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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Friday, February 14, 2014

A special day - for wine!

On the 14th of February Bulgarians celebrate the day of St. Trifon Zarezan. The roots of this holiday are hidden in the far distant past and probably is related to the Thracian god of the wine – Dionysius. The pagan customs messed with the Orthodox traditions and people invented an amusing legend about Trifon Zarezan.
He was a common wine-grower. One day he went to his vineyard to cut the vine outgrowths. He met his sister Virgin Mary and joked with her for that she had an illegitimate child. She decided to punish him. Virgin Mary went to Trifon’s wife and told her that Trifon had cut his nose. His wife rushed towards the vineyard to help hers husband but she saw he is fine. The woman told him what happened and Trifon started laughing. He said that this is impossible, but when he waved with a hand he really cut his nose with the pruning-knife. This accident gave him his nickname – “Zarezan” which means “truncated”. Real St. Trifon died as a martyr during the roman persecution over the Christians. But people didn’t want to relate his name with sadness and pain, so they crowned him with the nimbus of the wine and rejoicing.

“Russia is again Bulgaria’s biggest wine market. We used to sell the largest quantities of Bulgarian wine on this market in the past. The good news is that Bulgaria has regained its market in the average and the high price segment there. The same thing refers to the Polish and the Czech market. We managed to step back on these markets and sell successfully our produce. In the past, one-third of the wine market in Poland consisted of Bulgarian wines. Bulgaria used to sell more wine there than Italy, France and Spain altogether. Currently we are slowly regaining our position there. Meanwhile, the Bulgarian wine is slowly shifting from the low price segment to the medium and the high ones.”
A similar trend exists on other traditional markets in Western Europe. Bulgaria sells less, but more expensive wines there. The industry has the chance to penetrate large and new markets such as China and India. The wine export to China has been constantly on the rise over the past years. Bulgaria also attempts at positioning its wines in the USA, Switzerland, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam and China, within the frameworks of the EU programme for promotion of wines in third countries. 
The local wine sorts were neglected over the past decades when the curiosity of the Bulgarian producers and consumers towards foreign sorts such as Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Melbeek, etc, was huge. Now the country has the chance to find its niche in the world wine market with traditional vine sorts.
Bulgaria currently plants new plots with local vines such as Mavrud, Broad-leaf Melnik Vine, Pamid, and Rubin and we are to see the results in the nearest future, says Radoslav Radev.2013 was exceptionally favorable to Bulgarian wine-making. The grape yield was very rich and of an extremely high quality. A record-high quantity of wine (around 200 million liters) is expected to be produced this year as compared to 127 million liters produced in 2012. 
The painting is one in my collection - Tihorov from Veliko Tarnovo. 

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