On the way to Novi Sad, in a little place called Irig, I experienced a stunning autumn idyll. On paper it was still summer, but the charm of Fruška Gora combined with rain and fallen leaves indicated that the summer season went into hibernation a long time ago.
In the afternoon, I arrived to the old-fashioned Norcev Hotel, located in the middle of Fruška Gora National Park, far from the crowded highway. There was not a lot of time for resting because a gala evening was scheduled at the Kovačević Wine House, but the superb experience started in the Kovačević winery through which I was guided by Miroslav Kovačević and director of the Frutela distribution company, Siniša Davidović. I have to say that the winery is fantastically well-equipped and every member shows superb potential for invariable progress, followed by hard work. The winery has 10 hectares of vineyards which are located on the south-facing slopes of Fruška Gora, Srem (altitude of 240m). Here, the tradition of growing grapes and producing wine is going on for more than 100 years.
I was fascinated by every aspect of this winery, from the steel tanks which can hold up to 500.000 litres of wine (per tank) to the elegantly hidden bottles of sparkling wine, Chardonnay, Riesling, etc., left to age for the next couple of years. During the tour, we drank the Orfelin line (rose, white and red), which was just a warm-up for what awaited us in the Wine House. The entrance itself gave off the impression that we arrived at a sophisticated estate paved with granite from Jablanica and surrounded by orchards. The house was completely covered in wood, radiating warmth to every guest coming in and being treated as if of royal blood (no false modesty, folks). At one point, Mr. Kovačević gets up to give a speech while the waiters serve Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, rosé and Aurelius and lead us to the buffet (prosciutto, cheese, bacon, salads…) prepared by talented chef Darko Marković.
The next morning we did another tour of the winery, this time getting into the juicy details of production and future plans. Veal soup, pasta and steak were served for lunch and paired with Kovačević sparkling wine, which was so easy-drinking that I had to be careful not to go overboard. At the table were guests from Slovenia (Svetlik winery) who shared their Rebula from three different years (2009, 2010, 2011). Pure poetry. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the tasting of Italian titans from 2007 and 2009 which Mr. Kovačević brought up from his cellar for, as he said, only honoured guests. Sarajevo calling, there wasn’t much I could do. With all impressions gathered up, I have only words of praise, because Vojvodina proved to me that it has tremendous hosts that make your stay a fairy tale. Cheers!
Wine of choice: Chardonnay 2013, Cuvee Piquant 2013, Orfelin Red 2013
Means of transportation: car sharing
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Written by Aleksandar Draganić.
I’m a WSET certified grape juice drinker, and yes, I’m that 1% of people that love their job. I drink wine, write about it, preach about it, even take pictures of it. Find me at @grapenomad