Wine from Kosovo – Not Costco

Wine from Kosovo – Not Costco
Wine from Kosovo - Not Costco

Searching for a WOW to pour into your wine glass? My suggestion: Wine from Kosovo, especially the 2018 Stone Castle, Rose, Pinot Noir, Rahoveci Valley.

Don’t Get Puzzled

Some people confuse Costco with Kosovo. Recently, as I was pouring wine into a glass, and brought attention to the beautiful coral hue, I mentioned that the wine was from Kosovo and really delicious. The reply, “I did not know that Costco sold excellent wines.”  “No! Not Costco…Kosovo (!) the country that is located in a region of south-eastern Europe that was, at one time, an autonomous province within the former Yugoslavia.

With a population of approximately 2 million people, it is bordered by Serbia (north and east), North Macedonia (southeast), Albania (southwest) and Montenegro (west) with the Albanian Alps and Sar Mountains rising in the southwest and southeast.

I went on to explain that up until the time of a civil war, Kosovo had a large number of productive vineyards. Sadly, during the conflict many wineries were permitted to go fallow – and it has taken years for the industry to recover.


The wine industry, in what is now known as the Republic of Kosovo, dates back more than 2000 years. Until the mid-20th century most wines were homemade and produced by subsistence peasant farmers for their own enjoyment and sold to neighbors. In the 1950s the Yugoslav regime, noting the potential for industrial wine production, created three large “wine factories” and supported the production of wines until the mid-1980s.

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The conflict seriously impacted on the wine industry. Before the war, exports were heavily focused on a single wine brand to a single export market. Amselfedler (blackbird fields), a sweet red wine from Pinot Noir and Gamay was a very desirable beverage in Germany.  Millions of cases were exported each year and there was huge demand…and then there was the war. Wine from Kosovo with its place in the German wine market was usurped by similarly styled wines – such as a red from Valencia, Spain and it successfully replaced Kosovo within 18 months after the start of the Kosovan war. READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT WINES.TRAVEL.

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About the author

Dr. Elinor Garely - special to eTN and editor in chief,

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