Where Hidden Wine Paths Tell Stories
FOR THE LOVE OF WINE
Known for its numerous natural wonders, located in the embrace of the breath-taking Mediterranean, Montenegro is not just a stunning piece of land waiting to be discovered! Montenegro is a fertile Eden, giving birth to varying flora species, including grapes. Montenegro’s alluring natural beauty is worth admiring, and so are the products of this unique Adriatic gemstone. Most visitors and travellers recognise Montenegro as a country of vigorous energy, inviting you to explore and indulge in an adventure of a lifetime! However, fewer visitors know that Montenegro is considered home to an ingenious sort of grapes called Vranac, after which the autochthonous wine in Montenegro is named.
Crmnica – The Wine Region of Montenegro
Before we tell you the story about Vranac, let us first guide you through Montenegro’s vineyard idyll called Crmnica. Crmnica is a region tucked between the Adriatic Sea and the Skadar Lake, the biggest lake in the Balkans. The toponym Crmnica was derived from the reddish colour of the soil, characteristic of this region. Some of the original names were Cremenzia, Cermenica (red), Črmnica and Cernica (black).
The region around Skadar Lake encompasses the largest surface of the fertile soil in Montenegro. Laying around and rising upon the Lake Skadar, Crmnica has a centuries-long tradition of fruits and vegetable cultivation, but most of all – black grapes. Although not densely inhabited, every house in this region has an authentic story to tell.
Crmnica consists of several villages, which are an absolute travel attraction in the last few years. Worth mentioning is Godinje – known not only for its wine or abundantly fertile soil but also its recognisable and particular architecture, driving numerous travellers to this spot.
July 13th Plantaže – the Largest One-Piece Vineyard in Europe
Crmnica is not the only region in Montenegro where the Vranac grapes are grown! Located southeast of its capital Podgorica, Ćemovsko Field is mainly used for vineyards and other fruits plantings, thanks to its fluvioglacial gravel and sandy soil.
July 13th Plantaže, the national company for wine production in Montenegro, holds the largest one-piece vineyard in Europe, located in the Ćemovsko Field. This vineyard makes most of the Vranac wine production in Montenegro and, from this location, distributes it to various parts of the world. Surrounded by limestone hills and laying at a plateau with an altitude of 45 to 70m, the Plantaže vineyard covers 2.300 ha with around 11.5 million grapevines. It has an alternate Mediterranean climate with extremely hot and dry summers and slightly cooler, rarely cold, winters.
Vranac made from grapes grown in this field, has received numerous awards and it is well known in the Balkans, Adriatic, and some parts of the Mediterranean and Europe.
July 13th Plantaže has their showroom for wine tasting, the authentic Šipčanik Cellar, located in the heart of Ćemovsko Field. An interesting fact about this basement: it used to be a former military airport and it was transformed into a magnificent cellar, amusing every visitor with its interiors. You can book your day trip to this place and enjoy the fine selection of dishes, paired with the best selection of Plantaže wines.
Vranac & Wines Traditionally Produced in Montenegro
The ideal altitude combined with year-round insolation and the influence of the sea and the lake, make Crmnica the primary wine region and the home of Vranac. Vranac is an autochthonous sort of grape, growing in the Skadar Lake region since the 14th century!
The premium wine of Vranac is ruby red, containing aromas of berry fruits, such as blueberry and blackberry. Best served at room temperature of 18 degrees Celsius, on the palate, it is fruity and with a moderate tannin structure. It is in close kinship with the variety Kratošija, also widely grown around Montenegro. When it comes to food matching, Vranac is best mixed with red meat, mature cheese, and Montenegrins particularly enjoy having it with Njeguši Prosciutto, traditional dried meat produced in the valley of Lovćen Mountain.
Only grown in the Ćemovsko Field, Krstač is a golden coloured wine named after the native grapes variety with the same name. This fruity wine, with peaches and pears notes, is generally best paired with fish and seafood, as well as chicken and white cheese. When cooled, it is a perfect appetiser wine.
Modest Wineries with Superb Wines
The Crmnica region is well-known for the numerous family-owned wineries producing Vranac and other wines. Almost every household in Crmnica has vineyards, with Vranac grapes being most represented.
Some families are also testing foreign sorts growing along the Mediterranean coast, so you can expect to taste Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay, or other similar wines produced in Montenegro. Some of the most popular small wineries in Crmnica are Garnet in Godinje, Cermeniza near Virpazar, Buk in Bukovik, etc.
In addition, many villages around Podgorica have already established wineries, which produce various sorts of wines and organise wine tasting sessions for their visitors. It is worth mentioning Mola, Zenta and Radević Wines, all located in Rogami and Winery Kneževic in the Zeta Plain.
Great wine products can be found on the coast too, with our recommendation going to Savina Kastel, located in Savina, a village close to the Old Town of Herceg Novi.
Luštica Bay – Where Wine Tasting Matches the Most Stunning Sunsets
Our fast-growing destination is adamant to keep infusing our visitors with the best nationally, regionally, and globally acclaimed wines.
In the heart of Luštica Bay, at the Marina Village Promenade, where many restaurants, wine bars and shops found their home, you can indulge in some sophisticated wine tasting and get some interesting insights into the specificities of the wines you are drinking!
First to mention is Finestra Winery & Shop. This place combines an outstanding selection of wines with ultimate passion and knowledge, bringing you no less than 120 wine labels from Montenegro and Europe. Wine lovers will uncover utopia at our Promenade learning fascinating facts about every wine at this lovely place!
The Spot Restaurant at The Chedi Luštica Bay hotel offers a rich bar with numerous labels of wines, whiskies, gins, and other drinks. Thanks to the experienced bartending staff, we are certain that you will find a perfect match for your meal.
21 Bistro Sea View, in addition to the lovely views, also offers a selection of international and local wines, bringing your dining to the next level! The menu at 21 Bistro takes a creative spin on authentic local meat and fresh fish. Either way, you will have a fair share of quality wines to choose from, no matter what you end up ordering from the menu! In addition to their rich offer, Ciao Bella Gelateria is their sweet spot, where the delightful desserts paired with Prosecco are perfect for your optimal daily sugar intake.
During the summertime, the perfect place to unwind with a glass of good wine is the Lighthouse restaurant, with an astonishing 360-degree view of the lovely Luštica Bay resort town surrounded by the lush Luštica peninsula vegetation and the open sea!
In case your palate craves for some tasty Italian dish along with Prosecco or your favourite appetiser, then drop your anchor at Kiki’s! If you enjoy having a glass of good wine with your friends, sitting on the charming sea terrace, this is the place for you!
Finally, Villa Cesare featuring Tony’s Bar in the open skies will show you why they say the quality is their recipe. The savour of home, depicted in their family-owned Italian recipes, will spice your meal with the Mediterranean spirit, and paired with the matching wines, this will be an experience to remember!
Spending time in Montenegro means immersing yourself in the art of wine tasting. A wholesome selection of delicious wines available in Luštica Bay, made of grapes grown in authentic Montenegrin vineyards, will keep the memory of Montenegro vibrant and alive.