Making wine is economics and math

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Making wine is economics and math
Making wine is economics and math

Nikolai Dalakov is the manager of one of the most famous wine cellars - "Belvedere Bulgaria".

Mr. Dalakov, where are the wines of "Belvedere Bulgaria" sold - Katarzhina, Menada, Sakar and Oryahovitsa

We sell in almost all markets where Bulgarian wines are sold - in the Scandinavian countries, in the European Union, Russia, the USA. Now we have started exporting to Canada and Turkey. The main market remains Bulgaria and because of this the company invests dynamically in the creation of vineyards. Part of the Bulgarians are starting to understand wine, they are starting to drink better wines and in smaller quantities. We now drink wine for pleasure and to pair it with appropriate foods. In general, the gourmet culture in Bulgaria has clearly progressed in the last 2-3 years.

Does your company consider developing wine tourism in Bulgaria

Unfortunately, the image of Bulgaria is that of a country where not particularly rich tourists vacation, but people with low and medium incomes. I believe in the possibilities of rural tourism and the potential of small wineries that can feed 1 or 2 families, be it in Italy, France or Spain. In Bulgaria, almost everyone makes homemade wine, why not make a product to feed the family.

Do you have any special advertising strategy

Wine is best advertised by word of mouth and there is no better advertising message than the person who has tasted a glass of wine and then praised it to his family and friends. This is what we strive to achieve.

Unfortunately, Bulgarian wines are still sold abroad in the low price segment and it is difficult to rely exactly on such an advertising message.

That's why we try to make better and better wines. The important thing is to make better wines from Chile, Argentina, Italy, France, Spain and other big producers. By putting our products and theirs on the same stand, we have to compete with them with higher quality and better price. Our company is the largest exporter of Bulgarian wine, but I am not proud of that, because it is economics and mathematics. The goal is to be the largest exporter of expensive wine, occupy other price segments, get into people's heads. This is happening very slowly and I may not live to see it. Let's remember that countries like Australia, Chile or Argentina started this process 15-20 years ago.

What to do

There must be a national strategy outlining the development of the sector 25 years into the future. It's not too complicated and there's no need to reinvent the wheel.

What should be the steps generally speaking

We need a very strong branch organization to protect the interests of the producers, good universities to provide personnel, there should be a relaxed investment regime, but not a relaxed tax regime, but such that we can create new vineyards, because this is how we give bread to many people. More than 1,000 people work in our vineyards alone.

What is this year's grape harvest at your place? Many of your colleagues say that they expect the wines to become very good because of the unforgettably good raw materials

It is too early to say what the wines will be this year. In my opinion, the harvest can be rated as average with two pluses.

But only since 4-5 years in Bulgaria has attention been paid to the quality of the harvest. Before that, it was looked at what the quantity was. We do not have enough accumulated information to be able to compare annual harvests. I can say that this year's harvest is very good, but whether it is exceptional - I cannot answer.

You yourself claim that 75% of the success of wines is the vineyard and the rest is advertising…

The idea of this is that an extraordinary effort must be made in the vineyards. The rest is easier. I asked fellow technologists what they wanted me to buy them to make great wines - machines or something else. They answered me - nothing but good grapes and new barrels, that is. work in the vineyards is very important.

Who are your competitors on the Bulgarian market

I was asked this question 2 years ago and then they wrote that Mr. Dalakov had no competitors. We are all in the same boat and rowing. The important thing is to row in the same direction for the ship to travel. Therefore, in my opinion, I have no competitors, but colleagues whom I respect, most of whom we are very good friends with and are moving in the same direction.

Why did you choose paintings by the artist Nikola Manev to be on the labels of your elite series of wines

He is our man, especially since he is Chirpanlia, where my family comes from. This is a Bulgarian who managed to do what we also want - to sell his products abroad.

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