VINTNERS MADE A COMPLAINT TO VICE-PRIME MINISTER JOTEV
288 companies from 26 states participate in the ninth annual Exhibition Vinaria 2001 in Plovdiv. It was officially opened by Vice PM Jotev, and has attracted the genuine interest of a number of state officials and foreign businessmen. During the traditional tour which Peter Jotev made round the Plovdiv Fair ground most of the producers took the opportunity to complain against the unfavourable situation of Bulgarian wine production, while treating him with a glass of wine.
Expert tasting showed that quality indicators of wines 2000 are very good. Problems arise from the fact that in spite of the higher quantity of grapes produced last year, its price compared to previous years is considerably lower. Thus profit of vine growers was low, and prevented them from growing new vines.
This year for the first time Bulgarian quota for export to the EU is not a reciprocal one. That means that Bulgarian export is not bound to Bulgarian import of EU wine. Bulgaria was licenced for exporting to the EU not only the expensive high quality wines, but also the more popular brands. For the first time a lot of other European producers took part at Vinaria.
According to the new Wine Act, 360,000 dka will be planted with new vines. Financing will be provided mainly by the SAPARD Programme of the European Union. The National Chamber of vine growers and vintners, headed by Nickola Nickolov, Chairman of the Parliamentary Economic Commission, will actively support through expertise and technical assistance all vine growers applying for financing. Operators in this sector made a number of suggestions regarding taxation of their production: wine to be taxed similar to the beer, but not to be treated like hard drinks, which is the case in the EU. Primary production - grapes - should not be subject to VAT.