Not very far away from Novi Sad lies the town of Sremski Karlovci, perhaps one of Serbia’s most significant cultural and historical places. It is not surprising that in the past it used to be a town ahead of its time. The reasons for this are multiple. It has been known as the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Habsburg Monarchy. It was the place where the peace treaty was signed between two great empiries – Austrian and Ottoman. It was the political and cultural capital of Serbian Vojvodina after the May Assembly and during the Revolution in 1848. Also, the first Serbian gymnasium was founded in the heart of Sremski Karlovci, which still keeps some of the oldest Serbian books. There are other significant buildings such as Magistrate where the municipality headquarters is now situated, the Chapel of Peace, the Palace of church funds, theological school, the boarding school, Partiarchy residence, Orthdox cathredral, etc. All this legacy surely speaks in favour of the Karlovci grandeur, significance and influence on the Serbian identity and culture during history, which is interpreted and revived through museum exhibitions and various events held in the town throughout the whole year.
Perhaps the most known fact is that Sremski Karlovci is the place where you can have a glass of good wine. Viticulture in this area has had a long tradition. Yet the Roman emperor Probus recognised the fertile soil and thus planted the first grapevine on the slopes of Fruška Gora. He was the one to bring the wine culture to this region, which is still thriving today and makes it the main occupation, or hobby, for most locals.
Karlovci wines have been famous far and wide. There is a particular sweet, desert wine called Bermet, which has rightfully become a famous national brand. It is claimed that it was served on Titanic, as well as on European courts, that it was the favourite wine of the Austrian empress and the royal families throughout Europe, so no wonder that the wine producers selfishly keep the recipe for themselves. What you simply need to do is visit Karlovci and try it out, this very special wine whose taste is dominated by herbs and spices.
While the vinyards are located on the mountain slopes, the wine cellars are scattered all around the town and are easily accessible. Wherever you go, you can end up with a glass of wine in your hand. There is a wide range of flavours and brands on offer, such as Riesling, Bermet, Frankovka, Merlot, Vranac, Portuguiser, and Ausbruch. In every wine shop you can hear the story about wine production and of particular sorts that specific wineries are famous for. Of course, the sense of taste is satisfied too, as while you listen to your host, you would most certainly be holding a glass and tasting the flavour for yourself.
There are several wineries that you can visit in the very city centre. One of the most famous ones, famous for Bermet, is Kiš. A very long tradition of this winemaking family, were picked up by the youngest who have succeeded in expanding the capacities, and not forgetting their roots. In a very authentic ambience, cheerful owners are happy to welcome their guests, in which the tasting is often accompanied by the song of the ‘tamburaši’ from Srem.
“Vinum” is a winery located in the very heart of Sremski Karlovci has become a recognisable brand of quality wines of this beautiful town. With a clear vision, alongside modern technology woven by tradition, wines of superior quality are produced, which have numerous consumers. The winemakers keep surprising time and time again by their quality, creating wine from the terroir of strong identity. Their wines have got a proof of quality assurance at various international fairs and competitions, with the award received in France being the one they are most proud of.
Amongst rich heritage of a beautiful town of Sremski Karlovci, tucked in is the wine cellar „Benišek-Veselinović“. It is a rather interesting winery, gaining recognition firstly for its production of high quality brandy (rakija), which is somewhat more prominent brand of Serbia. Even with the excellent quality of brandy, the owners show their good knowledge when it comes to high quality wines as well. Always with a smile, they happily welcome their guests and make an inevitable toast with their well-known brandy.
After many years of work and life in the Far East, the Bošković family, having sincere love for wines, decided to realise their dreams in Sremski Karlovci. They planted a vineyard and built a world renowned winery. With great experience gained over the years, “Veritas” winery has not only brought the spirit of what is most beautiful in famous wine countries, but also the highest quality of wine which had been their main goal. Such premium wines can be tasted in the winery, where their magic is complemented by the beautiful ambience in the heart of the vineyard not far away from the town’s centre.
Combining history, culture, gastronomy and nature in the Fruška Gora region is an experience of its kind. There is not much we can tell you to persuade you to visit Sremski Karlovci. You can make it a half day trip from Novi Sad, or you can simply stay there for several days – there is plenty to do and see. Here are some of the recommendations how to get there and where to stay.
- Take buses number 61 and 62 from the main bus station in Novi Sad. The drive lasts approximately 30 minutes. The price of a single ticket is 135 RSD.
- Stay in one of the following hotels: Hotel Premier Prezident, Prezident Vila, Hotel Dunav, Rooms Belilo 69.
- Eat at Restaurant Pasent
- Walk to the Viewpoint or Stražilovo picnic site