Vranec World Day Date in the current year: October 5, 2024

Vranec World Day Vranec World Day is observed annually on October 5. This wine-related holiday was created to celebrate a grape variety that originated in Montenegro but is widely grown in North Macedonia, as well as to promote Macedonian wines in general.

While being part of Yugoslavia, North Macedonia (then simply Macedonia) was a major producer of wine, accounting for about two-thirds of Yugoslavia’s wine production. Sadly, the production of wine in Macedonia decreased dramatically following the dissolution of Yugoslavia. However, North Macedonian winemakers have been working to get the recognition they deserve and promote their wines at the regional and international levels.

There are three wine-growing regions in North Macedonia. Povardarie is the most important one in terms of both quality and quantity of wine. It is situated in the valley of Vardar river in the central part of the country. The other two are Pelagonija-Polog and Pčinja-Osogovo.

Most grape varieties cultivated in North Macedonia are indigenous varieties and varieties common to the Balkans and Central Europe, although some international varieties are cultivated as well. White varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Smederevka, Welschriesling, and Žilavka. Red varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Kratosija (Zinfandel), Merlot, Stanušina Crna, and Vranec.

Vranec, also known as Vranac in Montenegro and Serbia, is the most common grape in North Macedonia. It is a red grape variety that originated in Montenegro and is grown in North Macedonia, Croatia, Kosovo, Herzegovina, and Serbia. It is believed to be related to Zinfandel. The name “Vranec” can be translated as “black stallion”; since black stallions are usually associated with strength and power, this is quite a fitting name for a dark-colored and powerful wine.

Vranec grapes are large and deeply colored; wines made from them have a bright purple hue while they are young and an intense dark ruby color after a year or two of aging. Young Vranec wines are rich and crisp, with medium to high tannin and acid levels and strong notes of red berries. As they age, they lose some of their sharpness and develop a full round and subtle taste with a long and smooth finish, and a complex aroma with hints of black fruits, cinnamon, chocolate, flowers, herbs, licorice, and even oak.

Vranec World Day was established in 2019 by Wines of Macedonia, a non-governmental organization that unites North Macedonian wine producers, promotes the development of the country’s wine and viticulture industry, and raises the profile of Macedonian wines in the region and internationally.

The main goal of Vranec World Day is to promote wines from North Macedonia and the entire Balkan region through raising awareness of the most important indigenous grape variety. The holiday strives to support local wineries and increase customer awareness about local grape varieties from North Macedonia and the Balkans.

To celebrate Vranec World Day, Macedonian wineries organize tours, wine tastings and tasting workshops, exhibitions, and other events. They are attended by international wine experts, wine producers, the media, various officials, and, of course, wine lovers from all over the country and abroad.

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Vranec World Day, international observances, wine-related observances, winemaking in North Macedonia, grape varieties