A Toast to Tradition and Triumph: Reflecting on Last Year’s Balkans International Wine Competition

As the wine glasses clinked and the vineyards of the Balkans whispered tales of heritage and harmony, the 12th edition of The Balkans International Wine Competition unfolded in the mystical heart of Transylvania, Romania, from June 1-3. It wasn’t just another year; it was a record-breaking celebration that saw an unprecedented number of wine samples vying for the spotlight. The event, steeped in the rich tapestry of Balkan tradition, catapulted onto the international stage, drawing in a vibrant community of winemakers, from local artisans to global vintners, with Italy making a notable splash.

Last year’s competition was a showcase of storytelling through wine, with over 1000 entries reflecting a growth of more than 180% since its inception in 2012. The spotlight was not only on the wines but also on the people behind them, exemplified by Rod Smith MW, who was honored as the Best Wine Personality in the Balkans. The “Best of Show” category illuminated the excellence of Balkan wines, with each participating country presenting their finest, culminating in a fierce competition for the Grand Trophy and the title of “Best Balkan Wine.

As we raise our glasses to the past, we also set our sights on the horizon. This year, the competition embarks on an unprecedented journey, expanding across two countries – Bulgaria and Turkey – for the first time in its history. Specifically, the event will unfold from June 4-8 at Katarzyna Estate and Arcadia Vineyards, marking a significant milestone in the competition’s history. The excitement is becoming stronger as we prepare to write the next chapter in the Balkans International Wine Competition, celebrating not just the wine but the remarkable contributions of women in the industry.

This year promises to be a groundbreaking edition, blending tradition with transformation, and showcasing the Balkans not just as a wine region, but as a beacon of innovation and inclusivity in the wine world.