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This Macedonian indigenous variety is something that you would not be able to find in any other place in the world. It is also known as Gradesh and Black Stanushina.
Stanushina originates from the Tikves wine district where it is mostly widespread. Be¬fore the appearance of phylloxera, it was the main variety in this region and it characterized the sort of strong, red, Tikves wines. Despite in Tikves distict, it was also grown in Ohrid, Bitola and other wine districts in Macedonia, but in limited areas.
The main feature of this variety is its durability. There was a period in the past when it was about to become extinct because no one paid it any attention, but it survived. The tendency of international varieties in the past, on a higher level destructed the ex¬istence of this Macedonian variety. Today, the Stanushina finally receives all the attention it deserved.
Stanushina is an old variety that has been grown in the Tikves vineyards for a longer pe¬riod of time. The time of its growing brought to heterogeneity among the population and appearance of varieties that differ between themselves in the skin colour, the sugar sub¬stance and the final output. The new vine plantations in Tikves region, mostly around Demir Kapija, are grown from the special se¬lection varieties. The well-chosen vines with dark blue co¬lour grapes and high amount of sugar sub¬stance produce high quality red wines.
The cluster is of medium size, cylindrical shape and usually without wings. The berry is round and medium-sized. The skin is dark blue, with tiny rusty spots, around which the unwaxed rings are formed, which is a dis¬tinctive sign for the variety.
October is the ripening month in the Tikves district. The vine has got straight and strong vine sprouts that enable the growth without supporting construction. It is highly resistant to drought which is con¬sidered as a positive feature. The grapes require special attention and serious commitment. On a good vintage, it can produce a wine with mean strengths of 11 to 12 percent alcohol.
The color of the wine made of Stanushina is characteristically pale, but it has a rich extract and high acidity level which give the wine an exquisite freshness.
People with refined taste adore this wine and never miss the opportunity to grab a bottle of wine for themselves when visiting Macedonia.
The wine has an intense aroma of strawberry, raspberry, and the fruity notes are best enjoyed when the wine is consumed young at 10 to 16°C. It’s an excellent choice to combine it with light and creamy puddings. The main features of the wine are mostly expressed when served with lettuce, sarma (Balkan dish), stuffed bell peppers or some light dishes.