Every year in May in China, it is the busiest month in the year to all wine businesses (no matter you are importers, distributors, or anyone who have a stake in the wine industry), it has so many wine fairs (6 that I knew this year) and other wine-related events. To me, I had a lot of travels, meeting many international customers (winery owners) in my workplace or in the fairs, here I apologize to my readers who I didn’t write enough while now I’m refocusing to my reporting work and hope you’ll enjoy these Chinese wine market and business update and reports.
Invited by Bulgarian Wine Export Association (thanks to Ms. Galino Niforou, Chairwoman of BWEA and her staff to support us in the tour arrangement, coordination and everything) in early June, I got this chance to visit Bulgaria for a 4-day well-planned schedule to visit a number of wineries so to learn more of Bulgarian wineries, the industry and her wine culture. This delegate was composed some around 20 international guests from the U.S., China and Japan.
Group photo-overlook River Danube and Romania (the opposite bank)
Bulgaria has 5 wine producing regions
We had the chance to visit wineries which belonged to the 4 out of the 5 wine regions in Bulgaria. They were Orbelus Winery (the 1st organic winery in Bulgaria) and Villa Melnik Winery belonged to Struma River Valley, Burgozone Winery belonged to Danubian Plain region, Alexandra Estate in Thracian Lowland region, the last one was Villa Yustina belonged to Rose Valley region (but it was a pity that I didn’t go because of flight schedule conflict). So except the Black Sea region we were arranged and entertained to taste wines from different regions in Bulgaria, which was a profound and impressive experience.
Luncheon at Alexandra Estate
Wines from Villa Melnik Winery
Many people might not know Bulgaria was once the second largest wine producing country in the last century until the fall and breakdown of the Soviet Union in early 90s. Since then Bulgaria lost their advantage from being a pure wine producing base to supply most of the communist countries in the European continent and transformed to a market-driven wine economy to compete with their international counterparts. This challenge took Bulgarian wine makers some difficult time to walk out and to reshape themselves to restore the ancient Thracians’ glorious wine culture and rebuild their wine business.
Welcome by young dancers in their Belgarian costume
Is Bulgarian wine fit to the Chinese market ?
Being a less popular and small wine producing country as Bulgaria, it takes the Bulgarian wine industry to thoughtfully think, carefully plan and precisely execute to find out how to position, prepare and write-up a marketing scheme (e.g. in 5 year term), and organize in a discipline, consistent and powerful approach to execute the set plan, so to achieve her market objectives towards the Chinese wine market and build a reputation among Chinese wine consumers.
Besides, Bulgarian wine has her own special grape varieties like Mavrud, Melnik, Dimyat, Pamid, Gamza and Rubin which deserves a reputation to promote to the Chinese wine lovers to know and appreciate.
Small wine producing countries could also do good and achieve a result done by their international counterparts like Georgian and Moldovan wines in China. There is large room for Bulgarian winemakers to work and grow their businesses in the Chinese wine market.
Lastly I would like to extend my gratitude to thank the hospitality to the hosts of Orbelus Winery, Villa Melnik, Burgozone and Alexandra Estate and I look forward the next opportunity to study further about Bulgarian wines.