A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

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- Woodrow Wilson

Vranac in American Vineyards

Wine migrations from the Balkans to the USA do not come as a surprise. The story about Zinfandel's beginnings on the American continent is well-known. The most important institution in the USA focused on grapevine research is UC Davis. It also founded a vine nursery where all new varieties of grapevine on the American soil are checked for viruses and further propagated and sold to commercial nurseries throughout the United States.

In 2010, the so-called "2010 Protocol" was launched, defining the criteria that grapevine must meet in order to be planted in their new foundation vineyard Russell Ranch.

Since then, growing number of grape varieties has been arriving at the Russell Ranch Collection, where continued work is done to prepare them for potential commercial use. The first specimens of Vranac arrived in the 1970s, thanks to prof. Lazar Avramov. Later on, a group of varieties from the Balkans (Montenegro, Macedonia, Dalmatia) arrived from Slovenia to UC Davis nursery and implementation of the 2010 Protocol began with an ambition to place those vines in the Russell Ranch foundation vineyard.

Good news is that the vines were granted the status of approved in 2018 so the first certified virus-free Vranac vines were planted in Russell Ranch foundation vineyard. They will be used to provide limited quantity of vines for commercial nurseries. We hope that in the years to come, more and more wineries from the USA will find an interest in planting Vranac. The pioneer in this venture is Opolo Winery located in Paso Robles, California. Rick Quinn, the owner of Opolo winery, has family roots in Herzegovina and Montenegro, so it doesn't come as a surprise that he feels the region of former Yugoslavia particularly close to his heart. In addition, to mark the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Opolo Winery created a wine label Autocephaly that will be distributed throughout the United States.

This is a great piece of news for Vranac and it is in line with recent California trends where more and more wineries are experimenting with Mediterranean grape varieties to respond timely to global climate change. There are indications that in the coming decades, it will be increasingly difficult to cultivate premium quality Cabernet Sauvignon in some parts of California, so wineries have already started experimenting with adequate alternatives. Anyhow, knowing the family links between Kratošija / Zinfandel and Vranac, it won't be difficult to present qualities of Vranac to US winemakers.

Source: Vinopedia, 08/18/2019


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Jasna Popovic

Jasna Popovic (born May 10, 1979) is an award-winning Serbian pianist.

Popovic was born in Belgrade, Serbia, where she received her first piano lesson at six years of age. Upon graduating from the music high school in 1997, Popovic moved to Munich, Germany where she attended the Hochschule für Musik und Theater and studied under the guidance of Professors Gitti Pirner and Claude-France Journes. After performing in New York City, Popovic decided to remain living there. She is currently working on her solo album, which will primarily feature classical Serbian music.

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Welcome to the Sebastian Press Publishing House of the Western Diocese!

Founded in 2006 and named in honor of a first American born Orthodox priest, Fr. Sebastian Dabovic, a pioneer of the Orthodox Church in the West, Sebastian Press is one of the largest and most active publishers of Christian Orthodox publications on the West Coast.

Our hard working staff seeks to fruitfully enrich and deepen the faith of Christians from all over the world with a variety of titles, embracing a diversity of Orthodox Traditions, while also presenting the works of Serbian theologians.

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