Testifying to the idea that the best things in life are created on the basis of tradition and family history is the Fragaria Winery from the Lukarevina field in Župa, where grape varieties from vineyards that surround the winery are used to make high-quality wines that are awarded in the world.
We want our wines to be special and for us to be recognised as a small family boutique winery that’s seeking its own niche on the wine market of Serbia and beyond – reveal Slobodan and Saša Vujić, owners of Fragaria Winery, speaking to CorD Magazine
Your winery is newly built, but your family has been producing wine for more than a hundred years. What have you modernised and what do you still do in the traditional, old way?
– The wine industry is today global, and the way wine is consumed has even evolved. Fragaria Winery is located in Župa, Aleksandrovac, Lukarevina field, where each family has had its own vineyards and wines for hundreds of years. Here people traditionally drank wine from their father’s cellar, or from their children’s basement. That’s why we also wanted to continue the family tradition, even though we’ve been engaged in other jobs in Bosnia-Herzegovina for almost our entire working lives. (Slobodan Vujić PhD was the director of VB Leasing Bosnia-Herzegovina for 18 years, and Saša Vujić PhD worked for the World Bank on microcredit projects in Bosnia- Herzegovina and as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Economics).
We invest a lot in the development of our vineyards, which we’ve modernised, because we consider that good wine emerges already in the vineyard. “Jagoda” is an endemic wine grape variety that we use to make wine in limited quantities, while we are particularly proud of the traditional way of making the Fragaria Red limited edition blend, from the Bela zemlja vineyard. The winery also has modern technology that we use for other Fragaria wines.
Does room exist for the development of wine tourism, at least in your area, which has been known for wine since time immemorial?
Can winemakers do that themselves, or do you need assistance from the state or local government? – We’ve travelled a lot, but in Župa Alexandrovac we saw huge potential for both wine and tourist. Here we were delighted by the landscapes, the country, the parish winemakers and their devotion to local varieties and traditions.
This is something that can serve as a basis to attract tourists who want to assimilate into the local culture during their stay in Župa. Now is a time when wine production levels exceed consumption and all winegrowers and winemakers are thinking about how they can express their uniqueness and be seen as special. Of course, without the help of the state and local government that is a very long and uncertain path, and the region of Župa must have a clear development strategy. The potential definitely exists.
All four of the wines that you sent to this year’s competition in Vienna won awards. Where there any golds among them?
– Yes, we won one gold and three silvers. Good wine requires good grape vines, soil, climate and people who do the work, but the way all of these factors interact is also important. We consider that in the Lukarevina field, where our vineyards are, and in our winery there exists a mutual harmonisation of these factors, which is why our wine is of high quality.
Considering that we are a young winery, we lacked the international recognition of the quality of our wines that came with AWC Vienna International Wine challenge 2020. In competition among 11,232 wines and 1,510 producers from 41 countries, the Fragaria Winery won a gold medal for its Fragaria Red 2018 and silver medals for Fragaria White 2019, Fragaria White Sauvignon Blanc 2019 and Fragaria Red 2017.