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Open Balkan Wine Trophy 2023: Celebrating Excellence Among Balkan Wines

Highlights from the Prestigious Wine Vision Competition 2023

In the heart of the Wine Vision by Open Balkan 2023, the Open Balkan Wine Trophy continues to be a beacon for excellence in winemaking, bringing together vintners and enthusiasts alike to celebrate the artistry of the region’s finest wines.

A prestigious panel of thirty international wine judges, boasting five Masters of Wine, meticulously evaluated wines from Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia. At the helm of this discerning panel for yet another year was Caroline Gilby MW, an esteemed authority on wines from the region.

Caroline Gilby MW not only led the panel but also had the honour of inaugurating the awards ceremony. Alongside her were key figures in the wine industry, including evaluation coordinator Igor Luković, the President of the Association of Winemakers and Grape Growers of Serbia Stevan Rajta, and the distinguished Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić.

This gathering of experts and industry leaders underscored the significance of the Open Balkan Wine Trophy, highlighting the commitment to recognizing and celebrating excellence in winemaking. As the judging unfolded, wines from the three participating countries underwent rigorous evaluation, culminating in the announcement of awards that would further elevate the reputation of the region on the global wine stage.

The competition introduced national trophies, acknowledging the best wines from individual countries. These national trophies highlight the diversity and uniqueness of each country’s winemaking tradition:

  • Albania: Shesh i Bardhe 2022, Duka Winery
  • North Macedonia: Cabernet Sauvignon Ten Barrels Reserva 2020, Chateau Kamnik
  • Serbia: Zvonko Bogdan Chardonnay 2022, Zvonko Bogdan Winery

The competition featured various categories, each showcasing the diversity of Balkan wines. The individual Category Trophies include:

  • Best Red Wine: Fabula Lagum 2019, Chichateau Winery
  • Best White Wine: Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Krstašica Winery
  • Best White Wine from Indigenous Variety: Žilavka Bela Voda 2022, Tikveš Winery
  • Best Red Wine from Indigenous Variety: 1186 Prokupac 2020, Studenica Monastery Winery
  • Best Rosé Wine: Rose 100 Žena 2022, 100 Žena Winery
  • Best Sparkling Wine: Trijumf Noir Sparkling 2019, Aleksandrović Winery
  • Best Orange Wine: Uncensored Traminac 2021, Bikicki Winery
  • Best Sweet Wine: Tri Sunca Traminac Late Harvest 2016, Fruškogorski Vinogradi
  • Best Fortified Wine: Bermet Red 2021, Veritas – Ćuković Winery


The Open Balkan Wine Trophy 2023 not only recognized the achievements of individual winemakers but also showcased the region’s collective dedication to producing world-class wines. As the Balkans continue to make their mark on the global wine stage, events like these play a crucial role in elevating the profile of Balkan wines and fostering a sense of pride and camaraderie among its winemakers.