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Archives: June 2017 Wine & Food Society News

A BULGARIAN woman in the WORLD WINE elite

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Only a few days ago, something exceptional happened in Bulgaria – the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) held its 40th anniversary congress in Sofia. Founded at the beginning of the 20th century, it is the largest intergovernmental organization in the world, with 46 country members, who produce grape and wine and 40 universities. Now we meet Ms Tsvetelina Nikolova in Katarzyna Estate office in Sofia. She is the Bulgarian woman, who received her Master of Science Degree in Wine Management from OIV on Bulgarian land, at the closing part of OIV congress.

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What is the reception and what is actually the training in the OIV?

Only 13 to 16 people per year are accepted from all over the world. Except the tests I had to make, I had to develop several themes related to the wine sector. Then, a review process followed and the approval came in a year. The OIV applicant’s study methodology is rigorous. I would not call it training, rather it is a dedication to the holy of the wine. For three years, you travel to five continents where you have the opportunity to get to know the local practices to the slightest detail – from the soil to the marketing of wine on the other side of the world. There are also countries that are not big wine producers but are big markets such as the Scandinavian countries, Japan, South Korea. This gives you a lot of information, which develops your imagination and provokes you to think about innovations.

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You received your diploma at the OIV closing Gala Dinner, which was a great exception to the OIV graduation practice. How did this happen?

In fact, the diplomas are two: one is “Master of Science in Wine Management” from OIV and “Management in Wine and Vine Sector” from SupАgro University in Montpelier, France. This happened on the idea of Ms. Monika Christmann, OIV President, Mr Jean-Marie Aurand, General Director of OIV, Mr Michel Bourqui, AUIV General Delegate, Mr Nicolas Goldschmidt, OIV MSc in wine Management Director, who was at the congress and gave it to me personally. This is a gesture of appreciation for Bulgaria, for my work for Katarzyna Estate and personally for me, because in the world of OIV every detail is very important.

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These diplomas places you among the highest-ranking specialists in the field of winemaking, wine management and marketing. How this fact will affect you as a Managing Director of Katarzyna Estate, your wines and Bulgarian wine production in general?

People will look at Bulgaria in a different way. We already have modern wineries and a lot of investment in the sector. We produce quality wines that attract more and more admirers. The image of Bulgarian wines is growing and will continue to grow on a global scale. I hope that Bulgarian wines will have a strong presence on world markets.

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Finally, something personal – which is the favorite wine variety of Tsvetelina Nikolova?

Basically, each variety has its own charm and character, it depends on what mood I am, but I like to experiment and try new tastes. Last time I was impressed by Torontes ( Argentina), and the person who dedicated me to this wine was Gerard Basset (one of the top sommeliers in the world) on our tour in Latin America, which was part of my OIV training.