The Wine road initiative started from the need to promote and valorize the Albanian hinterland. During the socio-economic analysis of the New Municipalty of Durres (which includes Durres, Ishem, Sukth, Rrashbull, Katund i Ri, Manez – see map), we noticed big regional development disequilibria. Two thirds of the population lives in Durres city and 85% of the enterprises are established there. Only 1.3 % of enterprises operate in the agriculture sector even if a very important part of the population (going up to 30% in Sukth and Ishem, and up to 50 % in Manez) work in agriculture.
Also the tourism is very unevenly distributed in time and location-wise. As a very big source of income for the new municipality it is concentrated in a 1,000 meters-wide stretch along the coast and only during July and August. The beautiful hills that lie no further than 3 km away frm the beach with their limpid lakes, pristine forests, beautiful landscapes and welcoming people are not properly presented to the tourists. And in this region some of the best wines of Albania are produced. While some are somewhat known (such as Kokomani of Villa Duka) other producers such as Vila Bello are known only from the locals.
We wanted to say to the Albanian and to the tourists that there is a beautiful country only 20 min from the place where you have planted your parasol. Take a couple of hours and visit it. You will enjoy every moment.
The initiative of promoting the hinterland by increasing the visibility of local wine yards in this region, was presented to the Austrian Development Agency – ADA. Since years ADA support regional development in Albania and it found the idea very attractive and innovative.