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.

// The Balkans International Wine Competition & Festival 2016 is open for registration



SOFIA, BULGARIA, MAY 26-29, 2016

Dear Wine Producers,

We would kindly like to invite you to participate to the 5th ANNIVERSARY edition of THE BALKANS INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION, which will be held in Sofia from 26- 29 May 201in Grand Hotel Sofia. The BIWC is open to wine producers from the Balkan Peninsula, Central and Eastern Europe, Black Sea region, as well as to wine producers from any other wine region.


Why participate in BIWC 2016?

•    THE BALKANS INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION is a venue for world wine experts, Masters of Wine, wine merchants, and wine journalists and bloggers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Italy, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, among others.

•    THE BALKANS INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION will host representatives of the global wine connoisseur elite. Some of the world’s most qualified and demanding palates will taste and judge the best wines of the Balkans, and discover their unique character, richness, and regional complexity.

•    THE BALKANS INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION proves to be the most important step in the promotion of the Balkan wines, to help them find their way to the tables of the world’s wine-loving community and earn their due share of the global wine market.

•    Great media coverage - TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, web, social networks from Bulgaria, the Balkans region and globally will cover the 5th anniversary edition of THE BALKANS INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION and the Competition’s results


4 world-renowned media will be media partners of BIWC 2016: CHEERS magazine - USA (most famous magazine in the US with on-Trade direction), BEVARAGE DYNAMICS - USA (most famous magazine in the US with off-Trade direction), WINE KINGDOM - JAPAN (most famous magazine in Japan with off-focus Trade) and WINE IN CHINA magazine - CHINA 


JUDGES 2016 

Chairman of the BIWC - Konstantinos Lazarakis MW – The first Master of Wine in the Balkans and South East Europe

Kenichi Ohashi MW – Japan, opinion leader in Japan, wine consultant/distributor

Robin Kick MW – United States/Switzerland – buying & cellar consultant

Yiannis Karakasis MW – Greece, the second Greek Master of Wine, wine consultant and journalist

Alessandro Griccioli – Italy

Lin Gold - Israel

Igor Lukovic – Serbia

Burcak Desombre – Turkey/France

Sasa Spiranec – Croatia

Horia Hasnas – Romania

Vili Galabova - Bulgaria

Djurdja Katic – Serbia            

 Ivana Simjanovska - Macedonia                        

Julia Kostadinova - Bulgaria

and many more.



All wines will be scored out of 20 and could claim GoldSilver and Bronze MedalsAll Gold Medal wines (of the same styles/categories) will be served against each other at the final session of the competition, for selecting Trophies and Grand Trophy.


BIWC Trophies 2016: New!! Best Orange wine

Trophies will be given for the following categories: 

Dry White Wine

Dry Red Wine

Dry Rosé Wine

Sparkling Wine

Dessert Wine

Best Wine from Indigenous Balkan Variety 

NEW!!! Best Orange wine

Best Label Design

We encourage you to take advantage to be a part of the 5th ANNIVERSARY edition of the BIWC to ensure the future success of your business and look forward to welcome you on the BALKANS INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION & FESTIVAL 2016 in Sofia.


Konstantinos Lazarakis, MW         

BIWC Chairman   


Eng. Galina Niforou, Wine MBA

Managing Director