Belgrade is the world centre of wine; beautiful visions unite the region
The second consecutive wine, food, and tourism fair, Wine Vision By Open Balkan, which takes place from November 16 to 19 this year at the Belgrade Fair, under the auspices of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania, as part of the Open Balkans initiative, was held yesterday.
The opening was attended by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, the President of Montenegro, Jakov Milatović, the Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski, and the President of the Italian Veneto Region, Luka Zaja, while the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Edi Rama, addressed the audience via video link.
At the opening, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said that between 30,000 and 50,000 visitors are expected at the second Wine Vision By Open Balkan fair and that this is the third largest in Europe, after the fairs in Verona and Dusseldorf.
“We are opening Wine Vision here in Belgrade for the second time. It is almost unbelievable what we have done here in a year”, said the President of Serbia, who thanked for the support provided by both North Macedonia and Albania.
“I want to ask all the people from Belgrade and Serbia to come and visit all the halls, to see the magnificent wines, to see what our chefs are able to do, how much they can learn, and all our children from all catering schools will visit the fair in the coming days and learn a lot from those who know it best in Europe and the world”, said Vučić, and pointed out that he was especially glad that half of the exhibitors were from the Open Balkan, as well as that three countries won as many as seven gold, 60 silver, and 82 bronze medals at the world’s largest wine evaluation in London.
“Many producers from around the world joined us this year” said the president, who thanked “Vin Italia”.
“Next year, we expect an even greater influx and an even more significant influx and arrival of Italian winemakers, producers, and buyers. This year, we have even six times more authorised customers”, said President Vučić.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Edi Rama, addressed the opening via video link.
“I wish I could be with you. I would like to welcome the President of Montenegro to this initiative of ours”, said Rama, emphasising the importance of organising such an open fair in our region.
The President of Montenegro, Jakov Milatović, thanked President Vučić for the invitation.
“The Balkan are the most beautiful when they are open. I think this way of cooperating is the best thing. And tonight we are sending a picture to the world. Wine is here to unite us; that’s why, in the name of the history of wine and our common future in wine, I wish everyone the best”, said Milatović.
The Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski, also addressed the crowd.
“We can confirm that we have strong ties, which are a great stimulus for our economies,” said Kovačevski, who listed some of the joint projects.
“Together, we are moving towards the European path, and we did it alone, without anyone helping us. The contribution to the creation of a single market in the Western Balkan, and thus the connection to the European market, is also very significant. Together, we made a better result”, emphasised the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, adding that through the initiative of the Open Balkan we already see clear numbers that show the benefits that this initiative has brought.
Marko Čadež, president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, addressed the attendees and welcomed the visitors, exhibitors, and winemakers to the Wine Vision.
This year, the fair gathers more than 600 exhibitors from numerous wineries, distilleries, and gastronomic companies from over 28 countries, which is twice as many exhibitors as last year. Half of the exhibitors are from the member countries of the Open Balkan, namely 260 from Serbia, 74 from North Macedonia, and 21 from Albania.
On the first day, the fair was dedicated exclusively to business visitors and B2B meetings, and so far, over 5,000 meetings have been scheduled through the fair’s portal, where professional visitors, customers, and sommeliers will open new businesses. The success of this year’s fair is indicated by the fact that this year we are expecting four times more professional visitors compared to last year.
The fair will be open to the general public from today, Friday, November 17th, to Sunday, November 19th, 2023. The ticket price is 700 dinars and can be purchased at the Belgrade Fair. A wine-tasting glass is rented for 500 dinars.
For all wine connoisseurs, the Open Balkan Wine Trophy competition will certainly be the highlight of this regional spectacle. More than 600 wine samples from regional wineries will be evaluated by thirty eminent judges from all over the world.
This year, the wine vision is spread over six halls, with two additional halls for gastronomy, on over 44,000 square metres of exhibition space. Hall 5 has been renovated for a gastronomic spectacle with chefs from all over the world, masterclasses, and a cooking competition, while Hall 11 is a food exhibition with various types of food and spices.
Certainly the most interesting is Hall 1, which is dedicated to wines from Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania, while Hall 4 will present Hall 4 presents wines from all over the world. A real culinary spectacle is expected as part of the Food Vision by Open Balkan programme in Hall 11, where the best regional chefs will compete in the preparation of traditional Balkan dishes.
Do not miss the unique opportunity to be part of the unforgettable wine spectacle these days in Belgrade.