June 10, 2019
Entered Serbia after saying goodbye to Macedonia by staying at a winery/hotel. The Kokino winery is mostly a bulk producer. The wines are all produced in very large stainless steel tanks. Most of the wine is sold to be bottled by others.
Kokino produces chardonnays, pinot noirs and vranecs.
The owner Milos and I toured the winery but mostly we talked wine and sampled from the tanks. He discussed his problem of exporting to other countries. As Macedonia is not part of the EU and he has very limited resources his prospects for much expansion are very limited. Milos is selling his large tanks and converting to a higher level wine trying to become a boutique hotel and winery. If he can continue with the type of service and add food service beyond the excellent breakfast that they now serve, I think he has a opportunity.
I did sample a bottle of his pinot with a pasta dish I prepared and it was very drinkable. Not much complexity. As a medium dry and a typical pinot light body along with a wonderful nose it was very identifiable as a pinot. It was neat to park my bike among the large tanks.
The stay at the winery, including a full breakfast was $16. for a very nice, large brand new room. The bottle of wine was $2.00. Serbia is very inexpensive.
Yesterday my host in Nis invited me to lunch. Lunch here is a big deal. We talked drank and ate for 4 ½ hours. It was wonderful. Lunch normally begins after 3 pm, I have no idea when dinner is served.
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Igor, is a 29 year old who with his brother are trying to become hoteliers. They have 1 apartment so far. When I checked in he helped port my panniers to the 5th floor and find a safe place for my bike with a café owner. He then went to find 2 beers which we shared during our 2 hour talk about Nis (pronounce Neech) It is so good to really learn about place from the natives. Hope to find the Danube tomorrow afternoon and begin the leg to Brussels. Booked a room for 4 people (larger) for $14.00. No breakfast however. Camping is $22. Weird?
My pizza, which I am abandoning you for, has a fried egg on top.