Life goes on, but the story of the best Serbian wines always remains. In the Župa valley, at the foot of the grandiose Kopaonik Mountain, the Rajković family has been producing wine for centuries.
When in Serbia, someone mentions wine, Župa is probably the first word that comes to mind. In the Župa valley, at the foot of the grandiose Kopaonik Mountain, the Rajković family has been producing wine for centuries. All the troubles, wars, crises and difficulties did not deter the Rajković family from cultivating their vineyards, i.e. from cultivating gidža which is what people in Župa used to call grapevines. After a decades-long pause, in the early 2000s, brothers Dragomir and Miodrag Rajković restored the tradition of bottling wine under their own label. A thank-you note from King Aleksandar I Karadjordjević from 1933, awarded to their grandfather Miloš for his wine made from Prokupac, the royal grapevine grown in Župa, was all the impetus they needed. Actually, people from Župa don’t call it Prokupac but rather Rskavac, an anachronistic name for a grape variety that, because of its hard skin, crunches (rska, in Serbian) when eaten.
This is the reason why the Rajković family named their wine, made from this variety, Prince. Royal wine from the royal Serbian grape variety – strong, rounded, ripe tannins, pleasant finish, with smoke, plum jam and vanilla notes. We all know that a king is nothing without his queen, so the Rajković brothers also produce the Župa Queen wine, under the Sofia Tamjanika label – elegant, fruity, fragrant, with a full-bodied taste and mineral notes, a perfect companion to Rskavac.
These two are like a royal pair of Serbian wines. Since the beginning, the Rajković family was aware that tradition alone was not enough for a wine to be good, so Vladimir, the son of Miloš Rajković, planted the first vineyard in Župa upon his return from viticulture studies. Until then, the vineyards in Župa were grown traditionally, just like centuries before, when in 1962, thanks to Vladimir Rajković, the first modern vineyard was erected in Župa, which, even after 60 years, brings top quality grapes of the Pinot Noir variety, which the family uses to make wine under the Dina label.
“The Župa Queen wine, produced under the Sofia Tamjanika label, is elegant, fruity, fragrant, with a full-bodied taste and mineral notes”
Although faithful to tradition and guided by the idea that all wines must come from their own vineyards, brothers Dragomir and Miodrag Rajković have also planted vineyards with international varieties and in addition to the oldest Pinot Noir plantation in Serbia, they also grow varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Malbec, Traminer and Viognier, but also Black Tamjanika and Morava. In keeping with the tradition, as part of the eightieth anniversary of King Aleksandar I Karadjordjević’s thank-you note, the Rajković family started to produce a premium wine label under the brand “33”.
“Red 33″ is a blend of international varieties and Rskavac, a premium wine of Serbian winemaking, which offers a combination of the warm Župa climate and new approaches in oenology. This is a wine of incredible strength, with a strong but rounded tannin structure, and a full-bodied taste of black currants, blackberries, coffee beans, oak and minerals. “White 33″, which is barriqued Tamjanika, is a new unusual, unique white wine that should be served only slightly chilled with obligatory decanting beforehand when all the floral aromas of Tamjanika permeated with the scent of green grass, calla lilies, apricots and tree bark come to the fore. This is a wine unlike any other.
“The Rajković brothers have also opened a small tasting room in the winery, where you can taste what the climate and hardworking people can do”
You can love wine as a drink even without knowing which country, region or winery it comes from. But to get a full impression of the intention and vision of the winemakers, you simply have to visit Župa, the valley with the most sunshine in the continental Balkans. Standing in the vineyards of the Rajković brothers, you can see the Kopaonik Mountain, from which in summer, cold night air breezes down which is needed for the storage tartaric acid in the grapes during the hot summer days, and which allows the grapes to express their full potential. The Rajković brothers have also opened a small tasting room in the winery, where you can taste what the climate and hardworking people can do. Life goes on, but the story of the best Serbian wines always remains.