Bibo Imports Ltd 

The history of wine-making in Serbia dates back to prehistory. Viticulture was rich during the Roman period. Wine has been part of Serbian culture since the establishment of statehood, especially during the reign of the Nemanjić dynasty (1166–1371), which encouraged and promoted viticulture.

•However, before the Nemanjic Dynasty Emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus (276-282 AD) employed his soldiers in interim periods between wars to perform tasks which were benefitial to local population: swamp drainage, digging canals,  construction of roads and bridges, planting vineyards. In accordance with the decision issued by Emperor Probus to call off a ban imposed by Emperor Domitian on growing grape vine outside the Apennines, we are grateful to Probus nowadays, because he disseminated love for wine and grapes in our regions, which we now enjoy on the slopes of Mt Fruška Gora.

•All Serbian rulers paid great attention to vineyards, thus they outlined today’s wine regions. In the Charter written by Stephen the First-Crowned (1198-1228), diluting wine with water was strictly forbidden. Later on in the Middle Ages, King Milutin (1282-1321) maintained quality of vineyards in Serbia. There is written record that during the rule of Emperor Dušan the Great (1331-1355) wine was transported by a 25Km long “wine pipeline” to cellars in Svrčin and Ribnik. Emperor Dušan also made the first laws which introduced for the first time the notion of protected geographical indication and wine quality. The Law lists a number of wine-making places, such as Imperial Winery and Gornja and Donja Hoča. Despot Đurđe Branković (1427-1456) made great contribution to development of vineyards in Smederevo region, while prince Lazar (1385-1389) gets the credit for creating a vine growing region in Župa.

•After the year 1389, Serbian population fled northwards in order to escape the Turkish rule. Serbian people, clergy, monks and some nobility settled down in Srem region and founded their monasteries, estates and vineyards. They also brought their rich experience in growing grape vine and wine production. Owing to them, vinegrowing started flourishing to the north of the Danube and the Sava rivers – wine regions of Banat and Srem. Their credits are also the change of grape varieties which were grown. For example, instead of formerly grown white grape varieties in Fruška Gora, Serbian population from the south brought the culture of growing red grape varieties, which prevailed soon afterwards.

•The first Serbian wine encyclopaedia originates from 18th century, i.e. 1783. It  was written by Zaharije Orfelin and published in Vienna under the title “The Experienced Cellar Keeper”. The book was a compilation of everything that was known at that time about production of Fruška Gora wines, as well as French, Italian and German wines. In the section of “herbal wines”, Orfelin described the production method of the famous bermet from Sremski Karlovci.

•After the liberation from the Turks the country intensified development of viticulture, which became one of the most important industries. In the 19th century, when phylloxera devastated vineyards across Europe, Serbia exported wine to France and Switzerland.

•After World War II, Yugoslavia was among the ten largest wine producers in the world, and at the end of the last century, there were more than 100,000 hectares under vine in Serbia.  Today, although the vineyards are on a much smaller area, there were twenty times more wine producers and around 800 wine brands.