Business Dialogue

INTERVIEW

BOŽIDAR ALEKSANDROVIĆ, DIRECTOR OF ALEKSANDROVIĆ WINERY D.O.O.

Nature’s Treasure
cessing and ageing technologies, producing everything from fresh and full-flavoured white wines, to fruity and strong red wines; from wines that are consumed in the first year after the grapes are picked, to wines that have been ageing for years in barriques – huge barrels made of premium oak. The winery’s Triumph Wine has been declared one of the best Serbian wines ever. Although mindful of this honour, Aleksandrović Winery knows all too well that creating a wine for the future means never forgetting the past. Apart from wine-making, the winery also engages in topclass wine tourism. Some 15,000 wine connoisseurs visit every year, either individually or in groups, where they experience vineyard and wine-cellar tours with a guide, as well as the obligatory traditional wine tasting.

ing into it emotions that stem from the experiences of our vine-growing ancestors, the famous tradition of wines from Oplenac and the dedication we show in their production.

■ In 2013, Aleksandrović Winery received 20 international quality awards. What kind of awards are these and which one are you most proud of? - In the last seven to eight years, the Aleksandrović Winery has been winning awards for quality at the most renowned global competitions. The awards are a result of our recognisable style and the exotic feeling our wines have. Our wines are exceptionally fruity, full-bodied and fresh, and these are qualities which obviously do not leave international judges indifferent. Decanter London, the International Wine Challenge (IWC), Mundus Vini and recognitions from Germany are the most

gions such as Negotin, Aleksandrovac, Oplenac and Fruška Gora, and their reputation will transcend Serbian borders. There is no competition in the wine business because every wine is different – it reflects the climate and area in which it was produced and the wine maker who produced it, so we could say that each bottle of wine is a mini piece of art. What we should underline is that it is very important to appeal to the consciousness of the Serbian consumer in future, for people in Serbia to drink Serbian wines and for them to be proud of these wines as the most valuable thing that nature has given us. This leads to new vineyards and new wineries.

■ Your wines are often served at exclusive events and gatherings. Who are your most important business partners? - Quality is what helps any product find its place under the sun and reach a target group that recognises this quality. Wines produced by Aleksandrović Winery have found their place in the premium product category, which is all about quality and continuity of quality. ■ Could you tell us something about your distributors? Where can we buy Aleksandrović wines and do you export? - Today, our wines can be found at the most prestigious hotels, restaurants and wine stores, both in our and in neighbouring countries. We

Wines produced in Serbia have a growing international reputation, a fact best represented by the recognition Aleksandrović wines have received both at home and abroad. By mixing traditional wine-making methods with modern techniques, the winery has become synonymous with quality and tradition

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112 February 2014 | www.cordmagazine.com

■ Today, Aleksandrović Winery is a leading company that uses the latest equipment and technology. What characterises your wine production technology? - The Aleksandrović Winery has 72 hectares of its own vineyards and produces wine only from grapes we have cultivated. A lot of work is invested in vine-growing in orith a deep respect for the local climate, Božidar der to achieve the highest quality possible. Quality, based Aleksandrović, owner of the Aleksandrović on the latest scientific achievements in vine-growing and wine cellars, has restored old family vineyards wine-making, is our production imperative. We also have and grown new ones in the latest grape processing The Aleksandrović Winery has 72 hectares equipment, as well as the the age-old vineyards of of its own vineyards and produces wine state-of-the-art equipment Oplenac and his village of Vinča, which the Romans only from grapes we have cultivated. A lot for fermenting, bottling and named after the Latin of work is invested in vine-growing in order storing wine. word for wine (Vincea). Our wines are known to achieve the highest quality possible According to old folk for their character, which tales, these sites are the best suited for making the finest originates from the grape variety, land and climate. Our Oplenac vine. Aleksandrović’s wine cellar and state-ofwines reflect the region from which they originate. We are the-art winery uses both classic and modern wine-proalso very mindful of nurturing our own style, incorporat-

■ The Aleksandrović family has been involved in the business of vine-growing and wine-making since 1903. Could you tell us more about your family’s history in the wine business? - In late 19th and early 20th century, my great-grandfather Miloš Aleksandrović was one of the founders of the Venac wine cooperative, which, at that time, assembled the most forward-thinking vine-growers in the Oplenac area. Our family tradition of vine-growing and wine-making is more than 100 years old. In the 1990s, following my graduation from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zemun, I came back to Vinča, to my vineyards and continued our wine business.

valuable awards to us. These awards have made our wines recognisable all over the world and our wines are included in the menus of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants around the world.

It is important to appeal to the consciousness of Serbian consumers in future, for people in Serbia to drink Serbian wines and for them to be proud of these wines as the most valuable thing that nature has given us
export a third of our wine production to China, Russia, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany and even to Chicago and California. Our business partners are importers who appreciate quality and exotic feeling that Aleksandrović wines have. Our wines have been our pride and joy abroad.

■ How big is Serbia’s vine-growing and wine-making potential, and how much is this potential utilised? - Back in the day, before World War II, Serbia had 50,000 hectares of vineyards. Today, this number is much smaller, barely 20,000 hectares. Our climate and our land make it possible for Serbia to produce wines of the highest quality. The biggest problem is that we lost production continuity during communism, which had huge consequences on the vine-growing and wine-making industry in our country.

■ Wine-making is one of the economic branches in Serbia that has been developing rapidly in the last decade. Private wineries are popping up all over. How do you deal with the competition? - In the last 10 years, there has been a renaissance in production of top quality wines based on family vine-growing and winemaking businesses. Today Serbia has over a hundred private wineries, which are the backbone of the future development of this business. I can see new wineries springing up in wine re-

■ Aleksandrović Winery also engages in wine tourism. What do you offer to visitors of your winery and what kind of activities do you provide for them? - Between 12,000 and 15,000 people visit the winery each year. We are located in the winegrowing region of Šumadija, in a village that was named after vine and grape. Apart from Oplenac and the Royal Cellar, the Aleksandrović Winery has become a gathering place for people who love history, nature, vineyards and wines. At our winery, you can see how vines are grown and wines produced. You can taste the wines and experience all the flavours and tastes that are incorporated into them at the very source. ■
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