It happens to all of us, those awesome plans made over a glass of wine. Some of them materialize and others are just all talk and never materialize.
The first day we arrived in Kotor we went for a walk around the old town. We noticed a sign and it grabbed our attention.
Well, a couple of days later we were sitting in this beautiful wine bar just a few meters from our apartment. We were relaxing, sipping our wines, doing a bit of small talk with other patrons at the bar and then… a few wine glasses later… fast forward to the next day and we are heading to an exclusive wine estate in Herceg Novi.
Bogić & Barbara are both from Montenegro. Bogić is in the hospitality business and Barbara is a Writer. Bogić invited us along with his wife, Barbara, and Tony another tourist, to visit the Castel Savina Winery in Herceg Novi which is owned by the Obradovic family. The Estate is situated in a secluded setting at the top of the Savina hill and has sweeping views of Boka Bay.
What we love the best about telling our story is actually telling the story of the Obradovic family as we found it fascinating.
Kotor Bay area was hit with a 6.9 magnitude earthquake back in 1979. The Obradovic family had been living in London for work. A few years later when they came back looking to buy property on Boka Bay they found this beautiful estate that was for sale. The original owner did not want to return to her property after the earthquake because she feared that another earthquake would occur. The Obradovic family were not worried about that and therefore bought it from her.
A few years later they visited a local museum and made some inquiries as to the history of their property. They discovered on a land register map dating back to 1753 that their estate had once been known as ‘Villa di Meljine’ and was entirely surrounded in vines. The Obradovic family at that moment decided to bring back the tradition of winemaking to their land, especially since they loved drinking wine themselves and had toured some of the best wineries in France, Italy and other wine regions of the world.
For years, they were just exclusively making wine for themselves, their family & friends. Over time they were being sought out to have their very good quality wine available on the market. They eventually did place a few on the market but very selectively starting in 2014. Even today however they only produce 20,000 bottles a year and you can only find it basically in some exclusive wine stores and top restaurants in this area. This is a quote that I read the day after our visit, “Our goal is to stay small and make wines for the Bay of Kotor and the coast, the founder says, who added there would be no more than 20,000 bottles in total. Choosing the quality over quantity as their main principle of work, the Savina winery was honoured with the worldwide Decanter award for their Merlot in 2016. (Bronze). “
This husband-and-wife duo has been on a mission to produce quality wines and has also been growing their own olive trees, which produce small quantities of quality olive oil.
Bogić contacted the Obradovic inquiring about us coming to visit their winery. Unfortunately, they were on there way to London but they absolutely wanted us to come anyway and they would have one of their staff assist with our visit.
Driving up to the secluded Estate-
When we arrived, tables had been set everywhere for us on the terrace overlooking the Bay. How beautiful and welcoming!🌺
Montenegro is famous for its local products of pršut (Prosciutto), it’s flavourful cheese, olive oil, burek (traditional cheese pie) and rakija. Tourist comes looking for these local delicacies but it’s hard for them to know which ones are the authentic ones. We were treated to all these authentic products that day. So grateful!
We ended this amazing day at sundown, overlooking the Bay and being offered a glass of Rakija.
Rakija is considered to be а national drink in Montenegro. They told us that rarely would you be invited into someone’s home without being asked to partake in a glass – regardless of the time of day! Rakija can be made out of almost any fruit and has an alcohol content ranging from 40% to 80% or higher! Deadly! 😊 But the good news is that it supposedly instantly destroys any bacteria that might be lingering in your body. Great!
Later that evening we took a car ferry back home.
Thank-you Bogić, Barbara and Tony for this memorable day. We are also so grateful to the Obradovic family to have been given us the opportunity to discover their exquisite wine, hospitality, and food. Before leaving Montenegro we will be savouring the beautiful wine we brought home from the estate. Cheers!🍷
So to end our story, the quote on the sign was indeed speaking to us after all! 😊🍷