When this characterful wine came across my desk, I knew it would fit our wine club like a glove. It ticks the boxes of discovery, quality and value–plus it comes from a place close to the crucible of early wine culture. Historically part of Ancient Greece, modern Macedonia is a landlocked Balkan nation of mountains and lakes with 55,000 acres of vineyards (compared to B.C.’s 10,000). Over 80% of the wines are red, made from Cabernet or the local Vranec grape; Pinot Noir is relatively scarce. Tikves is Macedonia’s wine heartland, and it’s here that this Pinot is grown, in conditions similar to the Willamette Valley and Russian River, and a little warmer than Burgundy - all sweet spots for this superstar grape. Our welterweight outlier has one foot in Burgundy and one in Oregon, meaning it’s savoury, earthy and juicy (that’s the Burg) with bright cherry, strawberry fruit and spicy flair. One of the least rustic, most charming Macedonian wines I have ever encountered, pair its fleshy fruit and forest floor depth with grilled portobello mushroom burgers.