01. May 2022
Photo: ivanovicvino.com

If Tamjanika is the queen of Župa, then Prokupac is its king. In the 20th century, these two authentic Serbian grape varieties were marginalized, due to industrialization and the primacy of world varieties, such as Merlot, Cabernet and Chardonnay. Ivanović family saved these Serbian varieties by renewing their vineyard and their family winery. Brother and sister Ivan and Nadežda Ivanović, who inherited the Ivanović Winery (www.ivanovicvino.com) from their father Dragoslav, are the fourth generation to produce wine from grapes from family orchards.


During the 103 years of vine growing and wine making history of Ivanović family from Aleksandrovac, many different chapters have been written. They are still picking grapes from the vines planted by the grandfather Dragi Dragoslav Ivanović. The story of their vineyard and winery is much more than just one family's history. It is a history of love of nature, grape, wine, one's native soil and traditition, but also a history of turbulent times.


The family business is now run by Ivan and his sister Nadežda. They inherited it from their father Gaga Dragoslav, who in turn inherited it from his father Ivan and his grandfather who also was Gaga's namesake. The fourth generation is currently writing new pages of this history, perhaps with even more enthusisam than their father Gaga (1959- 2020) felt when he brought grape crushers and presses out of the basement.

Since the 2020 vintage, they switched to organic production with Ecocert certification for the local and European markets. At the beginning of this year, they introduced their premium wine Gaga, 100 % Prokupac, 2017 vintage wine, paying homage to their deceased father and the prime mover of the winery’s modern era.


“We produce 40.000 to 50.000 liters per year, which classifies us as a boutique winery. We have around 3.5 hectares of our own vineyards, and we also buy up grape from around 12 hectares belonging to Župa vine growers“, says Nadežda Ivanović.

For comparison, at the beginning of the last century they used to produce 100.000 liters per year. Their grandfather Dragi was a well-respected housekeeper, vine grower and merchant. They were growing Prokupac and Tamjanika, more than 1.000 years old varieties. After the WWII, a considerable part of their property was taken away from them in two nationalisation processes – land and stockpiles of wine and brandy.


Son Ivan is an economist, he taught at school and also worked in the Municipality. His son Gaga graduated from the Faculty of Technology and Metalurgy. They processed grapes for their own needs until 1996 when Ivan's and Nadežda's father left his work in the Milan Blagojević factory in Lučani, and returned to Župa.

„Father fell in love with the vineyard as a boy. He grew up with our great-grandfather. They used to take us with them when we were kids, usually during the grape harvest season. Five or six years ago, brother Iva decided to stay with father. I was trying different carriers at that time. I was attempting to find myself in PR, worked on a ship and in a large corporation. Then I came back to my home town to carry on with family tradition that my forefathers built for a century. And it gave a deeper meaning to my life“.

They carry their ancestral heritage in their manners, their memories, in their stunning 1934. house in which they live and which appears on the label of wine bottles. Brother and sister believe that they acquired abundant knowledge from their father. They are proud to hear his name uttered with respect in the winemakers guild – respect and the title – the father of Prokupac.


It was the winery Ivanović that produced the very first bottle of Prokupac in Serbia – back in 2003. There was a long way to go from establishing its reputation to the rennaissance Prokupac is enjoying today. On Serbia's wine map, there are currently around 70 labels of Prokupac, made in numerous small wineries.

The Ivanović family cherishes their wine making formula and their grape plants.

Top 5 wineries Ivanović

Basic wines

Basic wine accounts for around three quarters of the total wine production. These are Prokupac and Tamjanika. They are made from the grape bought up from the small wine growers, keepers of authentic varieties of  Župa.

  1. Prokupac

Prokupac dominates this wine stock. It consists of 85% authentic varieties, enriched with 15% of international varieties: 7.5% of merlot and 7.5% cabernet. Its color is ruby red and its aroma slightly pungent, reminiscent of ripe red fruit, strength, sharpness and past. Prokupac was consumed in these areas back in Mediaeval times. A sip of the royal Prokupac goes well with Serbian traditional cuisine, rich in red meat.

  1. Tamjanika

Natural wine made in traditional way. It can be consumed several months after the harvest. Bears the title of the Župa queen. Its aroma is seductive, with frankincense, cinnamon and basil undertones and its color flowing from transparent yellow to gold green. A glass of tamjanika is a noble companion of light meals, chicken, fish, nuts.

Premium wines

Exclusively made of grapes originating from the family vineyard cultivated by the fourth generation of the Ivanović family. Limited series production.

  1. No ½ (Numero 1/2)

Perhaps one half is sold, and another half is consumed by the Ivanović family? This wine sets the standard of the Župa red premium wine. Its composition is half and half (two halves): ½ of Prokupac, 25% of Cabernet and 25% of Merlot. The same, royal, Prokupac DNA, with different proportion.

After the vinification it is stored in barrels made of the Serbian oak. In Župa, they say that red wines with strong character like this one are „drank with a spoon “. Will give pleasure to your palate when combined with high calorie food. Ideals snacks to go with a glass of No ½ are salty hard cheese, spicy food, prosciutto.

  1. 4. No ¾ (Tamjanika barrique)

Born from Ivan’s idea to store the tamjanika grown in their own vineyards in barriques for six months. It’s the first organic premium white wine in their one century old family tradition. Launched as an experiment, the wine achieved excellent results in the market. Best served chilled at 10 to 14°C, with dried plums, apricots, figs, roasted almonds.

  1. Gaga

An excellent 2017 vintage of Prokupac. Gaga wanted it to be homage to his grandfather. It was destined for Gaga's children to launch this masterpiece in honour of their father who died before his time. Exclusive limited series of 600 bottles. Labels are showing the contour lines of the Varin hill where the vines are grown. The 2021 vintage is prepared for the new Gaga series. In winery they say that it remains to be seen whether or when it will get to bottling. Offered in 0.75 l bottles, the wine is of dark red color. It is recommended to be drank with meat specialties, tobacco greaves, strong red onion sauces, spicy spreads, strong domestic food.

By: Aleksandra Marković

Photo: Ivanović Winery

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