The Serbian wine industry is showing signs of significant growth, as evidenced by In Vino, an annual international wine festival that is held in Belgrade since 2004 on an annual basis. Also, since 2010, an annual international wine fair is held at the Belgrade Fair, named "Beo Wine Fair".
Harvest season in Serbia begins in July and ends in October.
The history of wine-making in Serbia dates back to prehistory. Viticulture was rich during the Roman period. Wine has been part of Serbian culture since the establishment of statehood, especially during the reign of the Nemanjić dynasty (1166–1371), which encouraged and promoted viticulture.
Former Yugoslavia was among the top-ten world wine producing countries. At its peak in the 1970s, it produced over 6 million hectolitres annually. However, largely due to the constraints of the socialist state, emphasis was put on quantity rather than quality. Many wines were mass-produced in large agricultural combines such as Navip and Rubin, with generally low quality standards in all stages of the wine-making process. The 1980s saw a sharp decline in production and exports, a development that continued in the 1990s with the Breakup of Yugoslavia and the subsequent breakdown of the Serbian economy.
But in the 2000s, Serbian winemaking started not only to recover, but to take a sharp and decisive turn towards quality and distinction. Numerous small and medium privately owned wineries entered the market, often run as family businesses, and with very high regard for standards of quality and taste. Some near-forgotten traditions, such as Bermet of Sremski Karlovci, were revived. The country's economic recovery also contributed to increase of domestic consumption. Wine production in 2004 was 1,550,000 litres. Wine consumption per capita is 16 liters (2006). Still, only 5% of domestic production is exported (2004-2007 data), most of it into neighboring countries, and chiefly in bulk. High-quality and quality wines constitute about 35% of production.
The most important Serbian vineyard areas are situated in Negotinska krajina (250 km in the east from Belgrade), in the area of Vršac (100 km on the north-east from Belgrade), on the slopes of Fruška Gora (80 km on the north-west from Belgrade), in the Subotica area (200 km on the north from Belgrade), Šumadija (100 km on the south-west from Belgrade) and Župa (230 km on the south-east from Belgrade).
According to a classification from the 1970s, Serbia has nine winemaking regions, each with several subregions:
- Timok region, in eastern Central Serbia, around Timok river valley
- Nišava-South Morava region in southern Serbia, in valleys of eponymous rivers
- West Morava region in central Serbia, along the lower flow of the river
- Šumadija-Great Morava region in central Serbia, the largest one by area
- Pocerina region, in western Serbia, around the mountain of Cer
- Srem region, around Fruška Gora mountain in the province of Vojvodina
- Banat region, around Vršac Mountains in eastern Vojvodina
- South Banat subregion
- North Banat subregion
- Subotica-Horgoš region in northern Vojvodina
- Kosovo (Metohija) region, in central Kosovo[note 1]
In light of revival of winemaking industry of Serbia, Serbian Ministry of Agriculture in 2008 launched an initiative for reform of Serbian laws on winemaking, and re-classification of wine regions.
Major varieties include the Belgrade Seedless, Prokupac, Sauvignon[disambiguation needed], "Italian Riesling", Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc and Pinot noir, Hamburg, Muscat, Afus Ali, Vranac, Tamjanika, Krstač, Smederevka, and Dinka. Some rare varieties survive in Serbia, too, such as the Muscat Crocant.
The eldest authentic grape sorts are considered to be Prokupac and Tamjanika. Prokupac is the sort of red wines and was known even in early Middle Ages, while Tamjanika is a Muscat sort originated from Southern France, known in Serbia for more than 500 years.
White wines constitute about 64% of production, and red about 36%.
- Tamjanika, Muscat sort originated from Southern France, known in Serbia for more than 500 years.
- "Fruit industry of Serbia" (PDF). Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency.
- "Wine Fair announced in Belgrade". B92. 2011-02-16.
- "Yugoslavia". The Oxford Companion to Wine.
- Vlahović B, Puškarić A, Maksimović B. (2009). "Competitiveness of wine export from the Republic of Serbia" (PDF).
- "Vinogradarski rejoni Srbije (granice i sortiment)" (PDF) (in Serbian). Serbian Ministry of Agriculture. 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
- "Poziv ministra" (PDF) (in Serbian). Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management. 2008.
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- (Serbian) Wine Style, Serbian magazine specialized for wine and spirits
- Serbian wine routes, Serbian Tourist organization
- "Istorija i geografija srpskog vinogradarstva i vinarstva.pdf" (PDF) (in Serbian). Serbian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management. pp. 24–26.