At the Tri Oraha (Three Walnuts) Winery, wine is produced in a specific way, with a special relationship towards quality, an uncompromising approach and a lot of respect. The result is a truly great wine, of world premium quality, and the most expensive Serbian wine. The opportunity to taste and enjoy it is truly priceless
Ana Vraneš, owner, marketing and sales expert at Tri Oraha, explains the history, specificities and success of this family winery, which has a team that also includes father Radisav Šćepanović, the creator of the idea, and brother Petar, a master in the production of premium wine from the Negotin Frontier region.
Every country has its own wine region, while Serbia has several. What distinguishes wines from the Negotin Frontier region?
– The passion for good wine compelled our father, wine guru Radisav Šćepanović Prof. Dr, to head for Negotin, where he managed to find the quality of wine closest to that of French wine. The Negotin Frontier region is associated with Bordeaux due to the specificity of the terrain, which yields a high quality of the international red grape varieties that we also planted here 15 years ago. The vineyard was purposefully raised on territory that contains strata of rich black soil, limestone of different colours that show the richness of different minerals and trace elements needed for growing high quality grapes on the right bank of the River Timok. That’s how the family story about the ‘Three Walnuts’ and ‘great wine’ emerged.
There are many wineries, and yours is different in many ways. Tell us about some of your peculiarities…
– The special quality of the Tri Oraha Winery is that it provides quality, flavour and prestige, because profit is not the top priority. Our specificity is in the many years of aging and cultivating wine in barrique barrels (225L) and without any kind of technological intervention. It is common for wine to age in oak barrels for several months, up to a year, but Tri Oraha wines are aged for a minimum of five years. We take new barrels for each harvest, which are used only for that vintage and exclusively for grapes from our vineyard. Our cellar is the only place where you can see and sample verticals of wine that have aged in barrels for the past 10 years, and we are also specific because, in addition to cabernet and merlot, we can also make a blend of verticals.
The unique “blend 500” is made of samples from 500 barrels in the cellar from different vintages, with aging from one to eight years. It is an incredible fusion of the freshness of more recent vintages and the maturity of aged wines, made in a limited series of 500 bottles. The next endeavour is “blend 750” barriques, followed by “blend 1000” barriques.
Even despite many years of aging, Tri Oraha wine has unexpected freshness, strength and vitality, with all aromas: from green bell peppers, through berry fruits and plums, to fruit jam and nuts.
You have production facilities in the village of Crnomasnica and in the vicinity of Veliko Gradište. Which varieties dominate there?
– Our vineyard is located near village Crnomasnica in Negotinska Krajna. There we planted red international varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc on 12 hectares. Our winery with cellar was built in Veliko Gradiste, and the winery has an annual capacity of 50,000 litres. Alongside the winery is a salon intended for tastings and relaxed enjoyment of these unique and exceptional wines that are consumed slowly, in small sips, from selected glasses.
Serbia is moving on an upward trajectory when it comes to winemaking and viticulture. We must give thanks for the state’s efforts to encourage the planting of new vineyards and the opening and equipping of new wineries.