Vinaria, the annual international wine and vine exhibition, opened at the International Fair Plovdiv on March 15 and will continue until March 18 2012.
Argentina is the official partner of this year’s Vinaria, the 20th such event, which is co-organised by the National Vine and Wine Chamber.
Visitors can take part in the "consumers’ choice" part of the competition to select the best red, white and rose wines by stating their opinions at a stand in the Plovdiv Fair’s hall 11 on March 16 and 17.
People also can participate in a quick course in wine tasting, organised by the National Vine and Wine Chamber and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, being held on March 16 and 17. Attending the course costs 10 leva.
A "Best Sommelier" contest is being held, with contestants undergoing theory and practical tests. The winner of the regional contest will participate in the final of the "Best Sommelier of Bulgaria" contest which will, in turn, open the way to competition at international level.
The South African embassy said the country’s department of trade and industry had again brought five wineries to Bulgaria to take part in Vinaria, and said that its stand would be part of the celebrations of the anniversary of Bulgarian – South African bilateral relations, which like Vinaria this year is the 20th.
South Africa’s participants – Bayede, Thembi Tobie wines, the SML range, La Ferme Derik and Welgegund – will offer a wine-tasting on March 16 at 12.30pm.
There was, however, a dissenting voice about Vinaria.
Bulgarian National Television reported on March 15 that representatives of the wine business in Turgovishte said that Vinaria should change its format and some of its degustation rules to regain its effectiveness and appeal.
Turgovishte executive director Petko Mateev said that the wine producers – which last year got 74 medals – would not be taking part in Vinaria. Against the background of the economic crisis, the fees and rents were prohibitively expensive, he said.
He said that Vinaria should return to focusing on industry professionals instead of end-users.