Macedonia Wine Tradition

    The wine producing tradition in Macedonia dates from the time of the ancient royal family of Philip II and Alexander the Great, who were known to be passionate lovers of good wine. This tradition continued throughout the Roman period when Macedonia, which by the end of the 17th century was part of the Eastern Roman Empire, was one of the most important wine regions in the Kingdom. The ancient Romans prized the wines produced by its vineyards. The tradition of wine cultivation continued after the arrival of the Slavs, and further developed until the fourteenth century. During the Ottoman Empire (1350-1918), wine productions in Macedonia were held in numerous Orthodox monasteries, until modern times.

    The century old tradition lives in the Tikves region where wine is the reason to celebrate. From the ancient ages, Dionis – God of the wine, joy and fertility – was worshiped and praised. In the time of the Roman reign, bacchanalias were held twice a year in the honor of Bacchus – God of Wine. The wine was considered to be the nectar of Gods that was drank by both rich and poor.

    The holiday Saint Triphun, which is largely celebrated in the Republic of Macedonia, is an occasion for viticulturists to cut at least one wine branch, with a blessing the year to be fruitful. The branch-cutting tradition is celebrated with basil flower and cake, and vineyards are watered with wine and brandy. The festivity continues in local bars and winegrowers’ homes with lots of music and wine.