Our story is about an unique idea, or one could say a dream, and its implementation in a real life wonderful project, which became famous in Macedonia and around the world.
Popova Kula was created with love and strong passion and it is here to preserve the tradition and culture of fine wine production, our local food and genuine hospitality.
Popova Kula Winery and vineyards are located on the southern slope of Veliko Brdo, west of the beautiful town of Demir Kapija near the E-75 highway. Demir Kapija Valley is located in the southeastern part of the Tikvesh wine region, which is part of the Povardarie Wine Region. The oldest archeological findings prove that people in this area cultivated vines and produced wine in the 13th century BC. Demir Kapija valley has excellent climatic and soil conditions for growing grapes. The kingdom of King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic extended to the territory of present-day Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia, including the Adriatic coast and the Pannonian Plain. With this, King Alexander had numerous opportunities to choose locations for planting vineyards throughout the kingdom. But following the recommendations of his wise advisors, he made the right decision and chose the micro-location of Popova Kula as an ideal location for his vineyards. When we first came to this place we knew this was the ideal location for our vineyards and wine cellar. We will try to show you that through pictures and virtual tours published on this website. However, we invite you to visit us and experience for yourself the beauties and magic of the region. We are sure that you will also support our decision for the location.
In line with the tradition and historical heritage of the region, our winery got its name by the name of the micro-location which itself is named after an legendary tower, Popova Kula, which once served as an important checkpoint on the ancient Roman road that passes near our location. Popova Kula was a significant landmark in the region, but unfortunately it was destroyed. However, the site itself is called Popova Kula, which was our inspiration for the construction of the building but also for the name of our winery.
Popova Kula Winery is a "greenfield" investment. We started the construction of the winery on October 8, 2004 and by St.Mary day, August 28, 2005, we were ready for the first harvest and processing of the first grapes. After the completion of the first phase we had to wait another two years before starting to work with wine tourism. Finally on St. Trifun, February 14, 2009 we completed the construction of the first 11 rooms of the hotel and restaurant. We completed the second building and an additional 22 rooms of the hotel in 2015. We completed the summer terrace restaurant in 2020. In the gallery we have published pictures that show the construction process of Popova Kula Winery.
We use small tanks for wine fermentation in order to be able to control and regulate the temperature in each tank separately during each stage of fermentation. We also use barrels made of American, French, Hungarian and Macedonian oak with different degrees of toasting. As part of the winery, we have warehouses and box pallets for storing and maturing bottled wine in controlled temperature conditions. Although we are a small winery, we have our own laboratory in which we perform basic analysis of wine and grapes.
We produce wine from 9 different grape varieties that ripe in different periods, starting from mid-August until the second week of October. We organize the harvest of each individual variety in moments when we have real ripeness of the grapes. The organization of the harvest is done in such a way that in one day the whole grapes are harvested from one vineyard and it starts in the early morning hours. The grapes are harvested by hand so that the grapes are not crushed during the harvest process. We use small crates again so that the bunches do not crush. The crates are washed before and after harvest to eliminate the possibility of contamination. As soon as the grapes are picked, packed in crates, they are transported to the winery. Because the vineyards are close to the cellar, the transport is short, so the possibility of crushing the bunches during transport is eliminated. With such organization and implementation of the harvest and transport we get grapes that are of excellent quality and very important - it is not crushed, ie. the grape juice has not been spilled during harvesting or transport and there is no contamination. That allows us to to have process which we control. Pictures of the grape harvesting are published in the gallery.
Pictures of the grape harvesting process have been published in the gallery.
