Chateau Sopot is one of the most renowned Macedonian wineries, with quality wine production, and breathtaking on-site scenery. If you are in Macedonia, visiting the vineyard is terrific idea – combining the outdoor with the gourmet, it is a very popular day trip.
Location wise, the Chateau Sopot winery sits to the right of the pay toll on the Skopje-Veles highway. It is close to Lake Mladost, which is another popular destination near the Veles district, so you can hardly miss the entrance.
Often referred to as Sopot, it shouldn’t be mistaken for the villages near Kumanovo and Kavadarci.
A farm winery like most of the other Macedonian wine facilities, it includes a picturesque vineyard which is a reason alone for taking the trip. The height of the grape plantation is at around 220 meters, with the restaurant terrace slightly higher, providing for an unforgettable view.
The history of the Chateau Sopot winery
Built recently, in the year of 2006, the winery is a visionary project of Vikica Popovski and Lazar Ristov – the first owner of a construction company, the second a respected oenologist.
Winning a 30-year concession on the vineyards, they began building a boutique winery. Several years later, the Shateau Sopot brand emerged on the Macedonian wine scene, establishing this relatively small facility as one of the leading wineries in the country.
The capacity of Shateau Sopot is 70,000 liters, with production currently set around 60,000.
The vineyards are covering 103 hectares, most of them surrounding the facility, with 38 hectares of Rhine Riesling, 25 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 hectares of Chardonnay, and two hectares of Muscat. The winery is also purchasing Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio grapes from plantations on Mount Kozuf (550 altitide).
The production in Shateau Sopot, unlike other regional wineries, is not focused as much on quantity as it is on quality. The production facility and the wine cellars are state of the art, and they can become part of the daily tour if you are curious enough to take a look.
The beauty of Chateau Sopot near Veles
The sea of grape plantations covering the horizon is a sight to behold. Many locals are taking the 40-minute trip from the capital of Skopje only to enjoy in the serenity and mesmerizing scenery.
The atmosphere is such that you can immerse yourself completely, listening only to a light breeze while sipping wine and observing the sun as it sets behind the horizon.
Shateau Sopot dominates the Veles wine district with a well-equiped wine shop, six apartments, lovely restaurant terrace and one of the most captivating panoramic views over its own vineyards. The place is remote and isolated from the rest of the region, and therefore a perfect opportunity to reminisce your stay in Macedonia, planning for the following day.
If you enjoy the countryside adventure, and appreciate gourmet food and quality wine, Sopot is definitely worth paying a visit. Being close to Skopje further justifies the trip and you can make a perfect combination with other attractive sites and activities (more on that below).
The wines of Chateau Sopot
Available only in elite restaurants and hotels throughout the country, the wines that come out of Sopot will exceed your expectations without any doubt. The list is rather long, and you can enjoy quality red, white and rosé.
White wines from Chateau Sopot
- Chardonnay – an elegant fruity wine that is crafted from hand-picked grapes. The Sopot Chardonnay delivers a bouquet of apples and herbal honey, transcending well into a lasting and enjoyable finish. It is a nice introduction to the palate of white wines.
- Chardonnay Barrique Grand Reserva – an ultra-premium Chardonnay that has been aged for two years in quality French oak barrels. The wine is full-bodied, exceptionally dry, exhibiting thus an aroma with a variety of exotic tropical fruits.
- Rhein Riesling – an extraordinary white from the vineyards by the river of Vardar. Exceptionally crisp, with green apple and peach freshness that you will enjoy.
- Pinot Grigio – the medium-bodied white which has a delicate fragrance and a variety of green apples. With gentle but noticeable touches of lemon-citrus flavors it is one of the most refreshing wines you’ll ever taste.
- Temjanika – the semi-sweet wine with a satisfying creamy texture, elderberry blossom aromas, and elegant yellow fruit flavors.
- Traminec – special rendition of the Gewürztraminer, and a truly splendid wine.
- Sopot Bianco
Rosé wines from Chateau Sopot
- Pinot Noir – an exceptionally dry taste, with wonderful red fruit aromas, red raspberries and strawberries all mixed together.
