Harsh winter, hot summer push up prices of Bulgarian grapes – and wines and rakiya

Bulgaria’s prolonged below-freezing winter temperatures at the start of 2012, followed by scorching hot weather in summer, mean lower grape harvests and likely slight increases in the prices of wine and grape rakiya.

Bulgarian-language media said that oenologists expected about 40 per cent lower grape harvest in the Plovdiv region this year.

Valentin Bambalov, an oenologist at a local winery, said that only those vineyards where owners had irrigated crops properly were saved. On the other hand, the conditions meant very ripe and concentrated grapes and with careful selection, winemakers would be able to produce interesting and quality wines, he said.

Yanko Yankov, an oenologist in the Haskovo region, said that wine grape prices would be up by about 10 stotinki (five euro cents) a kilogram this year. The purchase price for a kilogram of Chardonnay and Muscat would be about 70 to 75 stotinki, up to 90 stotinki for the highest quality grapes. Red grape prices would be largely unchanged.

Vine-growers in north-westernBulgariareported a poorer harvest of grapes this year.

Across the country’s wine-growing regions, prices of Muscat per kilogram were reported to varying from a lev to 1.25 leva a kilogram.

In spite of the poor harvest, wineries were to attempt to increase price increases as low as possible, reports said.

(Photo:  Zsuzsanna Kilian)




The Sofia Globe staff

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