The word globalization describes our philosophy. We live in an era of globalization that gave birth to some global values, habits, products, services and brands. In the wine industry this process of globalization has highlighted some grape varieties, such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, or Sauvignon Blanc, as a result of their outstanding characteristics. We are also fans of these varieties and we produce wine from them of which we are very proud. However, we strongly believe that locally and regionally we have varieties that have excellent characteristics and that the wine from them could be enjoyed by consumers around the world. Today we are the only producer in the world of wine from the autochthone Macedonian variety Stanushina. We are also one of the few wineries in the Balkans that produce wine from the varieties Prokupec, Zilavka and Temjanika. It is no less important to mention that we also produce wine from the Vranec variety and like other Macedonian producers we dream of the day when Vranec will be promoted on the world markets as a big red wine. We invite you to try these wines. We are sure you will be pleasantly surprised. We have the same philosophy in the hotel and the restaurant. While we try to achieve the highest hospitality standards and the HACCP system, we will serve you with our most beautiful traditional meals, as well as food from various international cuisines. We believe that supporting the local economy is essential not only for the municipality, but also for our guests. With locally sourced ingredients we prepare delicious specialties tailored to our guests.
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 a strong resistant vine. But once the grapes are picked and are in the winery, the situation is completely different. In addition to technology and applied knowledge, it takes a lot of care, passion and love to produce great Stanushina wine. And the production of white Stanushina is exponentially more difficult. We are the only winery that currently produces Stanushina wine. It tells you everything about what kind of people we are. The superlatives that we receive from the guests on various social media and websites also speak about our team.
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 the harvest of the Chardonnay starts 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 in the area, we have the pleasure to invite you to join us on that day.
If you have read our above stories and looked at the published pictures, you are surely able to understand how we felt after 11 months of hard, time-consuming work on the construction of the winery, procurement and installation of the necessary equipment, planning the vineyards and we were on step from the first harvest. Are we ready? Can we do this?
Is the equipment OK? Are we able to produce high quality wine? During the final testing of the equipment, we realized that some of the built-in equipment had a factory error. After exhausting work with our supplier, on the morning of September 9, we were able to get the new machine. By 1 pm we managed to complete the customs procedures, bring it, clean it and install it. But we did not have time to test. We decided that the first grape would serve as a test. At our own risk, we started accepting Sauvignon Blanc the same day. We just cleaned and connected everything, and the first tractor with grapes arrived. A month later, on October 9, in the early morning, we finished the last grape crushing for that first season. In the first year of operation we managed to produce wine from Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Vranec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Stanushina. Almost all of the wines produced from the first harvest in 2005 are multiple winners of awards and recognitions around the world. But Sauvignon Blanc has a very special story. Consumers from Macedonia responded with comments that this is one of the best white wines they have ever tasted. Until December 2006 we were left with only 600 bottles (100 cases) of this wonderful wine. Do not ask why one of the most beautiful apartments in our hotel is named Sauvignon Blanc. Now you know. In the photo gallery we show you: - picture from the last session of the harvest planning 2005 held on the premises of today's kitchen in the restaurant, - the first tractor with grapes and the first supplier, - the first grape (Sauvignon Blanc) to arrive in the cellar, - start of the grape crushing, - Popova Kula Winery on the morning of October 9, 2005 when we finished the first harvest.
- picture from the last session of the harvest planning 2005
held on the premises of today's kitchen in the restaurant,
- the first tractor with grapes and the first supplier,
- the first grape (Sauvignon Blanc) to arrive in the cellar,
- start with grape soaking,
- Popova Kula Winery on the morning of October 9, 2005 when
we finished the first harvest.
According to Orthodox Christianity on . February 14 it is St. Trifun’s day and St. Trifun is protector of vineyards and wineries. Traditionally, on this day the wineries in Macedonia organize parties and the grape growers start pruning the vineyards. In accordance with this beautiful tradition, we do the same. On this day we start pruning the vineyards and have fun for our subcontractors, friends and visitors. The photo gallery shows photos from the first celebration of St. Trifun at Popova Kula Winery.
On December 15, 2006, together with several other co-sponsors, we organized our first charity event - the auction sale of the last 600 bottles (100 cases) of Sauvignon Blanc 2005 wine. This was a spectacular event where we managed to sell them in three auction rounds and we collected more than 500,000 denars for the national institution for care of people with intellectual disabilities located in Demir Kapija. We are proud that our angel, Tose Proeski, was one of our guests, and he had one of the highest bids at the auction. Pictures from this event are displayed in the photo gallery.