A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

Vranac in American Vineyards

Wine migrations from the Balkans to the USA do not come as a surprise. The story about Zinfandel's beginnings on the American continent is well-known. The most important institution in the USA focused on grapevine research is UC Davis. It also founded a vine nursery where all new varieties of grapevine on the American soil are checked for viruses and further propagated and sold to commercial nurseries throughout the United States.

In 2010, the so-called "2010 Protocol" was launched, defining the criteria that grapevine must meet in order to be planted in their new foundation vineyard Russell Ranch.

Since then, growing number of grape varieties has been arriving at the Russell Ranch Collection, where continued work is done to prepare them for potential commercial use. The first specimens of Vranac arrived in the 1970s, thanks to prof. Lazar Avramov. Later on, a group of varieties from the Balkans (Montenegro, Macedonia, Dalmatia) arrived from Slovenia to UC Davis nursery and implementation of the 2010 Protocol began with an ambition to place those vines in the Russell Ranch foundation vineyard.

Good news is that the vines were granted the status of approved in 2018 so the first certified virus-free Vranac vines were planted in Russell Ranch foundation vineyard. They will be used to provide limited quantity of vines for commercial nurseries. We hope that in the years to come, more and more wineries from the USA will find an interest in planting Vranac. The pioneer in this venture is Opolo Winery located in Paso Robles, California. Rick Quinn, the owner of Opolo winery, has family roots in Herzegovina and Montenegro, so it doesn't come as a surprise that he feels the region of former Yugoslavia particularly close to his heart. In addition, to mark the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Opolo Winery created a wine label Autocephaly that will be distributed throughout the United States.

This is a great piece of news for Vranac and it is in line with recent California trends where more and more wineries are experimenting with Mediterranean grape varieties to respond timely to global climate change. There are indications that in the coming decades, it will be increasingly difficult to cultivate premium quality Cabernet Sauvignon in some parts of California, so wineries have already started experimenting with adequate alternatives. Anyhow, knowing the family links between Kratošija / Zinfandel and Vranac, it won't be difficult to present qualities of Vranac to US winemakers.

Source: Vinopedia, 08/18/2019


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People Directory

Sanja Beštić

Sanja Bestic (Сања Бештић, Sanja Beštić) was born in Belgrade, Serbia on June 13, 1982. The civil war in the former Yugoslavia broke out when Sanja was ten (10) years old. She would continue to live through that war and the two (2) that followed. Sanja felt the greatest impact of the wars during the Belgrade bombings in 1999. Nonetheless, she attended the Zemunska Gimnazija for high school while simultaneously studying at the renowned theater studio and acting school run by Mika Aleksic, the famous theater arts professor.

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Publishing

Residents of Heaven

An Exhibit of Byzantine and Modern Orthodox Icons

Residents of Heaven is a book of Icons by Father Stamatis Skliris which were prepared for "An Exhibit of Byzantine and Modern Orthodox Icons" held at the "David Allan Hubbard Library, Fuller Theological Seminary" in Pasadena, California, June 10 - July 5, 2010.

The iconographer, V. Rev. Stamatis Skliris, attended the opening of the exhibit with His Grace, Bishop Maxim who gave the Introduction. The mounting of the display was done by Jasminka Gabrie and the staff of the Fuller Library. The opening event was organized by Dr. William Dyrness, Director of the Visual Faith Institute, Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts, Fuller Seminary.