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Mladen Ćirić, Tonković Winery Sales Director

Kadarka Wines Conquering The World

The Tonković Winery, based in the village of Bački Vinogradi, is commemorating the first 15 years of its successful operations. Testifying to the claim that this is a unique wine house and an unusual, visionary endeavour – rather than a mere business undertaking – is the fact that it has planted only one grape variety on all nine hectares of its vineyards

Considering that the world is seeking new varieties that are insufficiently utilised and that this quest has become a global trend, exports are rising constantly, despite the pandemic. Our wines are sold in Switzerland, France, Croatia, Ireland, Montenegro, Japan and America – notes Tonković Winery Sales Director Mladen Ćirić with pride.

Every winery has its own unique story. How did it happen that you ended up growing only one variety of grape; and not just any variety, but rather Kadarka, which is an old, autochthonous variety?

Serbian winemaking has been developing very rapidly in recent years, with the number of wineries growing and, with that, the number of high-quality wines.

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And along with that, naturally, comes increased demand for wines made from autochthonous varieties. With a deep belief that wines made from local varieties have a future, among both foreign and domestic consumers, we decided back in 2006 to do something a little different. We planted an entire nine-hectare vineyard exclusively with only the Kadarka variety. Kadarka is an old Serbian autochthonous grape variety, which – due to its demanding nature, low yields and the style of wine itself – has almost disappeared from Serbia. With an awareness of the fact that Kadarka wines were known throughout history as noble wines, we decided to attempt to restore the former glory of these wines.

Which different wines can be made from this one variety? Which of your Kadarka wines is experiencing the highest demand on the market? Is it also the most awarded?

We use Kadarka to make a rosé wine and two red wines, and – as of this year, for the first time – we also make a blanc de noir (white wine made from red grapes). The white wine has really attracted attention since we launched it, because it is specific and many consumers didn’t even know that it was possible to make white wine from red grapes. It has been really nicely accepted so far.

Our most renowned wine is Fantasy [Fantazija], which is the basic wine made from Kadarka. It is a wine that satisfies almost all criteria. It has a lighter body, a very fruity aroma and a medium-long finish. It can even be slightly chilled and consumed with or without food. It is a truly appreciative wine.

Fantasy [Fantazija] is the only Serbian wine that can be found in the largest wine museum in Bordeaux, selected by Andreas Larsson, the world’s best sommelier

Apart from that, it has also achieved greatest success. Fantasy is the only Serbian wine that can be found in the largest wine museum in Bordeaux, selected by Andreas Larsson, the world’s best sommelier.

It also received an award as the world’s best Kadarka wine last year, in competition among 113 wines of the same variety, and since 2010 it has been traditionally drunk in the Vatican for the annual feast of the holiday of St. Urban.

Would Kadarka wines make an ideal corporate gift or present for diplomats, directors of foreign companies etc.?

We consider wine as being a really nice present for various occasions. The New Year and Christmas holidays are ideal occasions for such gifts. And this is a segment that’s growing. That’s because many domestic companies are increasingly cooperating with foreign firms and want to show what we, as a country, can offer when it comes to wine, especially wines made from local varieties. We have adapted to these requirements, which is why we also create personalised labels for various companies that want to send a message or express gratitude to their important customers and associates.

We are able to organise wine tastings and gatherings for all interested companies.

Contact us at [email protected]

Comment by Zoran Panović

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