October 8, 2019 - By signing the Memorandum of Understanding, the Balkan Wine Network was officially established in Skopje. A total of 15 associations of wine producers, winegrowers, and sommeliers have signed a memorandum of cooperation in the promotion of local indigenous wine varieties as well as wines produced in the region, intending to make the Balkans the rightful place among other world-known wine regions.
The new network initiator is the association "Wines of Macedonia" together with project partners Wine Q Center of Serbia, Association Salon Žilavka Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Wine Academy from Montenegro. The network is also supported by the other wine associations from the Western Balkans, which are implementing the project "Wine as a bridge to connect the Western Balkan countries."
"Wine as a bridge to connect the Western Balkans" is a project that will connect the countries of the region towards promoting the Balkans as a wine region.
Although the Balkans, as a region, is one of the major wine producers in the world, it is not yet known to the wine and general public. Therefore its cohesion and targeted joint action can benefit all countries in the region. The project is for all participants in the sector in all Balkan countries to exchange knowledge and skills, to learn from each other, to use the knowledge of reputable experts, and to jointly promote the region.
The Wine Association of Macedonia, in partnership with organizations from Belgrade, Trebinje, and Podgorica, has received support from the Western Balkans Fund to create a network in the region that will work in the field of networking and joint promotion of wines from the Balkan countries. Collective actions, creating a unique wine story, and connecting wine routes with the region will contribute to the more significant development of international markets. Also, networking will enable joint action in all segments, starting from vineyards, improving wine production, as well as in the area of legislation.
The conference in Skopje was also attended by the representatives of professional associations from several countries in the region - Greece, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, and Romania. They have received an official invitation to join the network with which the Balkan Wine Network will cooperate in the future.
One of the main tasks of the Balkan Wine Network is to provide Balkans wines being attractive to the world public, so joint appearance as a regional wine destination has a much better perspective than the presence of each individually.
The establishment and operation of the Balkan Wine Network were financially supported by the Western Balkans Fund, established by the governments of Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and Kosovo, as part of their efforts to promote regional cooperation and integration of the countries of the region into the European Union.
"All of us who have signed the Memorandum of Cooperation believe in the set goals and defined activities and look forward to furthering cooperation and cooperation with other Balkan countries that are already members of the European Union," said Danijela Radec, director of the Wine Academy of Montenegro.