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Location | Our Name | Construction | Technology Applied | Grape&Harvest | Our philosophy | Our Team
Our First Saint Mary's Day Celebration - 28 August 2005 | Our First Harvest | First Saint Trifun's Day Celebration
First Charity Event - 15 December 2006

 

LOCATION 

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2 Closetothehighway
3 HillaboveDemirKapija
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The Popova Kula Winery and vineyards are located on the south slopes of the Grand Hill (Veliko Brdo) west of the lovely town of Demir Kapija and close to the highway E-75.

Demir Kapija valley lays on the southeast part of the Tikveshiya  grape growing sub-region that is a part of the Povardarie region.

The oldest archeological findings proving that people in this area have grown vineyards and have made wine date 13 century b.c.

It is a location with excellent climate and perfect soil for grape growing.

King Aleksander Karadjordjevic had a kingdom that stretched across present day Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia,Bosnia and Slovenia, including the Adriatic coast and Panonian Valley. He had vast possibilities to choose from for the location of his vineyard.  However, following the advice of trusted consultants King Aleksander chose wisely and planted his first vines in the micro region of Demir Kapija on exactly the same location where we have our vineyards today.

The first time we came to the location we knew it is the perfect location for our vineyards and winery.  Through our pictures posted on this web site we will try to show you why. However, we invite you to visit us and to experience the beauty and splendor of the region. We are sure you will approve our decision for the location.

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OUR NAME

To remain faithful to the people and historical fabric of the region, our winery was named after an important tower, the Popova Kula (Priest’s Tower) which once served as an important checkpoint on the old Roman road that passes next to our location.

The Popova Kula served as important markers of the region but has since been destroyed.  In tribute we have erected a new 17m high tower and named the winery Popova Kula.

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CONSTRUCTION

01 Popova Kula - Greenfield Operation
02 Popova Kula - Greenfield Operation
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04 Popova Kula - Greenfield Operation
05 First drawings
06 First drawing
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08 Design
09 Construction
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Popova Kula Winery is a Greenfield project. We have started the construction of the winery on 08 Oct. 2004 and by St. Mary’s Day 28.Aug.2005 we were ready for the first harvest and processing of the first grape.
 
With the first phase completed and full production capabilities we had to wait for two years until we started to work on the wine tourism part of the winery.  Finally on St. Trifun’s day 14.Feb.2009 we completed the construction of the hotel and the restaurant.

In the gallery we are showing you the process of construction.

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TECHNOLOGY APPLIED

01 Placing the tanks
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06 Fermentor tanks
07 American Oak
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10 Aging bottled wine
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We use small stainless steel tanks for the fermentation of the wine and we have capability to control and regulate the temperature in each tank independently during each phase of the fermentation.

We also use barrels made of American, French, Hungarian and Macedonian Oak with different degrees of toasting.

Within the winery we have temperature controlled storage facility and box pallets for aging of the bottled wine.

Although it is a small winery we have in house laboratory where we can make the basic wine and grape analysis.

 

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GRAPE & HARVEST

01 Harvest
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We produce wine from 11 different varieties of grape:
-    Stanushina
-    Vranec
-    Prokupec
-    Cabernet Sauvignon
-    Merlot
-    Sauvignon Blanc
-    Temjanika,
-    Chardonnay
-    Zilavka,
-    Muscat Ottonel
-    Muscat Hamburg

In our vineyards we produce Stanushina, Vranec and Cabernet Sauvignon, and we buy the other varieties from local small grape growers. In the Demir Kapija region there are more than 700 families that have small vineyards. We have chosen to work with several of them owning vineyards that are located within 10km from the winery and produce grape with exceptional quality.  During the year we work in our vineyards but also we work together with the chosen grape growers in order to ensure that we will have the desired quality and health of the grape.

During the harvest the grape is hand picked, placed in small caskets, and brought to the winery immediately. In the gallery we are showing our harvest process.

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OUR PHILOSOPHY 

The word glocalization describes our philosophy. 

We live in the era of globalization that brings some common values, habits, products, services and brands across the world. In the wine industry this process of globalization has highlighted some varieties like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc because of their exceptional characteristics.  And we also love those varieties and we do produce wines from those varieties that we are proud of.

However, we strongly believe that locally and regionally we have varieties that have extraordinary characteristics and the wine consumers all over the world could appreciate the wines made from those varieties. 

So as of the time being we are the only one producer in the world that produces wine from Stanushina, a unique Macedonian grape variety. We are among the few wineries in the Balkans that produce wine from Prokupec, Zilavka and Temjanika grape varieties. And last but not the least we do produce Vranec and like the other Macedonian producers dream for the day of its introduction to the world market as the next big red. We invite you to try those wines.  We are sure that you will be pleasantly surprised.  

In the hotel and the restaurant we have the same philosophy. Wile trying to achieve the highest standards in hospitality and the day to day application of  HACCP we will serve you traditional meals but also meals from different world cuisines.

We believe that supporting local economy is essential not just for the development of the local community but also for our guests. Locally sourced ingredients will produce different meal and so our customer will have different experience.  We love to amaze our customers.

