8th BIWC, Sofia, 5-9 June 2019
National Palace of Culture
Open Air Festival
8th BIWC, Sofia, 5-9 June 2019
National Palace of Culture
Open Air Festival

// News & Press

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The Greek Cuvee Monsignori Santorini 2017 Was Awarded the Grand Trophy at the Balkan International Wine Competition and Festival

Cuvee Monsignori Santorini 2017 from the Greek winery Estate Argyros is the best Balkan wine now. This was the jury’s decision at the prestigious Balkan International Wine Competition and Festival 2019 (BIWCF). The winner was announced during a gorgeous gala dinner called “Balkan Wine Oscars” in Hilton Hotel on Friday. The organisers said that in 2020 the competition’s host will be in Serbia. At the end of the working week the festival commenced in the open air - it will gather wine lovers on Saturday and Sunday as well from 12  pm to 10 pm at the special wine town next to the National Palace of Culture. 

The eighth edition of the most prestigious Balkan wine competition introduced a new category. In addition to the traditional awards and the Grand Trophy for the best Balkan wine, the Best of Show awards were given for the first time - praising the best wine from each country.

The trophy “Best Winery on the Balkans” was split between the Bulgarian Edoardo Miroglio and the Turkish Chamlija Winery due to their equal points received at the competition. The jury’s chairman Konstantinos Lazarakis MW said that this is the first such case in the competition’s history.

Here’s the full list of the awarded in all categories:

●     White Wine Trophy - Cuvee Monsignori Santorini 2017 from Estate Argyros, Greece

●     Red Wine Trophy - Kremen Kamen 2016 from Matalj, Serbia

●     Rose Wine Trophy - Rose Pinot Noir from Zelanos, Bulgaria

●     Sparkling Wine Trophy - pinot noir from Yalovo, Bulgaria

●     Sweet Wine Trophy - Monemvasia-Malvasia 2012 from Monemvasia Winery, Greece

●     Orange Wine Trophy (awarded for the first time) - Uncensored 2017 from Bikicki, Serbia

●     Best Indigenous White variety Trophy - Kydonitsa 2018 from Monemvasia Winery, Greece

●     Best Indigenous Red variety Trophy - Mavrud Elenovo 2018 from Edoardo Miroglio, Bulgaria

●     Best Indigenous White variety Trophy for sweet wine - Domenii-Grasa 2014 from Casa de Vinuri Cotnari, Romania

●     Best label design Trophy - MH Wine, Bulgaria

The Best of Show awards were given in alphabetical order. However, not all participating countries were awarded. “In order to get that award, the wine from the particular country needs to have received at least one medal”, explained Konstantinos Lazarakis. The Best of Show Bulgarian award was given to Katarzyna Estate for their Katarzyna Reserve 2012.

Here are the awarded Best of Show wines by countries:

●     Albania for Merlot Menea 2/2 2011 from Korca 2000

●     Bosnia and Herzegovina for Chardonnay 2018 from Pajic Vinarija

●     Bulgaria for Katarzyna Reserve 2012 from Katarzyna Estate

●     Czech Republic for Sauvignon suche (batch, n. 8335) from Znovin Znojmo

●     Croatia for white Bogdanusa 2018 from Caric

●     Georgia for white Tsolikouri 2016 from Burjanadze-Shanidze Wine Cellar - Qvibari

●     Greece for Ktima Gerovassiliou Sauvignon Blanc 2018 from Ktima Gerovassiliou

●     Kosovo for Chardonnay 2018 from Daka Winery

●     Montenegro for red Tellus 2016 from Lipovac

●     North Macedonia for red Cabernet & MerlotOak Edition 2017 from Tikves

●     Romania for Traminer 2014 from Crama Ratesti

●     Serbia for merlot from Vinarija Rnjak 2015     

●     Turkey for Albarino from Chamlija 2017

Galina Niforou, Director of the Balkan Wine Competition and Festival, revealed some more great news. From 2020 onwards the competition part will be split from the festival one - the latter remains in Sofia, whereas the former will be held in different Balkan countries. The first host after the Bulgarian capital is Belgrade, Serbia.

“The BIWC is the most influential and I’m sure it is the best wine competition in this part of the world. I’m really proud and very happy that Serbia will be the next host. It was quite difficult to decide to do this because it is not so simple - there are lots of logistics to be solved. But i think it’s a good step and in this way we can include more energy, more people, more wine makers - to pay more attention in the whole Balkan region. So I hope I will see all of you next year in Belgrade and I promise you will spend great time there!”,said the Serbian jury member Igor Lukovic from the stage, right after the announcement.

