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Jakovlevski: Family wineries can finally build their own brands

Small vintners can finally build up their brands. We’re expecting multiple mini family wine businesses to be registered over the upcoming days, ever since the legal changes were passed that brought us closer to European legislation in this sphere.

Kavadarci, 26 June 2020 (MIA) – Small vintners can finally build up their brands. We’re expecting multiple mini family wine businesses to be registered over the upcoming days, ever since the legal changes were passed that brought us closer to European legislation in this sphere, Goran Jakovlevski, president of the Tikvesh Family Wineries Association, tells MIA.

He expects that the attempts of some vintners to sell their products under the table will become a thing of the past.

“Wine lovers are very interested in homemade wines. Unfortunately, we as wine makers haven’t been able to get registered as such, nor could the state profit off our work. There are thousands of vintners in the country who produce wine at home. That is why we searched for a model to enter into the proper legislation, and for some of these producers to get registered and for them to be able to develop their businesses.

Registration will enable us to use favorable financial aid from various funds. Of course, all our wines will undergo the necessary analyses before being put on sale,” the 44-year-old vintner, who learned the craft from his grandfather, stated.

We talked in the family wine cellar that kept its authenticity over the years. Jakovlevski, despite not being an enologist by trade, adds that he had fallen in love with wine-making:

“I graduated from the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality in Ohrid. Wine has much to do with wine tourism and the development of wine trails. I keep forcing my desire to develop wine tourism onto the Society. It’s sad that a huge number of transit tourists drove on the highway by Negotino, before the pandemic, but there was no way for them to be drawn in and to be shown the wine-making tradition in this region. Truth be told, before the pandemic we organized tastings, and people showed interest in hearing the wine tales of Tikvesh.

This region has a serious potential to live off wine production. Doorstep wine sales should become reality in our country. Wine tourists should come by, taste some wine and leave satisfied – with a purchased bottle of wine or two. Those who want to get away from the noises of the city and see something different should be able to do so, even going so far as taking part in grape picking or see how wine is made up close,” Jakovlevski says.

He himself prefers red wines, adding that “Vranec” is the wine of his soul, as a potent and strong wine, especially in winter. He favors white wines in summertime, particularly enjoying the flavor and fragrance of “Temjanika”.

He says that this period will be remembered after the formation of the association, as well as the changes to the Law on Wine that work in the favor of small-scale vintners.

“Makers of wine, rakia and matzoon are members of this association. Its goal is to nurture traditional making of wine and other grape products. We have legal provisions like in EU countries. We were able to get registered as producers, despite not being enologists. We have a long family tradition of making wine, rakia and matzoon, even though we don’t have university degrees in enology.

It’s good to make a distinction between small family wineries, mid-scale wineries, and large-scale wineries. We want to start getting registered so that we can function as small family wineries and appear on the map in restaurants and branded wine shops,” Jakovlevski says.

The total number of members in the association is 30, 20 of them are active. They’ve had numerous activities over the past period, and they collaborate with the Sommelier Association of Macedonia.

“One learns while one lives. We’re all mainly self-taught, with our own secret formulas, and a desire to expand upon our vintner knowledge. The enologists help add science to tradition, while the wine retains its taste, because it was made after our grandfathers’ recipes,” Jakovlevski says decidedly.

He plans to leave his wine recipe to his high-school aged son, who helps him despite his young age. Old wine casks that have served their purpose do not get thrown out in this vintner family. On the contrary, they serve as decorations which beautify Jakovlevski’s garden.

Svetlana Darudova

Translator: Dragana Knežević

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