Vrsac to get impressive tourist-wine complex this autumn – Old Helvecija cellar to feature wine spa, luxury apartments, museum and restaurant with stage
In the autumn of 2019, Vrsac will get another wine facility. The company Swisslion started the reconstruction of the wine facility Helvecija in April, which will be quite unusual in many ways and certainly unique in Serbia and the region.
As the PR service of Swisslion told eKapija, the idea is for the reconstructed Helvecija to be homage to the history of winemaking and vineyard culture in these areas, with the end goal of having the facility keep its old look, while changing the purpose, becoming an exclusive tourist-wine hotel facility.
The winery (Photo: Swisslion)
By purchasing Vrsacki Vinogradi out of bankruptcy in 2017, Swisslion became the owner of Helvecija, an old wine cellar from 1880, built by a wine trader of Swiss origin called Schtaub. In addition to the equipment for the storage and processing of grapes and wooden casks, the cellar also featured wine tanks marked with glass plates, which still exist. The capacity of Helvecija was around a million liters, an impressive number even by modern standards.
– When the reconstruction of the facility finishes this autumn, the ground floor of Helvecija will feature a museum exhibit with items and documents related to the history of the Vrsac vineyard area. Also, the ground floor will feature a spacious restaurant with a stage, suitable for plays, programs, dinner ceremonies and corporate events. The basement will feature a wine cellar/restaurant with a room for tasting events, as well as a wine spa. The spa will have a small pool, a sauna, a Turkish bath shaped like wine barrels, as well as jacuzzis of the same shape, and Helvecija will also have 10 spacious luxury apartments – Swisslion says.
The restaurant (Photo: Swisslion)
The concept of Helvecija, the company points out, is the idea of the president of the Swisslion-Takovo business system, Rodoljub Draskovic, which was turned into a project by the architect Nikola Zivkovic and his Custom Made studio from Belgrade.
The works currently being done entail the replacement of the joinery, floor and wall covers, the replacement of the roof cover and façade works, and the companies hired for the reconstruction, Bakic Kolor, Darniko, Tehnika and Gastek, come from Vrsac.
The restaurant stage (Photo: Swisslion)
When it comes to the equipment, Swisslion says that, considering that two hotels, SL Industry and SL Panorama, already operate within the Swisslion-Takovo business system, they already cooperate with certain companies which provide equipment for hospitality facilities, but that equipping Helvecija is the next step which is yet to be made.
The wine spa (Photo: Swisslion)
The Draskovic Winery, also built after the purchase of Vrsacki Vinogradi, also operates within Swisslion-Takovo, and this is a big investment on 7,600 m2, worth EUR 30 million.
As Swisslion told our portal, the Draskovic Winery brand is positioning itself on the Serbian market.
– Of the wines we’ve presented so far, wine aficionados have definitely responded the best to our Muscat Ottonel. What awaits us in the upcoming months are wines of higher quality and those from the premium category – the Vrsac-based company announces.
The museum (Photo: Swisslion)
As for the production capacities, the winery will continue establishing new plantations and rebuilding the existing ones.
– We can say that, in these two years that we’ve owned Vrssacki Vinogradi, the vineyard area has truly been revived from a very bad state. In addition to the works on Helvecija, we are also equipping the area around the winery and the facilities for mechanization, as well as a barrique cellar – Swisslion says.
When asked which wines would be available for tasting at Helvecija and whether small wineries in the Vrsac area will get their opportunity, Swisslion says that their aim is for Helvecija to be a true wine house, the first stop on the Wine Road in Vrsac and a place dedicated to both the history and the future of the Vrsac vineyard area.
– Of course, the focus will be on the Draskovic Winery and the wines from the Vrsac vineyards, but other quality wines from Serbia and the rest of the world will be available for tasting as well – the company promises.
A luxury apartment (Photo: Swisslion)
Swisslion says that the rich wine history of Vrsac deserves one such wine facility with unique features like Helvecija will be.
– Helvecija is the kind of project which Vrsac needs at the moment for the town to find a prominent place on the wine map of Serbia and this part of Europe – the company points out and adds that they also own several other facilities in Vrsac from late XIX century, whose reconstruction is also planned.