Yugoslavian Wine Making
Yugoslav wines were possibly responsible more than any others for the British becoming accustomed to drinking inexpensive table wines in the immediate post-war period of the 1950s. The country has old winemaking traditions and nearly all the vineyards are cultivated by peasant owners, although the selling of the wines is controlled by the State and co-operatives. Yugoslavia has been a model for many European countries in the way the wines have been made and marketed.
Of the different republics that make up the country, the most important for wine are Serbia and Croatia, in that order; but wine is also produced in Slovenia and Macedonia, and a little comes from Bosnia-Herzogovina. Many of the classic grape varieties are cultivated and some which are found in other eastern European countries in substantial quantities. There are also some native grapes: Plavac, a white grape; and Mali Plavac and Prokupac Crni for red being cultivated in many regions. In certain regions use is made of other native grapes, but here, as in many Balkan countries, the names are difficult for the outsider and sometimes are really only local names for a classic variety, so that too much attention need not be paid by the winedrinker who is not also a viticulturalist.
Possibly the best-known Yugoslav wines are the whites, notably those made from the Riesling grape, which bear a prefix indicating their origin. Sweetish white wines, such as Radegonska Ranina also known as Tiger Milk; and sweetish reds, such as Dingac and Postup, made from slightly dried grapes, are beginning to be known outside their homeland. Shippers are also beginning to include some rose’ and dry red wines. It is probably fair to say that these wines, while usually of very good everyday quality and giving much pleasure for drinking, are, simply because of the uniform way in which they are produced and made, not as yet known for lasting properties or for any outstanding individuality such as may result from being made by a particular estate.