Formerly part of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Macedonia became independent in 1991. For historical reasons, both Macedonia and (for the region of Macedonia with the three-fingered peninsula of Chalkidike and the monastic republic of Athos) claimed for themselves (see also under Macedonia). After many years of dispute, the two states came to an agreement in 2018. On 12 February 2019, the country was officially renamed North Macedonia (Republika Severna Makedonija). Viticulture in Northern Macedonia has a long tradition, as in all other former Yugoslavian constituent states.
The Mediterranean-continental climate is characterised by mild winters and warm, sometimes even subtropical summers. The topography is characterised by mountains and barrenness. There are three wine-growing regions producing "Vrvno Vino" with controlled designation of origin:
Povardski (Varda Valley)
Here 85% of the wines of Northern Macedonia are produced. The wine-growing areas are centrally located along the river Vardar. These are Gevgelija-Valandovo, Kochani-Vinica, Ovce Pole, Skopje, Strumica-Radoviste, Tikveš, Titov Veles and Veles.
Here are the wine-growing areas of Kocani, Kratovo, Kumanovo and Pijanecki, located in the east.
Here are the wine-growing areas of Bitola, Ohrid, Tetovo, Kicevo, Prilep and Prespa, located in the west.
Grape variety list
About 80% of the vineyard area is planted with red wine varieties and 20% with white wine varieties. The vineyards cover 24,777 hectares of vines, from which about 1 million hectolitres of wine are produced. The grape variety index in 2016 (Kym Anderson):
The wine law, which came into force in 2004, is based on EU standards. The designation for quality wines of controlled origin is Vrvno Vino. In the 1980s, two thirds of Yugoslavia's total wine production was produced in the SR Macedonia. Today, the approximately 40 wineries are completely privatised. The most important producer is the Tikves winery, founded in 1946 as a winegrowers' cooperative. Others are Bovin-Negotino, Lozar-Veles and Povardarie-Negotine.