Countless are the names of wineries from Italy, France, Germany, Austria or the US who invested in Eastern Europe after the fall of the iron curtain in 1990. Following 40 years of socialism, wine producers in countries like Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Macedonia or Georgia needed modern technology and know-how to rebuild their wine industries and create a new philosophy for quality wine. They based this on a rich heritage from the pre-socialism era, whilst thriving for competitiveness and success in the future.
For 30 years the road led in one direction only: from the West to the East. But the other way round? This was soon to change.
So, when a winery from North Macedonia not only purchased an important château in Southern France - the Côtes du Rhône appellation close to Bollène, but within a relatively short time was gaining medals in various international competitions, there had to be something behind it. Perhaps not many consumers in Central and Western European countries are aware of the name Tikveš yet, but they soon will be. At the Mundus Vini Spring Tastings in 2021 and 2022, the accolade “Best of Show Côtes du Rhône” went to ‘Terrasse à l’Ombre’ of Château de Gourdon – a traditional wine estate close to Bollène that had slumbered for quite some time before Tikveš bought it in 2018.
Founded in 1885, the Tikveš company is the largest and leading winery in Southeastern Europe, yet it still has some way to go to achieve the desired reputation further north. However, since the Macedonian investment group M6 purchased Tikveš Winery in 2003, extensive efforts have been made to maximize quality and step by step to make waves in the wine world. Confirmation has come from the most renowned wine competitions like Decanter, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and Mundus Vini as well as from Robert Parker, who scored Tikveš’ top wines Barovo, Lepovo and Bela Voda with 93 – 95 points in the last decade.
There are only a few opportunities, especially in the wine world, when you can justifiably feel proud. Therefore, being recognized for two successive years as the best wine from one of the most famous French wine regions, is undoubtedly a cause for great satisfaction and pride. Such significant awards and recognitions have elevated ‘Terrasse à l’Ombre’ to the echelon of iconic wines and confirms Tikveš as one of the world’s best producers of premium wines.
“Our vision is to grow into a leader not only in the region, but also around the world.”
The recent success story of Château de Gourdon would not have been imaginable without two men, both strong characters: Philippe Cambie and Marko Stojaković and their team of oenologists. The Rhône legend Cambie, who sadly passed away last December at the age of only 59, had been consulting Tikveš in Macedonia for the last 10 years and played a key role in the acquisition of Château de Gourdon. Cambie was known as the ‘King of Grenache’ and had unmatched winemaking experience. The Chief Winemaker Stojaković grew up in Bordeaux and Montpellier where he also received his wine education. After beginning his winemaking career in France, he later moved to Macedonia. Now he travels between the Tikveš and Rhône wine regions to lead the wine production process in both locations.
For Marko the key to best quality is simple: “We don’t want to interfere too much, we pay our respect to the grapevine and its fruit. On the other hand, our winemaking is very precise and all about purity.” There are many similarities between the Macedonian and Rhône red wines. The climate in both regions is warm and Mediterranean. As Stojaković explains “This is the basic similarity, but there is also the recognizable Tikveš school of wine and the signature of our team, which is clearly visible in Terrasse à l’Ombre. The difference is that in Rhône, we have sandy soil in the vineyards which allows us to get that tannic softness.”
Spanning an area of 50 ha, the Château de Gourdon vineyard is protected by a dense surrounding forest and exposed to sunlight during the day. The sandy soil is rich with river stones that collect this heat then reflect it back on the vines at night.
The award winning ‘Terrasse a l’Ombre’ is the pearl of Château de Gourdon wines. It represents a perfect balance and unique symbiosis of Syrah (65 %) and Grenache Noir (35 %). Dark ruby red in color, with purple reflections, it has pronounced aromas of ripe red and black berries complemented by spicy aromas of fresh pepper, sweet oriental spices and aromatic herbs. On the palate the wine has a full body with flavors of licorice and violet as well as velvety fine-grained tannins and an elegant long finish.
Château de Gourdon’s offer is complemented by ‘Fontaines du Sud’ - a blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier; ‘Terrasses du Soleil’ - 100% Grenache Blanc fermented and aged in barrels for 6 months; ‘Mistral du Jardin’ - a Rosé created from Cinsault (60%) and Grenache Noir (40%); ‘Jolie Balade’ - a blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre; and last but not least, ‘Vase de Pierre’- a traditional Côtes du Rhône blend of Grenache Noir (65%) and Syrah (35%), a spicy wine with an elegant nose and aromas of wild strawberry, red currant, raspberry and thyme.
Visitors will find Tikveš and its wines from North Macedonia and France at ProWein 2022 at the Wines of Macedonia stand B12 in Hall 11.
To arrange a meeting: email@example.com