The Balkans International Wine Competition And Festival 2019 is taking place with the support of Sofia Municipality and Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as with the media partnership of Стандарт, Exporter.bg, Hit-bg.com, WineBG.info, списание Твоят бизнес, ExpoWorld.bg, Момичетата от града, ApolloWine.com, Sommelier.bg, Agro TV, Novini.bg, Sportal, Woman.bg, Eating, Gardening & Living in Bulgaria, “Аз чета”,  Agro TV, Novini.bg, Manager.bg, Enosiasti, Fresh Cuts of Life, Enjoy Wine, Businessnews.bg, Explorerbg.bg, Maiko Mila,Tialoto.bg, Az-jenata.bg, Jenatadnes.com, Vino & Fino, In Food Veritas, АИДБ, Арт идея БГ, Winetours.bg, Oinohoos, vin2.ro, Exotic Wine Travel, vino.mk, hedonistmagazin.net, sofiaadventures.com et al.

// Judges for the second BIWC2013 are announced

BIWC 2013 selected the judges for the second edition

We are pleased to announce that we have selected 16 judges for our second BIWC 2013 Competition, which is scheduled for May 16 (Thursday) & May 17 (Friday) (not open for public) while the BIWC 2013 Festival follows through on May 18 (Saturday) from 12:00 to 19:00 & May 19 (Sunday) from 12:00 to 18:00 (open for public) at Grand Hotel Sofia, Bulgaria.

The chairman of the BIWC 2013 Panel of Judges is again Konstantinos Lazarakis MW from Greece, who remains the only Master of Wine in the Balkan Peninsula and South Eastern Europe.  Another two Masters of Wine in our panel of judges are Christy Canterbury MW from New York, who is also Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommelier, writer, buyer and educator living in Manhattan, and Andreas Wichkoff MW from Austria, who acts as the managing director of Premium Estates of Austria - a group of the country’s leading wineries. Jamie Goode PhD (Plant Biology) from the UK, contributes regularly to many wine publications, conducts many tastings and is an established wine judge; and his website www.wineanorak.com is one of the leading wine websites at present.

Vladimir Tsapelik PhD is  the president and founder of the Independent Wine Club in Moscow, Russia. Markus Stolz is a German based in Athens, and his website www.elloinos.com is one of the top online resources about the Greek wines. Luiz Alberto is a MW candidate who could be described as a #winelover who was born in Brazil, with Italian blood and an American heart, and his passion for wine is palpable and could be followed at www.thewinehub.com. Alessandro Griccioli is a part of an old family from Tuscany, who promotes his Chianti-based winery Tenuta di Montechiaro and is a Professional Sommelier certified by AIS (Italian Sommelier Association) since 2005.

Saša Špiranec is the author of the Croatian Wine Guide, co-author of the Croatian Gourmet; he published on wine elsewhere and represents a leading authority on wine in Croatia. Julia Kostadinova from Bulgaria is editor-in-chief of www.divino.bg, a wine taster with many years of experience. Co-creator of the competition 'Bulgarian Wine of the Year'. Covers Bulgaria, Greece, Chile and Argentina on tastings of DiVino. Taner Ogutoglu is a director of Wines of Turkey (www.winesofturkey.org) - a generic body whose mission is to develop wine culture in Turkey and increase exports by establishing a generic brand associated with the quality wines. Robert Gorjak from Slovenia has written about wine since 1994; he is a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Wine and a Regional Chairman for Slovenia at Decanter World Wine Awards.

Ivana Simjanovska from Skopje, Macedonia, is the co-author of the first Macedonian Wine Guide and since 2012 is a wine judge at BIWC competition; she is currently busy with her Master’s Degree in Enology at the Institute of Agriculture in Skopje. Igor Luković is a wine writer, editor-in-chief of the Serbian Wine & Fine Magazine (www.wf.rs) and President of Sommeliers Association of Vojvodina, actively engaged in wine education, trainings, consulting and event management. Horia Hasnaş is a Romanian multi-media journalist since 1993 and the editor of the Vinul.ro (www.vinul.ro) - a leading wine publication in Romania, oriented towards wine producers and wine-savvy readers. Yasen Zahariev has worked for a several cellars in California and South Australia, and covers California, Australia and New Zealand on DiVino tastings, and also teaches philosophy at the New Bulgarian University.

You can find short biographies of our judges here:


BIWC is dedicated to wines from the Southeastern Europe in order to draw attention of the global wine community. The ultimate goal of BIWC Competition and Festival is to continue our campaign of promotion of Balkan wines helping them find their way to the tables of the world’s wine-loving communities and earn their due share of the global wine market.

Please follow all these exciting developments via our official website: www.balkanswine.eu

For more information, please contact Michaela Georgieva BIWC Communication Manager at: pr@balkanswine.eu and Dusan Jelic, BIWC Social Media Manager at: dusan@balkanswine.eu.