Elena Bogeva: With wine, we are born and with wine, we die

Elena Bogeva is the next woman in our series celebrating exceptional women in the wine industry. She shares her insights on the unique qualities women bring to winemaking, the creative process behind every bottle, and the beautiful experiences that come with this passion. Dive into her journey and discover her thoughts on what makes this industry so special. Check the interview below.


What is wine for you? 

With wine, we are born and with wine, we die. It’s in our veins, as the Bible teaches us. If you come from a wine region and your education depended on the vineyards—where the wine is born—then that is EVERYTHING in your life. Wine is a passion and once you try it, there’s no going back.


How did you enter the wine industry? 

I have been in this business since 2005, a time when there was the largest expansion of the wine business in Macedonia, including 22 vintages so far, two of which were in New Zealand and one in Germany. As a graduated viticulturist, my first job was at Kraslka Winery in Demir Kapija. I had the opportunity to work with an experienced consultant who mentored me, and the winery was led by visionaries who made the winery complete from grape to bottle. Thus, year by year, from harvest to harvest, you become more experienced in the work and richer in friends.


What is your philosophy in making wine, and how is it reflected in your product?

Wine is approached as if it is a living being—to be nurtured, given direction, and guided. Wine is born with half the credit going to the viticulturist and the other half to the oenologist because it has its youth, which you mostly strive to direct. Then it matures, ages, and after several years, it fades away. How long it will last depends on you as a creator and oenologist, and also on the person who needs to sell it. It sells when it reaches full maturity. Therefore, each year, the approach to wine differs; each vintage is different from the previous, demanding research and procedures to monitor the grapes, their terroir, climate, etc.


How important do you consider education and training in the wine industry, and are there any special programs for women?

Education is a further enhancement of what we carry within us, what is our passion. Wine is a constant exploration, often experimenting, attending fairs, tastings, and other wine-related events—all part of education. Wine education doesn’t stop when you graduate; on the contrary, what attracts you to it is precisely the exploration and continuous improvement, reading, attending courses, conferences… To keep pace with the rest of the wine world, with wine styles, it is necessary to constantly follow prestigious fairs, keep up with wine magazines, and lately, online portals. Are there special programs for women? What we do today was considered a man’s job 50 years ago, but many generations of women before us have fought, and thus we have proved that we as women are more creative, more perfectionist in creating and crafting a wine.


What advice would you give to young women who want to enter the wine business?

Women have a more refined taste, style, and just need love to be the creators of wine. In this business, there may not be a lot of money but there are many travels, countless friends, social gatherings, and beautiful experiences. Wine brings people from all corners of the world together to comment on it, to test and analyze, to explore the wine. If you want to do something creative that not only you and your friends will enjoy the wine, and if you do it with love, not because it’s trendy, then do the best you can. In this business, there’s a lot, just no time for oneself.