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A Story Worth Telling

The wealth of our society lies in the fact that we nurture our own differences. In work, in sport, in entertainment, and in our free time. In our society – not only in Serbia, but across the entire Balkan region and beyond – one thing nevertheless remains eternal and eternally common: we love to celebrate

Life is made up of a series of minor and major events, those that we commemorate and those that bring us together. And we enjoy them. That specific hedonism has already been woven into our tradition – toasts are the oldest recorded form of folk lyric poems. And there can be no toast without the right drink. And good stories.

Fortunately, these lands have their own spirit. Honest hedonists know precisely what they want, and what’s best is that they don’t need to go far to find it. Rakia brandy has been perfected in this region over the centuries and has today resulted in a fantastic selection of high-quality fruit rakias, with a taste that will satisfy even the most discerning. Despite us already having a saying that there’s no such thing as bad rakia, there is nonetheless a huge grey area when it comes to production. Unofficial research suggests that for every registered distillery there are as many as five or even seven rakia brandy “producers”. And is that brandy excellent? Even if it is, we couldn’t possibly know. But what if that were to change?

With appropriate assistance and state initiatives, rakia fruit brandy production would flourish in Serbia. Firstly, the budget would receive millions of euros each year from the collection of legal fees, which wouldn’t only expand the market and render it more diverse, but would also fortify it and create new space for further development. Yes, it’s a big job that’s not at all simple, but it’s worth it to make Serbia a destination for everyone seeking top quality fruit brandy.

SERBIA IS THE HOME OF RAKIA FRUIT BRANDIES

And those of us who are registered distilleries want more our colleagues, because the entire offer would thereby be made more interesting, diversified, richer. And our company emerged out of love and a great dream. My father, Veljko Škorić, wanted to enjoy with all his senses during his retirement, so he sought the help of experts for the production of his rakia, in order for them to work together to find the perfect blend and aroma. The family production gradually grew to become a company, one that’s recognised and renowned in Serbia, but not enough around the world.

With appropriate assistance and state initiatives, rakia fruit brandy production would flourish in Serbia

Serbia should and could be branded as the home of rakia fruit brandies, but quality control must always remain the primary prerequisite, because we set high standards. Through the combating of the grey market and the organisation of fruit orchards, the quality of production and products will not only develop, but distilleries will also become placenames that will enrich our country’s tourist offer.

This all leads to the creation of not only national associations of rakia producers, but also regional ones, which enables the organising of joint appearances to present and promote rakia fruit brandies themselves, as well a much wider range of products and services. We would reinvigorate traditional crafts and certainly help underdeveloped areas and create many jobs.

LONG ROAD AHEAD

Serbia is currently the world’s third largest plum producer and Europe’s second largest quince producer. Beyond our industry, how many people are aware of these facts?

Our rakias are among the leading fruit brandies in the region, with quality on a par with world leaders. Why are we missing out on this enormous potential?

Over the course of last year, we exported fruit brandies with a value of 12 to 15 million euros, and that is a massive success. However, I believe that, with the right strategy, we could reach the magic figure of 100 million euros annually in just a decade. We do have a long road ahead of us, but I believe that all the effort is worth the success that we could achieve.

Until then, we will continue to provide our contribution. Gorda began from a niche in the market and with just one product – single-variety plum brandy, made from the domestic Čačanska rodna plum. This is the same variety that surrounded all of us who grew up in Šumadija. That’s why, for me and for all of us who make up the Gorda company, the plum is primarily a symbol of carefree living, natural joy, rich flavours; of a time that is perhaps slowly disappearing, though we’re not allowing our memories of it to fade.

GORDA HAS GAINED A HUSBAND CALLED ARON

Gorda was initially made exclusively from plum, only for our great lady to receive company: quince brandy and apricot brandy. It was only years later that we realised that this saga has its own sequel, and that Gorda also has a husband. Not an opposite, not an antithesis, not a competitor – but rather an extension, improvement and pure love. Aron had arrived.

Gorda began from a niche in the market and with just one product – single-variety plum brandy, made from the domestic Čačanska rodna plum

Aron is special. This rakia is made from seven varieties of apple, five domesticated and two wild. Those seven varieties are left to rest in oak barrels for seven years. And this is precisely what gives it its unique balance. And that’s also why we only produce 1,000 bottles a year.

Crunchy notes of wild apples intertwine with sweet and sour tones to create an aroma that seduces with every sip. That’s also why we can state with pride that we’ve set a new standard for apple rakia.

Our efforts were rewarded with a great gold award and Aron was declared the champion in its category, as evaluated by the judges of the CroSpirit event organised by Zagreb’s ZGrappa Festival of Brandy and Liquors.

Despite the meaning of the name Gorda always being associated with the word “proud”, its true nature is, in a special sense, synonymous with self-respect, dignity and honour. All that pride isn’t an end in and of itself, but rather something that’s rooted in family tradition and spirit. We want these values to form the foundations of the recognisability of fantastic rakia fruit brandies originating in Serbia, hopefully in some different time that’s ahead of us.

The strength of Gorda is in the special selection of fruits, the team and the vision. We love it at tastings when we’re told: “She’s not ‘proud’, she’s Gorda”.

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