Although Macedonia has a very long wine tradition, although today's fields from Skopje, through Veles, Negotino, Kavadarci and Demir Kapija all the way to Gevgelija, are marbled with vineyards, yet the country seems to be one of the European destinations that hides many more wine secrets that are yet to be revealed.
The valley of relish satisfies the thirst of every tourist who comes to taste the best Macedonian wine. According to the legend, once in the Tikvesh Region, there was more wine than water. Even when the people were building some houses in the villages, instead of water, they compounded the bricks with wine.
Today’s story comes from Demir Kapija’s valley. Demir Kapija is a place that is definitely worth visiting, a place where you can enjoy wine tours, horseback riding and even rock climbing, a place where wine and love prevail. Some of you may be familiar with the name of Popova Kula the famous winery in Demir Kapija’s valley.
Lenche Nedeva, the manager of the Winery Popova Kula will tell us the story of the winery. She says that the owner had this idea while studying in the USA and he decided to return to his home town Demir Kapija where he started building the story of the Winery. The location of the winery is with excellent climate and perfect soil for grape growing. The first time they came to the location they knew it is the perfect place for their vineyards and winery.
Popova Kula Winery is a Greenfield project. The construction of the winery started on the 8th October 2004 and by St. Mary’s Day the 28th of August 2005 they were ready for the first harvest and processing of the first grape. When the first phase was completed and full production capabilities, they had to wait for two years until they started to work on developing the wine tourism and the winery. Finally on St. Trifun’s day the 14th February 2009 they completed the construction of the hotel and the restaurant.
To remain faithful to the tradition and historical heritage of the region, the winery got its name from an important tower, Popova Kula (Priest’s Tower), which once served as an important checkpoint on the ancient Roman road that passes near their location. Popova Kula was a significant landmark in the region, but unfortunately it was destroyed. However, the site itself is called Popova Kula, which was their inspiration for the appearance of the building but also for the name of their wine cellar.
Popova Kula winery managed to adapt to the new era of tourism and to offer ideal weekend tours for domestic and foreign tourists so they can explore and experience the region in the right way.
Lenche says that this place will be remembered for the quality wine and the wine tours that are organized for the guests. But also this is a good time to bring freshness to their offers by giving more importance to active tourism.
With the closure of the borders and the quarantine, people needed more freedom in nature. That is why we decided to organize our guests' free time with our excellent local guides. This is a stimulus for all of us, both for the winery itself and for the local guides, says Lenche.
The winery offers opportunities for wine tasting combined with different types of food, enjoying the spacious yard of the winery, wine tours and tours to learn about the history of Demir Kapija as well as education on how to process wine. They also organize outdoor activities such as a walk along the Doshnica River, a visit to the Cactus Valley, climbing the Prosek Fortress, renting bicycles that can be used on the trails around Popova Kula, climbing the rocks of the Demir Kapija Gorge and horseback riding.
The biggest advantage of staying in the hotel and also the winery is that you will learn a lot about wine. It is interesting that all 33 rooms of the hotel are named after their wines and even the decoration in the rooms is in accordance with whether the wine is white, red or pink.
What Lenche hopes for, is the return of tourism to normal. Because, as she says, this place is a destination for all those who transit through Macedonia, which in a way is a good promoter of what Macedonia can offer.
The beauties of the Demir Kapija gorge are a real attraction for tourists who are nature lovers, all who want to explore, all who admire the beautiful flora and fauna, in other words all lovers of active tourism.
The natural rarities, the speleological phenomena created in the limestone masses of the gorge contribute to the development of tourism. There are many caves in Demir Kapija. Belovodica, Gorni and Dolni Zmejovec are just some of the caves that can encourage even the development of the cave tourism.