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Macedon Pinot Noir

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Country/State Macedonia




Type Pinot Noir

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This is really outstanding Pinot, at an exceptionally low price.

“But Waterford,” you say “you’ve been preaching to us about Pinot for years. How it’s exceptionally hard to grow, and is therefore nicknamed the ‘Heartbreak Grape’—all of which means that, just like sushi, you never want to drink it cheap.”

In typical Waterford fashion, we are reversing ourselves: This is indeed super tasty Pinot and at a low price. Of course, there is one tiny little catch:

This Pinot Noir is from Macedonia.

Yep, Macedonia. I imagine that the last thing you ever heard of coming from Macedonia was old Alex the Great. But, surprising even to me, Macedonia is making world-class wine. Here’s an overview:

The Republic of North Macedonia has a tradition of making wine all the way back to 1,000 BCE. While we may consider the country small (and, in fact, really have no idea where it is without using Google)—it is a focus point where the hot Mediterranean climate collides with the cool continental climate, actually making it a pretty darn good place to plant Vitis vinefera. And the proof is right in this glass:

As noted, this is darn good drinking Pinot Noir – a warm nose of mulled spices, blackberry fruit, touches of oak are immediately present on the nose. The palate is soft and offers the velvety richness of Pinot Noir while also keeping the wine vividly fresh. The aromas on the nose come through on the palate, offering an easy-drinking cocktail experience or a nice partner with a simple meal – be it a country picnic or an offering from the grill. The finish is long, continuing harmoniously with the fruit character.     

But why haven’t you heard of Macedonian Pinot Noir before? Well, while Macedonia has been making wine for 3,000 years, they really weren’t making good wine for much of the last century. Blame communism. Not only did the communist regime focus on quantity instead of quality, but they also promoted good party members over good winemakers. And with no private property, they quickly had government stooges turning out plonk.

The situation changed just a short time ago - in 1991 (and the country’s name wasn’t settled until 2019). With these changes investment began to flow into the economy, including the ancient viticultural regions. The new winery Stobi was one such beneficiary, and in turn, we are as well:

I have never been to the Republic of North Macedonia, but having visited central Europe, I’m gonna guess they’ve got a little chip on their shoulder – they want to prove to the world just how special Macedonia is. Or, as the winery puts it, “High-quality wines whose quality will never surprise you…But, what will always surprise you is its realistic price available for everyone. This is because of our philosophy that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy premium wine. For us there are no cheap and expensive wines, there are only premium wines which are for truthful consumers.” Or as I like to sum up – for those willing to explore, great treasure awaits.