Popova Kula Winery and Hotel Demir Kapija

Popova Kula Winery and Hotel Demir Kapija

The Popova Kula Winery with extraordinary vineyards make the uniquely beautiful wine tourist complex in Macedonia located on the south slopes of the Grand Hill /Veliko Brdo/, west of the lovely small town of Demir Kapija /in Turkish, meaning Iron Gate/, where the rocks are high even up to 220 meters above the Vardar River in the close proximity to the E-75 highway Serbia-Macedonia-Greece. The area of the Vardar River Gorge in historical Stara Srbija – Old Serbia with the wider territory and the fortification was called Prosek, after the town which existed at the very entrance to the gorge and which was mentioned in 1196, while in the Roman historical period it was known as the Axii Stena.

Demir Kapija valley is set on the southeast part of the Tikveshiya grape growing and wine sub-region that is a part of the Povardarie wine region of Macedonia. The oldest archaeological findings prove that people in this area have grown vineyards and produced wine as early as the 13 century BC. Demir Kapija area thus makes an unparalleled wine location in Macedonia and the Balkans with excellent climate conditions and perfect soil and beneficial sun exposure for grape growing and has been known for those unique natural features throughout the history.
King Aleksander Karadjordjevic ruled the Kingdom that stretched across present day Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia, including the Adriatic coast and the Pannonian Basin. The king Aleksandar normally had vast possibilities to choose from for the location of his vineyards and in 1928 bought the vast fertile land for his vineyards of 2700 hectares for 2000 golden liras from the Turkish Usni bey and Mehmed bey. However, following the advice of trusted wine experts and state consultants, King Aleksander Karadjordjevic chose wisely and planted his first vines in the splendid micro region of the Demir Kapija, on exactly the same location where the Popova Kula winary and vineyards are situated today. The Vila Marija has been recently privatized and refurbished along the old structure built originally for the Queen Marija of Serbia, which is nicely reconstructed and regained its former splendor. To remain faithful to the people and historical fabric of the region, the Popova kula winery was named after an important tower – the Popova Kula (Priest’s Tower) which once served as an important checkpoint on the ancient Roman road that used to pass next to the present day winery location. The Popova Kula served as important landmark of the region but has since been destroyed. In tribute to this significant landmark of Demir Kapija, wise owners have erected a new 17-meters high tower and named their winery the Popova Kula.

Popova Kula Winery is a Greenfield project, whose construction started in October 2004 and by the Holy Virgin Day, on the 28th August 2005 minded investors were ready for the first harvest and processing of the first grapes. On the Saint Trifun’s day, the 14th February 2009 the construction of the Popova kula hotel and the restaurant was completed, when the new era in the special wine tourism in Macedonia and the Balkans was opened. Small stainless steel tanks are used for the fermentation of the wine in the Popova Kula winery, with the option to carefully control and regulate the temperature in each tank independently during each phase of the fermentation. In Popova Kula winery in Demir Kapija are also used barrels made of the finest American, French, Hungarian and Macedonian Oak featuring different degrees of toasting. Within the Popova Kula winery in Demir Kapija there is the temperature controlled storage facility and box pallets for aging of the bottled wine. Although Popova Kula is a small winery, there is an in-house laboratory where the basic wine and grape analysis are constantly performed. In Popova kula Winery they produce wine from 11 different highest quality grape varieties: Stanushina, Vranec, Prokupec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Temjanika, Chardonnay, Zilavka, Muscat Ottonel, Muscat Hamburg. Popova Kula Winery wines received some highest awards and medals in the European market.
In the vineyards of Popova Kula Winery the Stanushina, Vranec and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties are grown, and the other varieties are bought from local small grape growers. In the Demir Kapija region, about 10 km away from the Popova Kula Winery, there are more than 700 families who posses small vineyards, among whom the Popova Kula Winery experts have carefully chosen suppliers growing grape of exceptional quality. During the year Popova Kula Winery wine experts work in their own vineyards but also work together with the chosen local grape growers in order to ensure the desired quality and health of the grape. During the harvest time in Demir Kapija the grape is hand picked, placed in small caskets, and brought to the winery immediately.
Stanushina grape variety is the autochtonous grape variety of Macedonia, so the Popova Kula Winery paid great attention to it in production of white, rose and the red wines. The stanušina grape variety does not require the same attention in the vineyard as the other grape varieties. It is ideally adapted to the climate in Macedonia and has strong resistant vine. Stanushina grape variety could wait for you in the vineyard. But once Stanushina is in the winery it is a completely different situation. Beside the technology and the knowledge applied, it needs a lot of care, passion and love to produce great Stanusina wine. The Popova Kula Winery is the only winery as of the time being that produces Stanusina wine, which tells everything about dedication and passion of people who run the Popova Kula Winery, as well as about their vision.

