The wine fair is important for the promotion and placement of products of small wine producers from Velika Hoča/Hoça e Madhe, it was said at the wine festival held on 16th of June in this village.
This event, organized by the NGO Aktiv, brought together wine producers from the region and business representatives from the north of Kosovo, with the aim of opening new paths of economic cooperation.
Producers of wine, white, red and rosé, want to continue the tradition of their ancestors, but now they need promotion and entry into a larger market. Igor Vecevich, a long-time wine producer, says that small producers find it difficult to sell domestic products.
“The wine fair means a lot, and with our effort and commitment, I hope that our products will be on the shelves of many markets”, he says.
According to him, the wine fair is important for presenting small producers, with the goal of finding their place on the market. Vecevich inherited the love of wine production from his grandfather. He explains that the secret of good wine lies in dedication, constant work and effort, but also from the harvest.
“I hope this will be successful. In the past, vineyards were cultivated painstakingly, and today we have expanded our business with the help of mechanization, I have sown grapes of merlot and vranac and I hope that we will survive, preserve and continue the centuries-old tradition”, says Vecevich.
Representatives of cafes, restaurants and grocery stores from municipalities in northern Kosovo attended the event, tasted wines from Velika Hoca and established contacts.
Dejan Rakic, an agricultural engineer from Zubin Potok, was in Velika Hoča/Hoça e Madhe for the first time. As an expert, he points out that small producers need to be economically empowered and promoted.
“They need wind in their backs. They know how to make wine here, and just need a promotion and market to sell their products. That is why fairs are important to these farms. It is important for them to promote themselves in Pristina, Belgrade, to strengthen this place and to make a living from their work”, says Rakich.
Although the wine from Velika Hoča/Hoça e Madhe is known as a quality domestic wine, this area is still underdeveloped, with limited chances of access to broader markets. Therefore, this event is designed to address this issue, says Caleb Waugh, Head of the NGO Aktiv Policy Office.
Waugh points out that the necessity to revive the local economy, which was the reason why small producers merged with possible business partners from the north of Kosovo.
“Velika Hoča is a small area, but it has a tradition of wine production, so we wanted to help local producers, who have been making wine for centuries and do not have access to other and larger markets. We have invited the owners of cafes, restaurants and shops to come and taste it, and I hope that there will be some cooperation”, Waugh says.
The gathered at the wine festival expressed hope that this small fair can grow into a traditional annual gathering, that people from other places from Kosovo and beyond come to Velika Hoča/Hoça e Madhe for wine, to socialize and business.
“A modest start, but it is the beginning”, Waugh concludes.