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Montenegro has great potential for wine tourism development – Special emphasis should be placed on boutique winemaking

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Montenegro definitely has the potential to develop its wine story, but much work needs to be done in terms of the quality of the offer, as well as the organizational aspect within the wineries, believes Željko Uljarević, owner of Compania de vinos, which this year organized the fifth edition of the Wine Salon as part of the Mimosa Festival in Herceg Novi. As he emphasizes, special emphasis should be placed on the development of boutique winemaking.

  • Montenegro’s wine market has progressed significantly in recent years, but winemakers need to work hard to offer high-quality wines to the market, maintain continuity in that quality, and pay more attention to the organization of sales, inventory stability, and selection of clients they collaborate with – Uljarević said.

According to him, in Montenegro, there are serious wineries that sell their wine in supermarkets and restaurants.

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  • That is not a recommendation and one day winemakers must make a decision. If they want to offer winemaking at a high level, they cannot sell serious wines in supermarkets, restaurants, or hotels – he believes.

The potential for wine tourism in Montenegro certainly exists, and it, according to Uljarević, should be developed in – wineries.

  • Montenegro should focus on developing boutique winemaking. Since these are mostly small cellars, the offer should be organized so that tourists visit you in the wineries themselves. There are several cellars in Montenegro that are doing very well, but the capacities are still small, and all of this can be at a much better level – says Uljarević.

He reiterates that Montenegro is certainly progressing, but it still has much to learn to reach the level of what wineries in the region have already achieved.

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  • However, the fact that the region is developing in terms of the wine scene is very good because it pushes you forward and you have the task of getting better and better.

This year at the Wine Salon, held at the Lazure Hotel and Marina in Meljine, there were five exhibitors from Montenegro, and they are the wineries that the organizer Compania de vinos collaborates with.

  • There could definitely be more, there is potential, but every year we strive to choose winemakers and wines that we want to present to the market – he notes.

In addition to Montenegrin wineries, exhibitors from other countries of the former Yugoslavia also presented at the Wine Salon, with Italy and France being highly represented, along with Spain and Austria.

  • A total of 55 wineries from all these countries presented their offerings, with more than 500 products from different producers. In addition to wineries, we also had 15 distilleries, and we presented a popular Scotch whisky as well as two gin producers – the organizer tells us.

When he started organizing the Wine Salon five years ago, it wasn’t intended to be of this magnitude, says Uljarević.

  • We had the idea for Compania de vinos to showcase everything it wanted to offer the Montenegrin market every year in one place. We wanted to invite our partners, buyers, and friends so they could try what they wanted, and then we would present what they chose with a special presentation. However, it turned into a real expansion – he emphasizes.

Interest has constantly grown, so from about fifteen exhibitors in the first year, the Wine Salon has grown to 55 in this one.

  • We expanded according to the needs of clients and the market, following the modernization happening in tourism, and we have reached the point where you definitely have everything you want to try in our sales portfolio – concludes Željko Uljarević.

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