We live in the era of globalization that brings some common values, habits, products, services and brands across the world. In the wine industry this process of globalization has highlighted some varieties like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc because of their exceptional characteristics. And here in the Popova Kula Winery in Demir Kapija they also love those varieties and thus do produce wines from those varieties that they are really proud of.
However, the owners and experts of the Popova kula Winery strongly believe that locally and regionally there are grape varieties that have extraordinary characteristics and the wine consumers all over the world could appreciate the wines made from those varieties. So as of the time being, the Popova Kula Winery is the only producer in the world that produces wine from Stanushina – the unique Macedonian grape variety, and is among the few wineries in the Balkans that produce wine from Prokupec, Zilavka and Temjanika grape varieties. Here at the Popova Kula Winery in Demir Kapija they also produce Vranec and like the other Macedonian wine producers strive to keep the same outstanding quality, which makes them recognized in the demanding market. According to the Orthodox Christianity faith, Saint Trifun is the protector of the vineyards and wineries and according to the Orthodox calendar, on the 14th February is celebrated the Saint Trifun’s day /feast/. Traditionally on that day the wineries in Macedonia organize parties and the grape growers start pruning the vineyards. In accordance with this nice tradition Popova Kula Winery does the same, and starts pruning their vineyards and organize a party for the grape growers, friends and visitors – wine lovers.

The Popova Kula Hotel offers unique comfort and experience to its guests with its distinct 33 differently appointed rooms and the spacious and nicely appointed restaurant with a seating capacity of up to 60 people and the summer terrace of up to 80 people capacity, with the most fascinating view of the wine-type surrounding. In the comfortable hotel and the nicely appointed restaurant of the Popova Kula Winery in Demir Kapija, minded visionary and owners are led by the same philosophy. While trying to achieve the highest standards in hospitality and the HACCP application, Popova Kula Winery, Hotel and Restaurant complex in Demir Kapija is renown for its authentic and wonderful warm atmosphere supported with an acoustic Macedonian band, and /almost forgotten/ mouth-watering delicious traditional meals, but also meals from different world cuisines and exceptionally delicious paired wines. Here at the Popova kula winery in Demir Kapija you can get finest food and traditional Macedonian specialties, wonderfully paired with 22 different wines from 10 different varieties of grape : great choice of cheese and smoked ham and beef, selsko meso, pastrmajlija pie, pork with plum sauce, roasted lamb and beef, turli tava, Demir Kapija salads, delicious sweets with character.
In the Popova Kula Winery in Demir Kapija they believe that supporting local economy is essential, not just for the development of the local community but also for visitors from far and wide. Locally sourced ingredients provide different flavors in which visitors truly enjoy, taking amazing experiences. Popova Kula wine complex/hotel in Demir Kapija contains the wine tasting hall situated on the top of the tower, the meeting room with 24 seats and the amazing large yard full of gentle grass and greenery for the most imaginative and craziest team-buildings, celebrations, memorable wedding ceremonies, parties, competitions and games. For complete enjoyment, the wine testing sessions are held in the 17-meter high Popova Kula Tower, offering 360 marvelous panorama of the natural ambiance.
The Popova Kula Winery and Hotel in Demir Kapija offers unique experience for all senses and pleasant stay to its visitors with its distinct, smoke-free and comfortable 33 rooms and suites. Each of the accommodation units of the Popova Kula Hotel is carefully named after, and decorated in the colors of the wine type it represents, so you will stay in one of the facilities named after the wine you drink. Each room of the Popova Kula Hotel is nicely appointed and arranged in natural materials and fabrics /mostly combination of stone and wood, linen bed clothing/and equipped with comfortable beds, a write desk and a chair, a cabinet, telephone and Internet connection, air conditioning, fridge, TV screen, pleasantly appointed bathroom, hair dryer and balcony providing view to the breathtaking surroundings – true enjoyment for nature lovers and romantic visitors. Next to the reception of the Popova Kula hotel there is the wine & gifts shop where visitors can buy exclusive wines at discounted prices and different gifts. All the public premises are smoke-free and covered with free wireless Internet.

Popova Kula restaurant has a seating capacity of up to 60 seats, with the fire-place and the spacious summer terrace /lawn/ which accommodates up to 80 people, featuring the most fascinating view of the beautiful surrounding and memorable sunset. The Popova Kula wine tourist complex also provides ideal conditions for seminars, team-building activities, presentations, conferences and events. During their stay visitors of Popova kula are welcome to take an easy walk to the Doshnica River, with memorable picnic. Doshnica River is the clearest river in Macedonia. From the spring of the river, some 20 km south-south/west from Demir Kapija under the highest pick of the Kozuf Mountain, till Demir Kapija there is no human settlement along the river. Before it joins the Vardar River at the Demir Kapija gorge, Doshnica river passes through low lands of the Demir Kapija valley, hidden within the old forest that grows along the river, which is a perfect area for relaxing walks and picnic.

Popova Kula Winery is not only the wine producer and the wine exporter of Macedonia, but a true Wine Temple and unique facility and beautiful relaxing place full of friendly people. Here at the Popoa Kula Winery and Hotel in Demir Kapija visitors can enjoy in all senses, exploration of natural and historical sites, ride a bicycle around the vineyards, choose meals between traditional Macedonian and other international cuisines, combined with delicious smells, flavors and taste of their wines and indulge in pleasant Macedonian sun and fresh wind coming from the mystical Demir Kapija canyon. We warmly recommend visit to the nearby wonderfully fresco painted Saint Nicholas – the miracle worker Monastery and the unique natural phenomenom of the Valley of Cactuses in nearly deserted Klisura village – 5km away. It is thus fully reasonable that the Popova Kula wonderful wine and tourist complex of Macedonia for years gains the best impressions of visitors and numerous Certificates of Excellence !