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Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

Unfortunately there is no information about Albania available.

Description to Albania

The state is located in south-eastern Europe on the Balkan Peninsula. It borders Montenegro and Kosovo to the north, northern Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south. The western border is formed by the coasts of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The area is considered one of the cradles of European viticulture. This goes back to the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. Cultivated viticulture existed in Illyria as early as the 8th century BC. Early Roman authors mention the introduction of a high-yielding Illyrian grape variety to Italy. Greek colonies were founded in the 7th century BC. Around 350 BC, an independent kingdom of Illyria was established. In the middle of the 2nd century BC, the kingdom was conquered by the Romans and became the province of Illyricum around 30 BC. From the end of the 4th century AD it then belonged to the Byzantine Empire for many centuries. From the beginning of the 16th century until independence in 1912, it was under Turkish rule. During this time, viticulture was insignificant due to the prohibition of alcohol.

Albanien - Weinlaube in Berat und Weinberg in Permet

After the Second World War (1939-1945), a new beginning was made and grafted vines were planted for the first time. The vineyards cover about 9,000 hectares. The annual wine production volume is about 180,000 hectolitres. A large quantity of sultanas and table grapes is also produced. About half of this is used for the distillation of raki (brandy), the traditional, high-proof pomace brandy "Raki Rrushi" is particularly popular. The most important wine-growing areas are Shkodra with the municipality of Kallmet (northwest), the hills around the capital Tirana with the municipality of Lundër (centre), Berat and Përmet (south), Durrës (central east), Korça (southeast) and Lushnja (southwest).

In the interior, there are partly terraced vineyards up to 1,300 metres above sea level, making them among the highest in the world. Many autochthonous varieties are cultivated. These are the white wine varieties Debina Kala, Debine e Bardhë, Kryqëz, Pulës, Shesh i Bardhë and Tajka e Bardhë, as well as the red wine varieties Debine e Zezë, Gomaresh, Kallmet, Serina e Zeze, Shesh i Zi and Vlosh. The most important international varieties include Aligoté, Barbera and Mavrud.

Vine arbour Berat: By Raki_Man, CC BY 3.0, Link
Vineyard: By Albinfo - Own work, CC0, Link

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