The Imako Vino winery is located in the arid area of Ovche Pole, one of the seven wine districts in the greater Povardarie (Vardar River Valley), a wine region characterised by long sunny days, expressive terroir and centuries old winemaking traditions. The wines from this area tend to be powerful, heavily extracted and known for their high alcohol levels, but complex nevertheless. In 2002, guided by the founder’s enterprising spirit, and driven by the desire to continue a family legacy of making wine, Imako Vino was established by Dr. Risto Ljubotenski. Passionate about contributing to the development of Macedonia’s wine industry, and convinced of the the potential for its land and its climate, Risto has continued to invest in this project and today runs the winery alongside his daughter Dushica and son Nikola.
Since its conception the business has gone one to become one of the largest wineries in North Macedonia boasting an annual capacity and production of more than 11.5 million litres, of which only a small proportion is sold off for spirt distillation. The winery combines contemporary winemaking technologies with creativity and knowledge in order to produce wines at a variety of price points.
Imako Vino owns its own vineyards, but also sources part of the fruit from a network of co-operatives whose plantings are located across the Povardarie Region. The total surface of vineyards amounts to about 650 ha. As of 2021, Imako Vino has started planting new vineyards in the vicinity of the winery and it is expect this will add around 150 ha to the company’s holdings. These soils are mainly smolnica, rendzina, and alluvial. The winery produces wine from regional varieties such as Zupljanka, Muscat Ottonel, Temjanika, Rkacitli and Vranec, as well as an international cohort of Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir.
Imako is one of the few wineries in the country that started producing fortified sweet wines and has demonstrated the potential of Macedonian Vranec to produce wines of this style. Beyond wine, the winery is also responsible for a some high quality rakijas and these have been gaining recognition and awards at spirits competitions around the world.