Winegrowing cooperative of Venčac

The vineyards on the eastern slopes of the mountain Venčac belonged to the inhabitants of Arandjelovac, Vrbica, Banja and Lipovac. The largest ones, with spacious wine cellars were situated in Brezovac. In 1882, the wine from Venčac was exhibited at the Wine fair in Bordeaux.

Phylloxera, which started to spread all over Europe in 1864-65 destroyed, among others, vineyards on the mountain Venčac. They were renewed soon, and at the beginning of the 19th century, winegrowers started thinking about the foundation of the cooperative. This idea came true in 1903, by founding the first winegrowing cooperative in Serbia – The Winegrowing cooperative of Venčac.

The first thing to do was to build a cooperative facility, and then, in 1911 a two-storey cellar for keeping wine. Just before the World War I, a glass barrel of 70,000 liters was bought from a French company Borsari&C and its installation was finished during the war.

After the World War I, the cooperative was quickly recovering.  In 1925, the king Petar Karadjordjević became its member. Two barrels which used to belong to Karadjordje were brought from Topola to the cellar. One of the barrels was returned to Topola in 1931 when the King’s cellar was built, and the other one was given as a gift to the cooperative by the King.

Winegrowing cooperative of Venčac, 1936.

The Winegrowing cooperative reached its peak during the 1930s, when it was governed by Mihailo Stojić from Lipovac. At that time you could find grapes from Venčac even on the Viennese markets, the cooperative got electricity, renewed equipment and its members visited internationals wine fairs regularly in order to implement all innovations into their cooperative. It used to be a commercial, cultural, and social centre of the surrounding villages. It established health station, there was a doctor and it planned to build a Health care center together with the village hospital. During the World War II, the Winegrowing cooperative did not work with full capacity. Regardless of its good business results after the war, a compulsory administration was introduced in the cooperative in 1959, and in 1961 it was joined to “Navip” from Zemun as a working unit called “Vineyards of Venčac.”

The fact that the vineyards of  Venčac are on  approximately the same  latitude (Venčac 44˚15′45″  mid-latitude) as vineyards region near Bordeaux in France (44°50′19″ mid – latitude) means that it is possible to produce wines of exceptional quality in Šumadija that will rival the best European wines.