- Title: KOSOVO: Serbian orthodox church in Kosovo looking to expand wine production
- Date: 22nd April 2008
- Summary: BOY PLAYING WITH BALL PEOPLE ON VILLAGE STREETS
- Embargoed: 7th May 2008 13:00
- Topics: Industry,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA342R2V6UZYSYUFGR34EB5UTUU
- Story Text: Serbian Orthodox monks in Kosovo are pushing ahead with traditional wine production, despite the state recently declaring its independence from Serbia.
Serbia considers Kosovo central to its Orthodox religion and identity, and the church is trying to keep its traditions alive through wine production and icons they sell to foreign visitors and export to Serbia.
Father Marko from the Decani monastery is an experienced wine producer.
He hopes the money the monastery produces will support other Orthodox churches in Kosovo.
Decani's vineyard currently produces 25,000 bottles a year, but Father Marko is hoping to expand production to 100,000 bottles.
"Wine is mostly being sold in Decani monastery, where many people come and buy our wine. We send part of the wine to our friends in Belgrade....We will increase the production and will get bar code and excise labels, so we will be able to sell it on the free market," he said.
He is hoping the change in Kosovo's status will not hamper the production and selling of the wine.
"With the new situation in Kosovo there is a possibility they may introduce higher tax and excise which may destroy us, but I hope this will not happen," he said.
The monastery uses the local grape "Prokupac" as well as French cabernet sauvignon to creating a blend its calls "Decansko".
Father Marko says he has good relations with local villagers, the majority of whom are Albanians.
"I buy grapes from Albanians here. I also help them and they help me when I need it, so we are cooperating on a personal level," he said.
Dozens of Serb Orthodox religious sites and their lands have been offered special privileges and tax breaks under a U.N. plan that was rejected by Serbia and Russia but is being implemented by Kosovo Albanians and their Western backers.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None