemovsko polje vineyard, run by the Plantaze wine company, is found in Montnegro’s Lake Skadar area. The country’s varied landscape features mountainous regions, coastal areas, and fertile valleys, each offering unique terroirs for grape cultivation. Vineyards thrive in the rocky soils of the hillsides, while coastal vineyards benefit from the moderating influence of the Adriatic Sea.
The fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century ushered in an era of migration. Slavic tribes began settling in Montenegro, gradually assimilating with the local population. These Slavic tribes laid the foundation for Montenegro’s distinct Slavic identity, which continues to shape today’s culture.
The Rise of Duklja
The medieval history of Montenegro is closely associated with the rise of the Serbian state. In the 9th century, the Serbs migrated to the Balkans, and by the 11th century, they established the mighty Kingdom of Duklja in the coastal areas of Montenegro. Ruled by the Vojislavljevic dynasty, Duklja achieved significant autonomy. Christianity was officially adopted during this period, marking a significant cultural transformation. Duklja played a substantial role in the region, particularly during the reign of King Stefan Nemanja, who expanded the Serbian state.
The Medieval Period
A series of external threats, including invasions by the Byzantine Empire and the Venetian Republic, marks Montenegro’s medieval history. The Montenegrins fiercely defended their territory and forged a strong warrior culture during this time. The most iconic figure of this era was Stefan Nemanja, the founder of the Nemanjić dynasty, which played a pivotal role in the history of the Balkans.
Is wine good in Montenegro?
Absolutely yes! One of the most appealing aspects of Montenegrin wine is its diversity. Montenegro boasts many indigenous grape varieties that thrive in its diverse terroirs, and the country is divided into four distinct wine regions, each with its unique charm and character. Some of the most prominent Montenegrin grape varieties include Vranac, Krstač, Prokupac, and Žižak. Vranac, in particular, is considered the national grape of Montenegro, producing rich, full-bodied red wines with hints of dark fruit and spices.
Exploring Wine Regions in Montenegro
Lake Skadar: A Serene Beginning
Our Montenegro wine tour begins at Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans. The vineyards here benefit from the lake’s microclimate, which moderates temperatures and creates ideal conditions for white grape varieties like Krstač and Malvazija. A visit to local wineries offers a chance to sample crisp and aromatic whites while enjoying the lake’s serene beauty.
Plantaze: A Modern Winemaking Marvel
As we venture south, we reach the famous Plantaze estate, housing the largest vineyard in Europe. With over 2,300 hectares of vineyards, it boasts over 11 million grapevines. Here, you can tour the vast vineyards, enjoy wine tastings, and learn about the impressive history of this wine empire. At the Decanter World Wine Awards 2023, Plantaze won seven prizes, including a Silver medal for its red Pro Corde Vranac 2020, so this estate should make your list on a Montenegro wine tour.
The Adriatic Coast: Boutique Wineries and Spectacular Views
Montenegro’s Adriatic coastline boasts picturesque vineyards that benefit from the sea breeze and ample sunshine. Boutique wineries produce unique wines, including the indigenous Vranac red grape. Sip on these wines while gazing out at the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, and you’ll understand why Montenegro is often called the “Pearl of the Mediterranean.”
The Savina winery is located near the mouth of Kotor Bay amidst vineyards on a hillside above Herceg Novi. In this location, the Obradovi family organizes tastings in a beautiful garden with sweeping bay views. At DWWA 2023, Savina’s Merlot 2018 won a Silver medal, and its Chardonnay also frequently won awards.
Crmnica: The Heart of Montenegrin Winemaking
Crmnica, a region near the historic town of Bar, is considered the heart of Montenegrin winemaking. This area has numerous family-owned wineries known for their traditional winemaking techniques. The red Vranac and white Krstač grapes flourish here, creating wines with unique character and depth.
Wine Tasting in Montenegro
As Montenegro’s wine scene continues to grow, wine tourism is rising. You can explore the region’s often family-owned and operated wineries and gain insight into the winemaking process. Many wineries offer tours and tastings so you can fully immerse yourself in the world of Montenegrin wine. Before concluding your Montenegro wine tasting tour, bring home a piece of this hidden gem. Most wineries offer the opportunity to purchase their wines so you can continue to enjoy the flavors of the Balkans long after your trip ends.
Experience The Flavors of Montenegro in Style
Due to the influx of discriminating foreign visitors looking for cultural visits, such as a Montenegro wine tour, the demand for upscale lodgings in Montenegro has expanded. To meet this demand, Royal Town Kotor created a collection of elegant serviced apartments in the Kotor municipality, just a short drive from Porto Montenegro and Tivat Airport.
A serviced apartment provides additional perks that were previously unattainable because of changing guest expectations for a location to conduct business or travel luxuriously. As an owner, you can intermittently use your property as most tenants only occupy the apartments for vacation or travel stays. This approach is ideal if you plan to use your Montenegro investment property as a second home. As a potential Montenegro real estate investment, it can deliver much higher rental income than traditional long term lets. You can explore our luxury Kotor apartments for sale here.
Raise a Glass on your Montenegro Wine Tour
A Montenegro wine tour is a journey of discovery through a region that has remained under the radar of wine enthusiasts for far too long. From the tranquil shores of Lake Skadar to the bustling vineyards of the Adriatic coast, Montenegro offers a diverse and exciting wine experience. Whether you’re sipping a glass of Vranac while gazing at the Adriatic Sea or exploring the historic vineyards of Lake Skadar, Montenegro offers a wine journey unlike any other. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the flavors of the Balkans on a Montenegro wine tour – an adventure that promises to be unforgettable.
If this has whet your appetite to learn more about living and investing in Montenegro, contact our team of experts at Royal Town Kotor today.
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