The jury consisting of 25 international wine judges, including five Master of Wine holders, announced the best wines in nine categories, two of which are for autochthonous grape varieties, at the first international wine fair “Wine Vision by Open Balkan”.
Awards were given in the categories of white, red, rosé, sparkling, sweet, orange and fortified wines, and special awards for autochthonous varieties were given in the categories of red and white wines.
The trophy for the best white wine was won by Pesak sivi pinot grigio 2021 by winery Vrt, Ridjica, Serbia, the best red wine was Rodoslov Reserve 2016 by winery Aleksandrović, in the rosé wine category, the winner of the Open Balkan Wine Trophy was Nemir Rose Prokupac Cabernet 2021 by winery Despotika, in the sparkling wine category the awarded wine was Triumph noir sparkling 2019 by winery Aleksandrović.
In the special category of orange wines, the trophy was given to The Orange Gewurztraminer 2019, Chateau Kamnik Macedonia, in the category of sweet wines, the trophy was won by Tri sunca traminac late harvest 2016, winery Fruškogorski vinogradi, while in the category of fortified wines the trophy went to Medusa crvena 2021 winery art et vinum Serbia.
Top rated wines from the autochthonous varieties of the Balkans in the category of red wines were Barovo red 2019, Tikveš Chateaux and Domains, North Macedonia, as well as Grašac beli 4.0 2021, winery Verkat Fruška gora.
The awards were given by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Branabić, who highlighted that “the best emotion that was felt among the countries of the Western Balkans was the one that was felt during the previous three days of the fair”. The Prime Minister expressed her hope that the fair, which was attended by about 400 exhibitors from 22 countries, would become a traditional one.
The wine evaluation coordinator, Igor Luković, emphasized that it was very important that judges of the highest rank gathered in Belgrade and that the evaluation was held at the same level like in other major world wine fairs.
“This is a big step towards the international wine scene and a return to the oldest wine Europe, because the wine culture first arrived here and then moved to the north and west”, underlined Luković. He added that the sommeliers transferred 2400 bottles of wine and washed more than 2000 glasses in the previous two days.
The head of the jury was Caroline Gilby, Master of Wine, considered the world’s greatest authority on the wines of Southeastern Europe and the Western Balkans. She has been engaged in wine from this area for more than 30 years and has seen a real revolution in production and progress in technology. “I believe that local types of wine such as the Prokupac Vranac and Grašac, which had a difficult past and a long history, are very important”, she said.
As part of the fair Wine Vision by Open Balkan, the Association of Brandy Producers of Serbia awarded trophies and plaques to distilleries for the top-rated plum fruit brandies and other fruit brandies, at Moskva Hotel on August 28, 2022. A seven-member committee evaluated the quality of 47 samples of fruit brandies. In the plum fruit brandy category, the top-rated sample was from EKO Technology distillery - Čedina rakija, old plum brandy, while in the other fruit brandy category, the winning trophy went to Braća Tomašević distillery for Ognjena rakija apple brandy. Other awarded brandies are from the following distilleries: Dar Visova, Zavet distillery, Rubin a.d. Kruševac, Stara Pesma, AS Group, BB Klekovača, Zlatna Kap distillery, Zarić, Tribalija, Gegula, Rakija Potpis, Floriva, Gorda, TOK, Hubert 1924, Simex original, Podrum Pevac, Staničić 1884, Momirović distillery, Pruna, Rakija iz Rakije, Kolarević, Zlokolica, Šamar rakija and Tzuga rakija.