Rexhep Kryeziu

Expert in viticulture and winemaking

It is not right that this grape cultivar from the Albanian producers is called Prokupë when in the vineyards of Serbia and more widely in the Illyrian Peninsula it has spread from Dibra through the vineyards of Rahovec.


Numerous synonyms are the result of a long tradition and wide spread in the Ilric Peninsula (Balkans).

In particular they are: Crnka, Darčin Kameničarka, Majski čorni (Russia), Prokupka, Prokupac, Negotinka, Nikodimka, Rekavac, Rekovačka Crnka, Rskavac (Serbia), Skopsko Crno, Debrak (Macedonia), Zerqan, Dibrak (Albania), Prokupa, Rahovec grapes, Rahovec black grapes (Kosovo), Zarčin (Bulgaria), Török (Hungary).

What do they call it in Serbia?

"Prokupac, Nishevka and Zhupka, a vine cultivar widespread in Serbia, once widespread in Kosovo as well, has been known in the region since the Middle Ages called Rskavac (the name remaining from the town of Rahovac - Rakovac, Rahovec - Rahovë )“ because O-Rahovac, according to the Serbs, was Serbia.

So, not even the Serbian producers themselves call this cultivar Prokupac or Prokupa, each wine-growing province calls it according to the place where it is cultivated.

And we are loyal to "Prokupac or Prokupa", even though we have a long tradition of it in Rahovec of Anadrinia!



Origin of the Rahovec black grape variety

From "Viticulture" in Prokuple it is mentioned that it was first brought to Toplica in Serbia from the Athos Hilandar monastery (Greece) by princess Milica Hrebeljanovic in 1395. She was the granddaughter of Stefan Nemanja from Prizren.

But in fact, this cultivar came from Persia, through Turkey and Greece it spread to the Albanian vineyards, first around Lake Ohrid, Prespa, Diber, then to the vineyards of Skopje to move to the vineyards of Prizren and settle in the vineyards of Anadrin of the Dukagjin Plain, centered on Rahovec and up to Therandë, formerly Suharekë.

This vine cultivar first went to Toplica in Serbia in 1395.


According to Jancis Robinson, many other experts also write that this vine cultivar is derived from Shiraz of Persia (today's Iran), it is of the same trunk or companion with the Sirah cultivar (Serin i Black and Sheshin e Black, old Albanian varieties).

Shiraz is considered to be the place of origin of the ancient traditional grape cultivar.

He came to the vineyard of Rahovec from Dibra and in Anadrina he found his place suitable for cultivation.

Dibra or Zerqani (or Zarqin as they call it in Bulgaria) is the vineyard village in Dibër near Bulqiza, Albania, from where this cultivar spread to Prizren, Anadrin and beyond in the Illyrian Peninsula (Balkans).



"The Dibrak or Rush Rahoveci vineyard (where Syrah and black square are on this trunk), near the capital Persiepolis, also known as the Troll of Jammash, was famous for its wines and had the reputation of producing good wines of the East Medium" - writes "Rebsorte und ihre Weine" (Jankis Robinson).

"The wine from Rahovec - Dibrak grapes was dominant even in the Middle Ages.

Serbian documents say that the important areas of wine growing from the Dibrak cultivar or as we call it, the Rahoveci grape, were first formed in the 13th to 15th century, in the wine-growing regions of Prizren (Hoça e Madhe and Hoça e Vogël of Rahovec) and from here, later in Krushevc in Zhupa and along Morava, Niš, Prokupë to Smederevo".



This is a strong argument that Rahovec grapes should receive the name deserved by the Albanian producers in Kosovo "Rahoveci grapes" or "Dibrak", but not Prokupa.

Prokupa let the winegrowers of Prokupa call it, not us.

Due to the Balkan wars, the First World War and the decimation by phylloxera between 1913 and 1923, there was a total failure of all unrefined vineyards.

In 1920, a new beginning of this cultivar began again in Rahovec.

The reconstruction documents were entered in 1923. So 95% of the new vines were planted with the cultivar Dibrak or Rush Rahoveci.

In 1939, Rahoveci (Kosovo) had a vineyard area of ​​3236 ha, only with the Rahoveci grape cultivar, while in Prokupa in these same years, 70 ha were harvested.

According to these documents, the people from Kosovo rightly call this cultivar "Black Grape of Rahovec", which was brought to us from the vineyards of Dibra (Zerqani i Bulqiza).

Therefore in Bulgaria it is called Zarqin and Zerqan.



This cultivar now in the list of names of grape varieties, in the vineyard of the Republic of Kosovo, should be written with one of the Albanian names: Rrush Rahoveci or Dibrak.

You can find more of the Dibrak cultivar in the book "100 oldest and most important vine cultivars and the corresponding wines".

RA Kryeziu.