AN INCENTIVE FOR THE HEART
With wines from the heart
The Šipčanik wine cellar is set in the restored Yugoslav People’s Army underground aircraft hangar, where an explosion in 1999 incinerated seventeen type Galeb G4 aircraft in the interior of the building. One of the biggest wine producers in Eastern Europe, 13 Jul Plantaže AD from Podgorica, Montenegro, ordered the reconstruction of the underground facility that is today a wine cellar and a wonderfully arranged area for special events. They host everything here, from protocol events to conferences where the participants can learn about the unique culture of wine production. You could say that with the restoration of the aviation hangar in 2007 a new era of wine tourism in Montenegro was set in motion and a visit to the cellar has quickly become popular among tourists and congress organisers.
The hotel scene in Podgorica is very lively and offers everything from boutique hotels to the first Montenegro Hilton hotel, which opens its doors this year (the owners of the Hilton also managing two congress hotels in the city). Among the international hotel chains Ramada and Best Western Premier are worthy of a mention and the Podgorica boutique hotel selection is truly rich, with Hemera Hotel and Hotel Ziya particular standouts. If you’re more excited by the picturesque Montenegro coast, it is at your fingertips here – Budva is located about 45 minutes away and you can already choose from the best Adriatic hotels in Budva and Tivat.
MEET IN STYLE
The estate, which employs 700 people, is harvesting 11.5 million vines planted across 2,310 hectares, and as they like to say, this is the largest vineyard in one complex in Europe. It is quite interesting that before 1970 in this region vines practically didn’t mature with any success, although experts knew back then that the geo-morphological conditions and more than 2,500 hours of sunshine a year is ideal for wine production. They now fill about 15 million bottles of wine each year and the assortment is very wide, as 28 varieties were planted, 65% of them being red wine and the leading of these being Vranac, the indigenous Montenegro variety, which they’ve been cultivating traditionally in Crmnica, the area around Lake Skadar towards the Adriatic Sea, at an altitude of 500 metres. Of the white wines the dominant variety is the indigenous Krstač. You can taste the richness of all of the wine varieties at an event, or have a guided tasting that is held in the wine cellar.