The worldwide known “Thread of Gruza” plum brandy slivovitz is exported in the EU, US and Australia. And how did it all begin?
Prvoslav Aleksic, a former importer of furniture, saw a distillery once in Italy and realized that this production of brandy became his dream and passion. The same kind of distillery he built in the countryside, on the estate of his ancestors and hired experts from the Faculty of Agriculture and technologists who have helped him to make “The Thread of Gruza Slivovitz”. Now he is preparing a new product: 12 years old brandy and a bottle will be priced 300€.
We’ve tried it, it’s excellent. It is like the finest French cognac.
Prvoslav’s wife says he started this job with so much desire and passion. He usually got up at 4 AM every morning while the distillery was built and was travelling from Kraljevo to the village to oversee the works and assist the masters, and then he would come back to Kraljevo and be in the workplace at 8 AM in the company of which he was the owner at the time.
“After 30 years spent in the city we decided to move to the country. My husband had a great will and wish. Mine was a little bit weaker, but when I came here I saw how nicer it was, much nicer than living in the city. Life is more relaxed here, there is a lot of work, but we feel happy and satisfied, “says Vladanka.
Prvoslav says he began producing the brandy on his own but consulting profession and the quality is achieved by proper choice of fruit. He says Serbian brandy is much appreciated in the world, but there is a lot of smuggling and illegal sales, which greatly lowers the price of brandy that domestic producers export, especially in the countries of Europe.
“Everything was done according to the laws and rules, that is why the result could not be missed,” he says with pride and leads us to show us eight hectares of fruit that he planted to produce their own brandy.
He is also satisfied with life in the country, says that when he arrived he had about 105 kilos and now 83. He feels healthier and more vital, on Sundays socialize with friends and often go hunting. Children continued to live in Kraljevo, he has four grandchildren and intends to leave this job to his grandson.
He has built the old Serbian house with two entrances and ethnic restaurants for themselves and guests who come from all over the world. One entrance to their private quarters and the other, from the restaurant for guests
Vladanka is dedicated to rural tourism, her realm is the kitchen built in the courtyard, next to which is the family Ethno house from the last century that Prvoslav intends to rearrange for tourists. But it is under state protection as a historic monument, and he is waiting for the state to issue the official permission to renovation.
The Ethno restaurant atmosphere is steeped in tradition, on the walls of hand-woven curtains with embroidery, on tables the woven work of several generations of women in this family. On the walls the paintings of hand-made musical instruments, folk costumes, tapestries …
Visiting the Aleksic household we met guests from Germany. Ivica Micic and his son were staying here for a few days and were very pleased. Next time they will bring the whole family with them and are already thinking to buy a property in this or another nearby village of Sumadija.
For Aleksic Ethno household they heard on the Internet, but also in Serbian serial “My cousin from the country” whose scenes were recorded here.