At the beginning of the 20th century, between 1908 and 1914, 30,000 hectares of vineyards in the Republic of Macedonia were completely destroyed by the Phylloxera. This period marked a decrease in viticulture in the country and with the turbulence of war, a major part of grapevine areas had disappeared by 1920. However, despite the difficult political and economic circumstances, viticulturists from the region gathered and put in efforts to renovate the grape vine by grafting home grape vine on American vines that were resistant to phylloxera.
In 1928 the king Aleksandar Karagorgevik decided to grow vine and build a winery in Demir Kapija (Turkish for steel gate). The winery got the name Vila Marija after his wife Marija. The land was bought with the money she received as dowry from her parents.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Republic of Macedonia was responsible for two-thirds of the total wine production in Yugoslavia. The 13 wineries that were established in the country were responsible mainly for the production of bulk wine.
The renewal of the viticulture and the increase of the vine land reaches its maximum in 1981 when 38 759 ha were registered.
After the separation of the Republic of Macedonia from Yugoslavia in 1990 starts the process of privatisation of old wineries. But, except the change of ownership, most things remained the same. All wineries continued to produce bulk wine in big quantities, with low quality and low prices.
But, the potential was much bigger.
Wine’s quality depends of the quality of the grapes, the quality of the equipment and the knowledge of the winemaker. Equipment can be bought, know-how can be gained, but wine quality depends of the climate conditions and the terroir. These conditions are met in Macedonia, and that is why the produced wine has a high quality.