Many people who drink wine often focus on French and Italian products, but in the years many countries started to compete on the market and Macedonia can have its own space, because they offer very good wines. The main production is concentrated around the town of Kavadarci, located more or less in the centre of the country. There the landscapes are full of vineyards and a lot of wineries where to taste and to buy the local product.
The quality is high, they hired also experts from abroad and they also export a lot in the USA and not only. Compared with other wines, the ones coming from Macedonia are more genuine, the taste is very good. This depends also from the grape, great one. If you go during the harvest period (September) you can find the grape also on your breakfast table in the hotel and already from there you can understand the quality.
Of course they divide the fruit for the wine production from the one destinated to the table of consumers, but it has to be said that the agricolture in Macedonia, that use traditional methods, gives superb results. The town count almost 39.000 inhabitants and it is well know for the wine and also for ferro-nickel. Infact in Kavadarci there is the manufacture founded in the town, called Feni.
Other reasons why the place is known by people in Macedonia and abroad are timber and tobacco productions. At the beginning of September visitors from different parts of Europe go to Kavadarci to see the Tikveški Grozdober, a parade made by people with costumes like in carnival to celebrate the grape harvest. Not only tourists, but also groups who take active part in the parade are coming from various countries.
What to see
A bit outside the town there are some attractions, like the biggest artificial lake of Macedonia, Tikveš (name of the region), the Strict Natural Reserve and the Polok Monastry. In the area of Kavadarci and Negotino, the nearest town, there are some religious places where people can pray and stay. About the one dedicated to St. Nikola, located in a beatiful wood with a lovely stream, there is a legend: all the just married couples who wants a baby they can go to the monastry and sleep there for on night and the day after the lady will be pregnant.
Of course I have some doubts, but there are rooms there and if you want, you can try to sleep there. If you are not interested in having a baby, you can just stop there and eat your own food. There are tables under the patio freely available for visitors. It is really a relaxing place that deserve a visit. Not so far from Kavadarci, on the way to Gradsko there is Stobi, the archeological site described in one of the previous posts.
In the centre of the town, after a stop in one of the various bars present along the main street, you can visit the park. It is very nice and created on a hill. On the top there is the Marko’s Tower, perfect to enjoy the panorama over the town and the vineyards. The tower itself is not so nice as architecture, but going there you will know some legends related to it. I let the surprise to you. The local museum, not far from the park, host items from different ages and there is also an interesting section dedicated to the archeology.
Where to sleep and eat
If you want to stay in town for one night or few days I can recommend you Feni Hotel, it is owned by Macedonians who are lining in Australia, but there is a good management in Kavadarci. They are kind, the structure is modern and it offers big spaces, as well inside the rooms. The breakfast is generous in perfect Macedonian style and it is a four stars hotel, according to the national rating.
The equipment is basic and it can happen that while you do shower the water fulfill the floor, but this element is unfortunately common in many hotels. During the weekend there are often weddings in the room near the hall and the music can reach the other floors, so be ready. They celebrate generally all the night. You will be anyway welcome to join them, perople are friendly so don’t be surprised to be invited.
Closer to the down town there is also Uni Palas One, smaller, but lovely and well equipped. In the next building there is a discoteque, so again in the weekend you can have some noise. Both of them are good hotels. There are also many good restaurants, some of them quite elegant, but always very well connected to the Macedonian tradition: Exclusive in the centre, the restaurant of Tikveš Winery, Brioni in the park. Those are only few of the best, but you can easily find the perfect place where to taste the local recipes.
If you have a car (the best way to move in Macedonia), you can sleep and eat at Villa Bella (it means white house) that is few kilometres far from the town. It is an hotel built and opened in 2012 with charming rooms and a really good restaurant. The staff is very kind and always available. The main problem is the car parking, but you will find the way if it is crowdy the space outside.
Going around Kavadarci during the day and the night is safe, the only people who can stop you are the most curious, because despite the festival dedicated to the grape harvest, they are not so used to see tourists. Most of the people doesn’t speak English, but they are always trying to be understood, don’t worry.
Now let me go back to the main point: the wine. The place is well know for the production, but also for the export and for the biggest winery in South-East Europe. Tikveš Winery is one of the most important and of the oldest of Macedonia and the numbers about the production and the export are impressive. I don’t want anyway to annoy you with statistics that I had during my trip. It is easy to find them online.
The are for the grape field include also Rosoman, a village at the border with Kavadarci, where the time seems stopped in the past. It has to be mention that the wine production is a very old tradition, in the area, because in the IV century before Christ the population was already growing the grape. In the medieval era they improved the activity and they started a real industry in the sector. To help the growing there is a Continental climate.
If you have the chance to travel there you have to taste the wine, definitely. Among red wines, the types I liked the most there are Alexandria and Vranec. About white wines I suggest Smederevka and Alexandria. Of course this is according to my taste, so don’t worry to try others, there are a lot of varieties. If you want to know more you can read the book written by Sanja Kostadinovik Velickovska.