Source: eKapija | Tuesday, 12.10.2021.| 09:09
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Dragana Janjic, Co-Owner and Director of Aleksic Winery – Aim for the goal and never underestimate the competition

Dragana Janjic is a co-owner and director of the Aleksic Winery (Vinarija Aleksic) from Vranje, which is run by three sisters. As the eldest of the sisters, she talks to eKapija about how the business has changed, about the challenges they meet in the process of wine production, but also about the useful advice for those who are yet to follow her path. Of course, the conversation was inevitably capped off with a glass of good wine.

eKapija: The Aleksic family has been in the world of entrepreneurship for decades now, and you, along with your sisters, have continued the tradition. On that path, how much has the experience of your predecessors meant to you, and what are the things that you have introduced as new?

– The experience that our parents have is precious and their advice is invaluable. All this was the foundation for setting up the business the right way. Not just in the beginning, but in all these years, their advice has meant a lot.

Our beginning and their beginning are totally different. The time we live in and in which we started cannot be compared with theirs, so everything is naturally different. Both the business and the social segments are different. We do belong to a digital age now and we operate in line with that, which I believe was unimaginable 25 years ago.

eKapija: The Aleksic Winery is a recognizable brand today. What are the main requirements for a product to be recognized in the market? What is your advice for those are only just entering the business?

– There is no formula for such things. You need to have a goal and to aim for it persistently. There are plenty of stumbles along the way, but each one should be treated as one experience more.

Continuous quality is what’s important for each product. That is what the consumers appreciate the most. Furthermore, you have to be unique and set yourself apart from similar products. You need to know your target group that you’re addressing. Last, but not the least, never ever underestimate your competition.

eKapija: Wine production seems like a nice business which provides enjoyment to fans and aficionados of wine. How many challenges are there, in fact, in the position you’re in, and what is it that you enjoy the most?

– Wine production is truly a creative job, where, each year, before each harvest, you face new challenges. The pre-condition for the production of wine is to produce the grapes. The production of grapes means that you have a vineyard – practically an outdoor factory – and that you cannot influence the weather conditions. Each year, there’s a fear about whether there will be enough sunlight and whether the rain will fall only when it needs to. Hail is never welcome.

The phase of apprehension and fear at the vineyard is followed by the creative phase, the production of wine. The moment when you get to pour your best ingredients into the bottle and follow the maturation of the wine.

Finally, you need to put your product on the market. Both the production and the sale have their charms, but also their associated fears. Picking the fruits of success after all the hard work are certainly the moments you enjoy the most.

eKapija: How do you see the Aleksic Winery in the next period – short-term and long-term?

– Our short-term plan is in fact more of a wish for the market and the operations to stabilize, as they have been quite disturbed due to the Covid pandemic. In the long term, we want plentiful harvests at the vineyards, a winery inside a vineyard and more new products.

eKapija: Which wine from the winery’s portfolio would you recommend after a hard-working day?

– Zuti Cvet at all times. This is a wine that requires no special opportunity to end up in your glass. It is there for you always, allowing you to relax and enjoy yourself any time.

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