By Paul Caputo

Stanušina is a red grape variety indigenous to North Macedonia. Although quite an interesting variety, it is only produced by a couple of wineries on a commercial level. Commerciality not withstanding, I’ve never really understood why more wineries don’t attempt to differentiate themselves with it.

As far as I know, Popova Kula lead the way, producing at least four different expressions of the grape. The only other project bottling Stanušina is Brusani Winery although this is far less commercial and winemaker Orce Dimitrievski does not make one every year.

Like many old Balkan grapes, Stanušina was allowed to disappear during the communist period in favour of varieties with high yields. Its low levels of colour, tannin and fruit made it unattractive to farmers seeking only volume. It was ultimately just too difficult to cultivate.