I will be honest, my knowledge of Macedonian produce was limited to aijvar, a delicious condiment which accompanies meat dishes such as cevapi/cevapcici. So when I visited the International Wine Festival in London I was surprised to find a few stalls dedicated to Macedonia (somewhat ineptly rather close to Greece!). My favourite Macedonian wines turned out to be that produced by Dalvina.
The Dalvina vineyards and winery are located near the city of Strumica, south-east Macedonia, in Povardarie,Strumichko-Radovishki wine region. This is the famous valley of the Struma and Strumeshnica rivers. The valley has a typical Mediterranean climate. Standing at an altitude of 380 m. and being surrounded by high mountains, the vineyard benefits from a constant light wind and an average temperature of 20.2 degrees Celsius during the period of vegetation. With 210 sunny days in the year, little rain and relatively low humidity, healthy grapes are ensured.
Dalvina winery owns 370ha of vineyards. The soil is mostly sandy with an excellent exposition of the terrain which is gently layed over the smooth hills. Grape varieties include those typical for the region such as Vranec, Zupljanka, Smederevka which are some 30 years old but also newer varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc.
The synergy of fertile soil and moderate Mediterranean climate means the grapes develop a rich palette of aromas and tastes making juicy, fruity and also complex wines that makes them quite impressive on a world market.
The Dalvina winery is relatively new with a capacity of 22 000 hl. The latest gentle technology has been installed from reception of the grapes until fermentation. Traditional délestage wine making process is used for the red wines. Automatically controlled cap plunging enhances colour and aroma extraction. The main aim of the vineyard is to capture the unique properties of the grapes, the soil and microclimates of the area.