Wine and Food Fest
Wine and Food Festival was organized for the first time in 2012 and since then has steadily become a summit in Varna’s summer festival agenda. It aims to establish Varna as a gourmet destination that creates experiences for appeals to wine and food connoisseurs all around the year. The event has become one of the manifold local initiatives in tourism and hospitality that have been created in Varna that successfully challenge the sea-sand-and-sun mass tourism destination image of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.
Equally important, the Wine and Food festival revives the tradition of organizing regional vine and wine exhibitions and tasting at Evskinograd Royal Residence (8 km to the north of Varna) and in Varna in the 1930s. Evskinograd winery is the oldest one in Bulgaria (established in 1891) and the only public winery in the country that has contributed a lot to building the international image of the Bulgarian wines and the traditional Bulgarian grape varieties across the world.
Quality wine and food-tasting create unique experiences for the festival visitors. The festival provides a forum for established wine- and food producers from all over the country to exhibit their production of wines, meat, cheese, sausages and bakery products. The supplementary program includes working and business meetings between producers and traders, winemakers, winegrowers, tour operators, hoteliers, restaurateurs and connoisseurs with the aim to create new gourmet and tasting experiential activities beyond the festival and during the whole year. In the last editions, exhibitors from abroad have been invited to showcase their traditional wine and food as well.
The organizers are the Bulgarian Association of Sommeliers and Wine Appraisers and the Bulgarian Association for Culinary Culture. They have been incessantly striving inter alia to raise the consumption culture of the general public and visitors to Bulgaria in terms of economic and environmental sustainability and social justice associated with the purchase of local traditional natural food and products.
The Wine and Food Festival is innovative in prioritising the high-quality locally produced food and wines – both traditional and modern – as experience creators for the visitors to Varna. Though the approach is not novel, it is new for Varna and for the Bulgaria Black Sea coast that used to rely on mass all-inclusive tourism before the COVID-pandemic. The perception- and mindset- changing focus of the event is what makes it unique and interesting. Last, but not least, the festival offers many new ideas and much inspiration and knowledge for the professional chefs and restaurant managers as well as for the trainees and students in culinary arts that are to implement the aim of raising general consumption and culinary culture in practice.
Key partners and supporters
Wine and Food Festival has become a part of the Varna summer events calendar. Besides the organisers, many national and international producers, tourism and hospitality business branch organisations, as well as individual connoisseurs, support and promote the festival. Varna information centres also advertise it as an attractive regional event.
Participants, local community and customer segment
The Wine and Food Festival welcomes visitors from all over Bulgaria and abroad. The number of participants - both exhibitors and tourists - has been increasing year by year.
Communication and dissemination channels
The organizers of the festival carried out marketing steps, which helped raise people's awareness. A number of social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as thematic web-sites for tourism and travel have been widely used for the promotion of the event. The festival programme has been announced on the regional and national media – particularly the news agencies, TV and radio-stations. The business branch organisation in tourism, hospitality, agri-food and wine production also advertise the event actively.
Specific elements and features
The festival is organised in the Sea Garden in the centre of Varna. It can be easily reached on foot, by bicycle or public transport form anywhere in the town. Parking options are available for those who prefer to use their private vehicles.
Source of the images: Bulgarian Sommeliers and Wine Connoisseurs Association, https://www.freepik.com, own cadres
The event is held in Varna, in Morsko Casino Complex at Sea Garden.
The festival is organised annually in June.
Organizer and contact information
Bulgarian Sommeliers and Wine Connoisseurs Association
Bulgaria Culinary Culture Association