The Ancient Macedonians had a god of the wine named Dionis and that proves that they were known admirers of this drink.
For the wine produced in Resava, Tikveš wine region, was once rumored to be so dense that could be carried in a cloth.
One of the characteristics of the ancient Macedonian burial customs, which are kept up to date in this region, was the placement and buring of any items of personal property with the deceased.
According to some historical sources, Alexander the Macedonian, had a special servant called “wine pourer”, with the sole task to serve his master with this beverage.
A large number of terracotta statues made in the honor of Dionis, originating from the 1 century BC, are found in the archeological site Stobi. Dionis was particularly honored by its local population. This is another prove of the long tradition of viticulture in these areas.
In the culture of Ancient Macedonia, which covered a larger geographical area than today’s Republic of Macedonia, wine played an important role. During the time of Philip II and Alexander the Great members of the Macedonian royal family were known as strong consumers of Macedonian wine.
Still, despite this circumstances, vine growers in this region were uniting in the efforts to rebuild the vineyards with grafting of the domestic grapevine on a American bases that were resistant to phylloxera.
In the 60’s and 70’s of the last century, the area covered with vineyards in the central region of Vardar River Valley, Povardarski wine region, was estimated to be around 14.000 ha. While part of ex-Yugoslavia the vineyards were extensively established and in 1981 are registered largest areas 39.000 ha with vine. After this maximum, comes a period of destabilization of this branch by reducing of area with vine as a result of the transformation of society. The changes enable the private sector to become the main carrier of development and modernization of viticulture and wine making in this region.
While part of former Yugoslavia, Macedonia was a major producer of wine, accounting for 2/3 of the Yugoslav production. After the declaration of independence of Republic of Macedonia from Yugoslavia former state owned wineries were privatized and a number of small family owned flourished all over the country.
In the wedding customs in the villages and towns in this region, on the groom’s wedding day, when he goes to the house of the bride, her mother brings him a pie, which he is obliged to cut and pour wine over it. Then from the pieces soaked in wine, he gives one to the bride.
Later, few days before the wedding day, the bride’s parents send an older woman to the parents of the groom as a sign of invitation to the wedding. She carries with her a bottle of wine which has wrapped handkerchief around it.
On this day, men who own vineyards, gather and prune it, which symbolically marks the beginning of tailoring and the new vegetation. This is done in the presence of religious people who then bless the new generation that is being expected. After the symbolic pruning of the vines, a general merriment starts with drinking wine and singing songs.