We speak with the founder of The Balkans International Wine Competition – Mrs. Galina Niforou, days before the 6th edition. Wine & Food Society News How was the idea born? The year is 2011, when I took the decision to come on the wine market in Bulgaria separately. During this time in the social networks started to appear the posts of different friends vintners from the Balkan countries. The other provocation came from my direct impressions from Greece, where I’ve been lived, and my observations on the Greece wine sector, which is an undisputed leader in the region at the time. The cake became ready, after I summed the quality produced wine of all Balkan countries and proved that the region is fifth in production of wine in the world, something, which I’ve never supposed. It followed a travel to Athens and a meeting with my friend – the first Master of Wine in the Balkan, Konstantinos Lazarakis, and rolled the wheel. On his recommendation, because of the sensitivity of the Balkan manners / here she smiled slightly /, in the competition part we applied the Australian scoring system as the most accurate and honest to the participants. Each year we invite different Master of Wine from all the world for that reason. This year with us are: Konstantinos Lazarakis MW BIWC Chairman Greece, Caroline Gilby MW United Kingdom, Christy Canterbury MW USA, Rod Smith MW United Kingdom /France.
Wine & Food Society News Your first meeting with the wine? Since I was a little kid. Either parental and maternal line. I come from Chirpan – a very ancient wine region in Bulgaria. Both of my grandfathers made wine during the socialism, of course. And as we say – „Blood is thicker than water”, I found myself the „male girl” in the family…..
Wine & Food Society News How did the decision to take the professional road of wine come? Love! I was in love and I had to be at Any cost in Plovdiv, because He was there. And in Plovdiv, is the University of Food Technologies of Bulgaria. For a girl in love at this age „at any cost” is a big power. The rest was easy. Now the love is as the good wine – a worldview of joy and light to my daughter, family and friends, with whom we share common joys.
Wine & Food Society News Which is the biggest wine adventure of Galina Niforou? During my first education in OIV – International Organisation of Vine and Wine.The city is Paris. The month is December. The year is 1995. Bulgaria isn’t a member of the EU and in effect are all visa restrictions including for the transit passing through the European airports. In the educational programs of OIV pass groups between the countries, which take a part in the education. I had to accompany such a group for Bulgaria, but at the airport the French employee didn’t allow me to the aircraft, because I hadn’t a transit visa for Austria, and the group flew without me. Right now started the biggest strike in the French history,and I remained blocked for days at the airport, secured only by 12 francs in my pocket, which were enough for one croissant plus a packet of chewing gum, and some bottles of wine in the suitcase.
Wine & Food Society News Is there something, which you took up and it didn’t happen? My ideas happen. Here the Balkan forum is held for six years. We started promotional projects of Bulgarian wines for USA, Japan and China. But, I have a dream in a professional aspect – finally to be realized the wine brand of Bulgaria. There isn’t another country in the world, which produces wine and to be so underdeveloped in this case. Because, if the wine producers want to have a market success and the state to be presented by one real successful sector outside the world, it should start with the national brand. It depends on the will and the vision of the both sides. If it doesn’t happen as soon as possible, we not lag behind but straight lapse from all business process in the branch. We have the experts. And as I’m a positive human and I believe, that the Bulgarian wine brand will happen, after that I can retire on some southern Greece island. I take the opportunity to invite all, who want to test more than 500 kindest of Balkan wines, to be welcome on the 3rd and the 4th of June in Grand Hotel Sofia