2020 Tikveš Belo
Jun 2023 Selection
The 2020 Tikveš Belo is a white wine primarily made from Smederevka, a North Macedonian indigenous variety that is neither too fruity or too savory but just right with a hint of the Mediterranean salinity.
Located between Albania and Bulgaria, the Republic of North Macedonia shares its southern border with
Greece and Greece’s wine region of Macedonia.
The three main wine regions of North Macedonia are Pcinya-Osogovo in the east, Pelagoniya-Polog in the
west, and the central region of Povardarie (also called the Vardar River Valley). Povardarie is the most influential, including almost 90% of the country’s vineyard area, most of which are within this region’s Tikveš
North Macedonia produces full-bodied red wines from Vranec, Stanušina and Ohridsko Crno (the only genuinely indigenous varieties identified), Kratošija (also known as Zinfandel) and a few international varieties. Žilavka, Župljanka, Temjanika (a variety of Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains), Smederevka, Rkatsiteli and Graševina are the sources of the fresh white wines of the area.
The Tikveš winery, founded in 1885, is the oldest winery in North Macedonia. Tikveš wines are emblematic of Macedonia’s ancient tradition of winemaking, reflecting over 120 years of a culture that celebrates the entire wine experience — from growth, to harvest to fermentation to the most significant part, enjoyment with family and friends. Today the winery uses sustainable practices throughout its operations, including limiting the treatment of the vines, reducing consumption of energy and water, building solar panels for self- sustainable energy and a commitment to recycling waste and turning it into natural fertilizer. Philippe Cambie is an advisor for the property. With Philippe’s assistance the winery has begun using temperature-controlled stainless steel for fermentations and concrete and French oak barrels for aging.
Belo means “white” in Macedonian. This wine is primarily made from Smederevka, with a little bit of Riesling,
Roussanne and Marsanne for balance. Smederevka is the most widely planted grape variety in the region. It
once had the reputation of producing wines that needed to be served with some sparkling water. Tikveš has been able to coax out floral aromas and flavors of green apples and while peaches from this once-maligned
variety by careful pruning and organic farming practices.
The grapes that make this wine are grown in alluvial gravel at an elevation of 700 meters (about 2,300 feet).
The grape vines are 20-30 years old. The hand-harvested grapes are cooled before fermentation in stainless-steel tanks. The wine is aged for three months in the tank before being bottled. This wine is not too fruity or too savory. It has aromas of citrus blossom, white flowers, and Granny Smith apples accompanied by zesty white peaches, and a hint of salinity. There’s a distinct note of juicy Castelvetrano olives at its core highlighted with hints of thyme, rosemary, and oregano. The finish is bright and saline, with a pronounced acidity.
This wine would pair nicely with seafood, light salads, and grilled vegetables. It can be enjoyed on its own as
an aperitif. It is traditionally served with a Macedonian eggplant spread called Malidzano, as an appetizer with a side of pita or baguette slices, and sometimes a slice of white cheese.