Record number of entries and distinguished international judges at the 13th edition of the Balkans International Wine Competition

For the first time in its history, the Balkans International Wine Competition will be held in two countries renowned for their deep wine traditions. From June 4th to 8th, Arcadia Vineyards in Turkey and Katarzyna Estate in Bulgaria will host this prestigious event. Both venues are known for their longstanding industry traditions and a focus on sustainable agriculture. This expansion highlights the competition’s ambition to promote the wine culture and establish new trade connections across the Balkans.

In recent years, the Balkans International Wine Competition has transcended its regional significance, becoming a notable event for participants from around the globe. This year, a record number of wineries are expected to register, viewing the Balkan Wine Forum as a unique platform and gateway to one of Europe’s largest markets—the Balkans, with its 82 million inhabitants.

On one hand, the number of samples presented at the competition continues to grow steadily and sustainably. Last year, over 1,000 wines were registered for participation, representing an increase of more than 180% compared to the first edition of the competition in 2012. Over the last decade, the number of participating wineries has increased more than fivefold.

The best wine in the Balkans will be selected by a prestigious jury of 25, which this year includes Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers from the UK, France, Switzerland, the USA, Georgia, Serbia, and Greece, along with well-known wine personalities from the Balkans and Europe. The ceremony will be held at Katarzyna Estate—a winery that has been transforming the face of the wine culture since its establishment in 2003.

The gala dinner, known as the „Balkan Wine Oscars,“ will present the „Best of Show“ trophies. The remaining 15 trophies in various categories will be announced at the opening of the Balkan Wine Festival on June 27th at 9:00 PM at the „Wine Town“ in front of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. This year’s edition of the Balkan International Wine Festival will take place from June 27th to 29th, with tickets set to go on sale soon.

The Balkan International Wine Competition and Festival provides a distinctive opportunity for winemakers from the region to showcase their craftsmanship and gain recognition on the international stage. By participating, they not only share their wines with a broad audience but also contribute to enhancing the visibility and prestige of Balkan wines, promoting high standards, sustainable viticulture and innovations in winemaking.