Trainings on European and world vine conservation practices are being completed

On 16.10.2019 was the last day of trainings on the topic "Implementation of European Union good practices" in the new training centre of the Prosperity and Development for Bulgaria Association, Blagoevgrad. A joint Bulgarian-Greek group of experts in the wine industry, administration and media have worked together on problems with endangered local vine varieties and global conservation approaches. The role of professionals and local administrations in delivering results in this area from around the world was shared. The trainings were held in the new high-tech training centre of the Prosperity and Development in Bulgaria Association in Blagoevgrad

The investment is under the SOS project for endangered traditional vine varieties under the Interreg V-A Greece-Bulgaria Program and includes modern furniture and multimedia equipment. Part of the trainings were life streamed at the YouTube channel of the Association.

The training also included on-site observation of the unique vineyards of the village of Vranya, which are a kind of repository of endangered local vine varieties. On the territory of 96 acres with a lot of love and professionalism, Mr. Valery Galabov cultivates the characteristic for the region the Shiroka Melnitsa vine, Ruen, Keratsuda, Melnik 55 and Brestovitsa. And back in the years, the Merlot plantations started from seeds brought from crows that flew in from France, carrying them in its beaks. Today the name of the village - Vranya, bears the logical explanation of the legend.

The participants of the event had the opportunity to work, to exchange experience and knowledge, with which they could help to preserve the endangered local vine varieties typical for the Cross-border region Bulgaria-Greece.

Good models from Europe and the World have been discussed regarding the conservation of local vine varieties, their management through sustainable biological methods and their marketing positioning and market promotion.

The participants were introduced to the unique practices in South Africa's organic farming - Watercloof. They learned the recipes for spraying biological pest control products from the vineyards of Andrey Ribesek and Bolfan Vinski from Croatia and the methods for the production of vegetarian wine in Querciabella, Tuscany, Italy.

The discussions raised several issues in the wine sector, but the most striking was the fact that in Bulgaria and Greece, the cohesion and work of organizations and associations in the area are not enough. There is a need for communication between wine producers and wine growers, proactivity and the submission of proposals for institutional changes to the managing authorities in order to facilitate activities and bring the final wine product to market.

Working together for 3 days made the contacts between colleagues from wine-growing and viticulture, institutions at the local, regional and national levels on both sides of the border extremely useful. It is expected with great interest the publication of the Guidelines on Biodynamic Agriculture, which, in addition to being unique in nature, will be published in Bulgarian, Greek and Braille.

The lead partner is the Executive Agency for Vine and Wine, working together with the Association Prosperity and Development for Bulgaria, the Exhibition Research Institute, Greece and the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki-Dpt. of Agricultural Technology, Greece.