Vučić: "Belgrade is today the capital of wine"
The first international wine fair "Wine Vision of the Open Balkans" opened today at the Belgrade Fair.Source: Tanjug, B92.net
The fair is sponsored by the governments of Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania as part of the Open Balkans initiative, and the opening will be attended by the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and the Prime Ministers of Albania, North Macedonia and Montenegro, Edi Rama, Dimitar Kovačevski and Dritan Abazović.
The ceremonial opening of the fair, which lasts until September 4, is held in Hall 1 of the Belgrade Fair.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said at the opening that today is a big and special day.
"It seems to me that there is not a person at this fair who is not smiling. We did this and made it together. I have visited numerous European fairs, but few places have done it as Open Balkan did on this occasion in Belgrade," he said. During his address, he invited the citizens of Serbia to visit the fair and taste the best wines, both from the region and from around the world.
"Today, Belgrade, i.e. the Open Balkans, is the world capital of wine. We have more than 230 exhibitors from the countries of the Open Balkans initiative and almost 100 from other countries. Today you can see how important and good this initiative is. I hope that the producers from other countries will also like to join us already at the next fair," Vučić pointed out.
Vučić thanked all the people who worked hard, brought so many exhibitors and made the fair look so magnificent.
Almost 400 exhibitors and wine producers from more than 20 countries participate in the fair. Most of them will be from the countries of the region, primarily Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, but also from the whole world, South and North America and Central Europe.
More than 230 exhibitors will participate from Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania alone. Exhibitors from Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, France, Argentina and Chile also participate. The wines will be judged by 25 international judges, five of whom have the "master of wine" label, which gives the fair a special weight and ranks it among the most prestigious in the world.
"Wine Vision OB" will gather the best wine producers in the region at the Belgrade Fair and promote the Balkans as an increasingly popular wine and tourist destination.
It is a concrete step in achieving the goal of the Open Balkans initiative - a common market that includes the free flow of people, goods, capital and services, the organizers said earlier.
The Open Balkans Summit will be held in the "Serbia" Palace, and will be attended by the Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović, the Chairman of the BiH Council of Ministers Zoran Tegeltija, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary Péter Szijjártó and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlut Çavuşoğlu.
Minister of Trade Tatjana Matić stated that the wine fair is the first concrete result of the memorandum on cooperation in the initiative of the OB, which was signed a few months ago. Matić also said that the most prestigious chefs will hold workshops, while the chefs of the OB countries will cook at special dinners for visitors, as well as at master's dinners. During the fair, a gala concert will be held in Usce.
The OB Wine Fair is a unique manifestation, not only for the presentation of wine gastronomic tourism, but also for the promotion of tourist destinations in the OB countries. The fair is an opportunity not only to position the wine routes of the Balkans on the world map of wine tours, but also to establish the countries better and more easily on the world map of attractive tourist destinations, according to the Ministry of Trade. The goal of the fair, as stated, is to celebrate the superior skill of the masters in the production of the best wines and to promote the unique blend of tastes and aromas that represent the spirit of the Balkans, its geography and wealth of varieties.
The first international wine fair will enable winegrowers, wine producers, representatives of wineries, oenologists, sommeliers, as well as distributors and wine merchants from the region and beyond, to gather, network, share experiences, present themselves to the general public and expand their business.
The fair will also have its own competition part, in which wines will be judged by the most prestigious experts and sommeliers from around the world, as well as by the most prestigious magazine in that area, "Decanter".
The organizers of the fair are the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, the Belgrade Fair and the Union of Winegrowers and Winemakers of Serbia, and it will be held under the auspices of the countries of the Open Balkans.