Black Tamjanika Wine

Wines and grape varietals - Serbia

Vino od crne tamjanike Tamjanika is old species of vine with exceptional potential for high quality wines. It is found in Rajac and Negotinska Krajina, where there are sandy soils and sunny weather. The variety has a special taste and smell which can be detected a few meters away from the mature grapes. Tamjanika begins to mature in mid-September and reaches full sweetness in mid-October. Grapes have a dark purple color and the individual fruits are almost perfect balls, 10-15 mm and occasionally up to 20 mm in diameter. Aromatic wine made of this native and now rare grape variety was specific to the Negotinska Krajina region, while more varieties could be found in other grape-growing regions in Serbia and Macedonia. The fermentation goes very slow in wooden barrels in traditional stone cellars, soley from naturally occuring (not added) yeasts from the surface of the grapes. This gives a beautiful, strong fruity taste and smell. This aroma is strongest when wine is consumed within 5-6 months, though longer periods increase the wine's sweetness. Tamjanika was grown for ages in Negotinska krajina region. Black tamjanika would almost disappeared a few years ago that was not initiated joint action of the Negotin agricultural extension services and the Agricultural high school Bukovo to save black tamjanika and thereby generate income. Now, they produce annually 20,000 seedlings with supporting documentation of controlled origin, which is enough to raise 5 ha of vineyards. In Negotinska Krajina currently has approximately 10 ha of the black tamjanika vineyards and growth of new vineyards is 3 ha per year.   During socialized centralized market, only few types of wines were offered to the market: for that reason very few vine varieties were allowed to be commercialized. The rest of grape varieties was used for home consumption and local vines such as Tamjanika bela i crna, Plovdina, Za?inak, Uvijalo, Španjolka, Prokupac, almost vanished from the region.   When trend of rising of national identity and tourism development brought interest for autochthonic wines, interest for Black Tamjanika raised again, however lots of years are needed production to be recovered.