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OUR TEAM

01 Our team
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Stanushina grape variety does not require the same attention in the vineyard as the other varieties. It is ideally adapted to the climate in Macedonia and has strong resistant vine. It could wait for you in the vineyard. But once it is in the winery it is a completely different situation. Beside the technology and the knowledge applied it needs a lot of care, passion and love to produce great Stanusina wine.  We are the only winery as of the time being that produces Stanusina wine.  That tells you everything about what kind of people we are.

And, on the end of the day it is about the people involved.

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OUR FIRST SAINT MARY’S DAY CELEBRATION – 28 AUGUST 2005

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According to the Orthodox calendar 28 August is Saint Mary’s day and it is a holiday celebrated by the Macedonians.  This is especially important holiday for the people in Demir Kapija because Saint Mary is the patron of the town and the local church is called the Saint Mary’s church.

In line with the tradition we at Popova Kula Winery do celebrate this holiday. In 2005 we finished the construction of the winery on this date and had an opening event/party.  In the gallery we are showing pictures taken during the opening party as well as pictures of the local church.

Every year Saint Mary’s Day is special for us. We usually start with the preparation for the new harvest around the beginning of June when we make the first draft of the harvest plan. By 10th of August all the employees are back from the yearly vacation and the anxiety of the upcoming harvest is in its full swing.  Than between 20th and 25th of August starts the harvest of the Chardonnay as a test for the readiness of the winery for the harvest. And than, around Saint Mary’s Day we have few free days before the harvest of Sauvignon Blanc starts.  So, it is the excitement of the new harvest, the joy of the upcoming possibility to make new wines and the desire and passion to make better wines than the last year that makes this celebration so special.

If you are around, we have the pleasure to invite you to join us on that day.

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OUR FIRST HARVEST

01 Final planing for the first harvest
02 First grape has arrived
03 First grape - Sauvignon Blanc
04 First grapecrushing
05 End of the first harvest
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If you have read all of the above and seen the posted pictures you will be able to understand how we felt after 11 months of frenetic around the clock work on the construction of the winery, purchasing and installing the equipment, planting vineyards and now standing in front of the upcoming first harvest.

Are we ready? Can we do it? Is the equipment OK? The team is OK?  Can we make good wine? Just when we started to be sleepless because of all of those questions in the testing phase we realized that one piece of equipment has a flaw. Frenetic work with the supplier in the last days and in the early morning of 9th of September we got the new machine. By 13:00h we were able to just execute the custom clearance, unload, clean and connected it. No time for testing.  The decision is that the first grape will be the test.  Taking our chances we had scheduled the harvest of the Sauvignon Blanc to start on that day.  Just about the time when we cleaned and connected everything the first tractor with Sauvignon Blanc grape came to the winery.

A month later on the 9th of October in the early morning we finished with the last crushing of the grape for that season.

We managed to harvest and process Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Vranec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Stanushina in this first year of operation.

Most of the wines that we produced from this first harvest of 2005 are award-wining wines.  But Sauvignon Blanc 2005 has a special story.  Many of the wine consumers from Macedonia have come back to us with comments that it is one of the best white wines that they have ever tried. By December 2006 we were left with only 600 bottles (100 boxes) of this magnificent wine.  We sold those bottles on an auction event raising more than 500.000 MKD that we gave as charity to the national institution that takes care for the people with intellectual disabilities located in Demir Kapija.

Do not ask us why one of the best apartments in our hotel is called Sauvignon Blanc. Now you know.

In the gallery we are showing:
-    the picture of the last planning session for the 2005 harvest that took place in the now a day kitchen of the restaurant,
-    the first tractor with grape and our first grape grower suppliers,
-    the first grape (Sauvignon Blanc) that came to our winery,
-    the moment of the start of the first crushing,
-    Popova Kula Winery in the early morning of 9th of October 2005 when we finished our first harvest.

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FIRST SAINT TRIFUN’S DAY CELEBRATION – 14. February 2006

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According to the Orthodox Christianity Saint Trifun is the protector of the vineyards and wineries and according to the Orthodox calendar 14. February is the Saint Trifun’s day.

Traditionally on that day the wineries in Macedonia organize parties and the grape growers start pruning the vineyards.

In accordance with this nice tradition we do the same. We start pruning our vineyards and we have a party for the grape growers, friends and visitors.  In the gallery here we are showing pictures taken on the first Saint Trifun’s day celebration at Popova Kula Winery.

We invite you to join us on that date.

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FIRST CHARITY EVENT – 15 December 2006

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On 15th December 2006 together with several other co-sponsors we organized our first charity event – auction sale of the last 600 bottles (100 boxes) of Sauvignon Blanc 2005.

It was a spectacular event whereas we managed to sell all 100 boxes in three auction rounds and raise more than 500.000 MKD for the national institution that takes care for the people with intellectual disabilities located in Demir Kapija.

We are proud that “the angel of Macedonia” Tose Proeski was our guest and one of the most active bidder in the auction. 

In the gallery we are showing few moments of this event.

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