The foundations of industrial vine growing were laid by a landowner Artur Lederer at the turn of the 20th century. Vigorous Lederer started to build the cellar below the level of the Tisza River, which is, nowadays, one of the biggest underground wine cellars on the Balkans. In the legendary wine barrel holding 67,000 l of wine, people used to play cards for days accompanied by Gypsy’s music bands.
After the World War II, the wine complex became a state property and it was turned into Coka Winery. Nowadays, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Italian and Rhine Riesling, Chardonnay, Muscat Otonel, Frankovka and Sauvignon Blanc are grown in the vineyards near the Tisza River. These vineyards encompass approximately 203 ha of land. In 1969, a wine called “Zdrepceva krv” (Blood of Colt) was created. It soon became very popular not only in Yugoslavia, but also on traditionally strong European wine market. During 1980’s, about 50 wagons of “Zdrepceva krv” was exported all over the world every month, which testify to the quality of the wine. Merlot, Ruzica and Muscat Otonel, as well as, the alcoholic drinks, had a good rating, too.
The construction of the cellar started in 1903 and it lasted until 1912. The cellar has a capacity of 200 wagons. It is an original and unique edifice. It represented one of the most beautiful wine cellars in former Yugoslavia. The cellar is entered through a huge door in front of which there is wooden column that was used for lowering and pulling out the barrels. There is a deep staircase at the entrance to the cellar with the inscription containing the initials of the former owner, A.L., and a saying “IN VINO VERITAS”. And then, surprisingly, the vast cellar pops up in front of us abundant in huge wooden barrels. In seven wine streets, that is to say, in the spacious branches of the cellar, 10 meters below ground, there are about 130 oak barrels containing 1,500 to 11,000 l of wine. They are very old, some even over a century old. The cellar was built one kilometer away from dead Tisza River, and the present river flow is only 4 km away. In this area of high underground water flows, the cellar is protected from them by the drains.
This is a cellar of tradition, “wine town with streets and barrels”. There is an interesting story related to the biggest container. It is as big as a smaller hall and it was used for the noblemen’s meetings. While having drunk wine and played cards, they used to discuss the business matters. We can say that many important issues of this part of the Tisza region were resolved in this 67,000 l glass hall.
The most famous part of the cellar is so-called Merlot Street, while the most famous barrel is Sima’s barrel where the best wine is kept.