The annual Vinaria international exhibition of vine and wine in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv is, for the first time, seeing foreign wineries outnumber Bulgarian ones in international competition.
Vinaria, which boasts of being the biggest wine exhibition on the Balkans and is open to both the trade and the general public, is being held from April 2 to 5 2014 at the International Fair Plovdiv centre.
The exhibition presents the entire panorama of the vine-growing and winemaking industry: vine-growing equipment and technologies, products for wineries, quality improvement technologies, packaging, advertising and presentation.
A Gourmet Zone, specially designated for demonstrations of gourmet food and beverages, promotes gourmet culture, related sectors, as well as the wine tourism in Bulgaria.
The National Wine and Spirits Tastings are also held within VINARIA. The winners of the prestigious wine competition receive the Golden Rhyton award established by International Fair Plovdiv, gold, silver or bronze medal and diplomas. The most attractive accompanying events are the Wine Festival, the all-city Dionysian celebration, the Night of the Golden Rhyton Ball on April 2, where the awards of the National Wine and Spirits Tastings are presented and young oenologists are inaugurated.
Radoslav Radev, chairperson of the National Vine and Wine Chamber, told a news conference in Plovdiv that in competition this year are 51 companies, 37 of them from abroad.
Foreign countries represented include the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Macedonia and Moldova.
Two committee judging the competition will, in total, try 400 samples. Tastings continue until March 16.
A computer system was being used to ensure the independence and objectivity of evaluation. Few such competitions in the world were organised in this way, Radev said.
Twelve foreign experts are participating in the 20-member jury.
Vinaria has been held annually since 1993.
(Photo: Edwin Pijpe)