The "Treasures of the Balkans" wine tasting in Paradiso restaurant in Athens, was one of these moments of great interest to us, a great chance to check out what is going on with our "neighbors" in the Balkans.
9 wines were presented with the precious assistance of Galina Todorova Niforou, the Managing Director of the Balkans International Wine Competition. What a rare moment indeed! The fact that we rarely taste wines from countries such as Turkey, Serbia, FYROM, Croatia, Bulgaria or Romania, cannot diminish the importance of the Balkan countries in the global wine production, celebrating history going back centuries ago.
Bearing this in mind, the Balkan Masterclass reached another dimension in our minds! The other fascinating fact was to realize how much the quality of the wines has improved in these countries during the last decades. We might have a clear picture when it comes to Greece but it was extremely encouraging to notice that countries such as Serbia or Croatia, despite that they are still trying to recover from the wounds of war, demonstrate an increasing trend towards quality wines.
Indigenous varieties ... the entire Balkans is an ark that hides and protects for many years now an invaluable treasure. Beside the 300+ Greek indigenous varieties you can count innumerable other still cultivated in our neighboring countries. Feteasca Regala, Bogdanusa, Frankovka, Paraskarasi, Mavrud, is only a small aspect of the complex puzzle that makes up the wine map of the Balkans. Beside them, extremely successful expressions of international varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are offering lovely moments of indulgence!
It seems that even if a tiny part of the Balkan treasures gets lost, the world of wine will become less exciting and more tedious…
For us this is exactly the contribution of the Balkans into the world of wine. Making the wine world more diverse and so more fascinating!