Albanian Wine: Europe’s Oldest and Possibly Best

January 5, 2017

Albanian Wine

Albanian wine is no stranger to Europe. Archeological evidence near the capital of Tirana indicates traces of tannic acid, which produces the bitter taste in wine, dates back to a 6,000-year viniculture, making Albania arguably the oldest winemaker in Europe. Albania, a small country bordering Greece on the Adriatic Sea, has four separate wine regions, defined mostly by their altitude, ranging from the mountains to the inland foothills to the coastal villages. The country’s wine has been characterized by a unique sweetness since ancient times. Ancient Roman writer Pliny described Albania wine as “very sweet or luscious.”

Albanian Wine

Science Meets Wine

Flori Uka, barely 30 years old, is making a name for himself and his family’s self-named enterprise, Uka Winery – an oasis of biodynamic sustainable farm and vineyards. The farm was founded by his father, a professor of agriculture and former Albanian Minister of Agriculture, in 1996. “He is a scientist and not a good politician,” laughs Flori, “So he left politics for the farm, which was his passion.” The farm was a major project for Professor Uka who applied the philosophy of biodynamic farming – organisms working together to create a single organism, to copy the forest and work by itself. The Uka farm was not originally built for business but was originally established for scientific purposes and so that his students could visit the farm to see for themselves what they were studying. Albanian Wine

Growth Without Human Intervention

At Uka, they are “trying to copy a forest,” allowing it to self-work. “It is really difficult to do with fruits, but with the intervention of the human being, it is possible. But the thing that my father wanted to do was to intervene less. The less intervention, the better it is for nature because nature created us, we didn’t create nature.” “We call the insects enemies, but 100 years ago pesticides didn’t exist and they were not enemies. Everyone ate healthy. Now a lot of different things have destroyed agriculture and we have artificialized nature and food and now have to treat them. So if we live like a forest, we don’t have to treat it, we get everything healthy like a tree. This is the concept.” Read the rest of Albanian Wine in Epicure & Culture magazine.

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Albanian Wine

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  1. Comment by Cindy Collins

    Cindy Collins Reply January 18, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    That’s interesting! When we spend time in Croatia, we were highly impressed with Croatian wine too. Will have to pay Albania a visit too now!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply January 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      The Albania wine was delicious, Cindy! And so much fun to try new and somewhat undiscovered wines in other countries!

  2. Comment by Kelly | A Pair of Passports

    Kelly | A Pair of Passports Reply March 5, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Love how informative this is! We love trying wine and are trying to make it to as many wine destinations as possible. Definitely need to add Albania to our list!

  3. Comment by Bryson Fico

    Bryson Fico Reply June 23, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Informative post I love the idea of “trying to copy a forest,” and allowing the winery to self-work.

  4. Pingback: Albania Tourist Attractions: 8 Places That Will Wow You

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