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

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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.

// Wines Will Be Tasted by World Renowned Experts on the 4th edition of the Balkan International Wine Competition and Festival (BIWC 2015)

The jury which will evaluate the wines on the Balkan International Wine Competition 2015 will consist of world-renowned names of the wine world. Among the evaluators will appear Julia Harding MW, ‘right hand’ of Jancis Robinson MW, a world famous name in the wine sector. Apart from the wines in the competition, Julia Harding will also taste the wines in the BIWC Festival. A detailed article concerning the Balkan wines tasted in the festival will be published in the second-most popular wine medium in the world www.jancisrobinson.com, which has more than 1 million visits each day.

The next world famous name is Rod Smith MW, who will be a panel judge during the Competition, as well as lead a Master Class on “La vie en rose” – a comparable tasting of 3 French rose wines from the Provence region and 3 Bulgarian rose wines with similar qualities. Another name will be part of the jury – the wine expert Yassen Zahariev of DiVino, who has established himself as one of the leading BIWS tasters over the years. The wine expert constellation will be completed with another expert, who is well-known in the Bulgarian wine industry: Konstantinos Lazarakis MW, the only Master of Wine in the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe, BIWC chairman.

Wine traders and journalists from the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria will also become part in the exciting wine event in Sofia.

The 4th edition of the Balkan Wine Festival will be accompanied by another intriguing format – ‘BALKAN FLAVORS’, an exhibition of Culinary Tourist Attractions organized by the Sofia branch of “Balkania – Balkan Association for Alternative Tourism”, established in 2009 in Skopie. This is one of the most active NGOs in the alternative sustainable tourism not only in Macedonia, but also on the Balkans as a whole. The objective of the exhibition is to contribute to the popularization of local culinary diversity and traditions, biological diversity, balance between people and the environment, agriculture and food culture, as well as the most current trends in tourism.

 “We expect more than 100 wine producers to take part in the fourth annual edition of the Balkan International Wine Competition and Festival (28-31 May, 2015)”, announced forum director Galina Niforou. “This is the largest Balkan wine forum, as this year the forum attracted wines from Mexico and Abkhazia. Perhaps it is time to consider its growth. We have been offered membership by the prestigious federation of leading world wine competitions VINOFED, and its president Mr. Jislain Laflame. This is a great honor for us and demonstrates the right development path for BIWC, with the main goal of popularizing and establishing the wines from the oldest wine region of the world”.


For more information:

Vessela Shishmanova, BIWC2015Communications Manager,

E-mail: shishmanova@ivcommunications.com, Mob.+359 888 563656



Eng. Galina Niforou, WineMBA, BIWC Director

E-mail: niforou@balkanswine.eu, Mob: +359 885 731 331