Red wines from Chateau Sopot
- Cabernet Sauvigon, Merlot, Shiraz – a deep and dark red color wine. It is full-bodied and complex, exploding into plums, blackberries, spice and a variety of forest fruits. Very enjoyable!
- Cabernet Sauvignon Barrique, Reserva – exceptionally structured wine that is full-bodied, with long after taste delivering an explosion of flavors. You can take notice of blueberries, cherries, dried plums and chocolate, melting together to create a truly remarkable taste.
- Cabernet Sauvignon Barrique, Grand Reserva – an ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvigon that has been aged for two years in quality French oak barrels. The wine is full-bodied, with an exceptionally developed tannin structure and luxurious notes of cherries, black currant, and dark chocolate. Perhaps one of the best Macedonian wines you’ll ever taste.
- Allure Pinot Noir Grand Reserve
- Sopot Rosso
- Mistica – a well balanced red wine that is exceptionally dry. Crafted from Pinot Noir it is well-round, quite rich in cherry, red currant, strawberry and plum. Very satisfying and vibrant!
- Vranec – a full-bodied wine with a dark ruby color. This one combines the fruits of the Black Forest, finding itself among the most exquisite Macedonian wines you’ll ever taste.
Sipping any of these is a true delight while watching the sunset as it paints the horizon. If you are here in late spring or summer, the experience is hard to describe.
The Chateau Sopot menu, even though more expensive than the average Macedonian restaurant, is still beyond affordable when compared to western standards.
There are several reviews complaining about the quality of the service, but our disguised visit, as part of the Discovering Macedonia team, went exceptionally well. We enjoyed every minute and every aspect of it.
How to get in touch with Chateau Sopot
To ask for accommodation availability, you can e-mail or phone the winery complex. Restaurant reservations are done the same way, but you can also reach them via their Facebook page. As I’m writing this, their website is still in production. Here is a list of contact options:
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: Jadranska Magistrala number 135, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
- Phone: +389 78663300
- Facebook: @chateausopotmacedonia
Combining Chateau Sopot with other Macedonian destinations
Even though Sopot is an impressive facility with an even more impressive vineyard, few hours is pretty much all you can spare – unless, of course, you have booked a room for the night. Considering the proximity to Veles, you can visit the lake Mladost nearby, and enjoy a cycling adventure on the paved road circling the coast.
If you are not an outdoor enthusiast, then perhaps the boat restaurant Panini is a better option. The setting is unprecedented, and the atmosphere unique. The affordable menu will definitely surprise you, but you better get used to the fact that almost everything in Macedonia is beyond affordable when compared to other western countries.
Other restaurants are just further down the road, and you will spot even more affordable prices. The entire area is peaceful and serene, and the color of the lake in summer is beyond what I can describe with words. Definitely worth paying a visit, especially if you are passing by and looking for a place to eat!
Getting to Veles is rather easy, and the directions are pretty straightforward. There is literally no way to make a mistake, and you can get there by car in less than an hour (maybe much sooner, depending on your speed).
Note also, that the Cyrillic transcription for Veles and Chateau Sopot read “Велес” and “Шато Сопот”.
That being said, you can be located in the Skopje area, and complete a round trip to the periphery of Veles in a single day. Whatever else might be said, you can definitely get back on time for a night out in the capital.
Other daily trips combine the Chateau Sopot winery with the Marble Lake near Prilep, which is a bird of another feather. Seeing these two magnificent places in a single day is an experience of a lifetime.
If you are comfortable with a rented vehicle, or have a local guide taking you around the country, other destinations are available as well. You can visit the small town of Krusevo, enjoy a tandem paragliding flight, drive back to Sopot at Veles for a toast at sunset, and still be back on time for a night out in the capital.
But even if you decide to head down to Chateau Sopot and only enjoy your lunch, the view alone is worth the round trip. You can have a toast with your family, or schedule a business meeting, or enjoy with your friends and significant other.
You will always pay lip service to the place buried deep into the periphery, with colorful panoramic views, and premium Macedonian wines.
If you are a wine aficionado, it would be a sacrilege to visit Macedonia and miss out on this mesmerizing vineyard, and a truly exceptional winery.