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 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 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.comAlessandro 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, 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 ( – 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 ( 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 ( – 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.

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.

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For more information, please contact Michaela Georgieva BIWC Communication Manager at: and Dusan Jelic, BIWC Social Media Manager at: