The potential and the opportunity for Greek and Bulgarian wine producers and cultivators to offer the global market wines with a unique taste and aroma, made from traditional and now threatened varietes of grapes, is the focus of the VineSOS project operating in the Greek-Bulgarian border region.
Professor Stamatis Angelopoulos at the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki noted that the preservation of grape varieties is a very important element for the development of the Greek economy. Referring to these wine varieties, he said the fact that they are old-fashioned does not mean they should disappear. He also noted that their rescue and cultivation could become a ‘strong weapon’ in the hands of wine makers and growers, whose cooperation could lead to developing new wines with unique andvantages.
There are 27 such wine varieties recorded, 11 of them Greek, which are found in the border region of the two countries and are extremely well adapted to their local micro-environments, especially those within the margins of Natura 2000. Despite the fact that these varieties are not systematically cultivated and, as was pointed out at a press conference, are facing the threat of decline and extinction, they have shown great hardiness and resilience.
The 24-month project has a budget 1.116 million euros and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and with national funds from the Interreg VA Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020 programme.
Partners in the project are: The Executive Agency on Vine and Wine (Bulgaria – lead partner), Union of Eonologists (Bulgaria), Association Prosperity and Development (Bulgaria), Exhibition Research Institute (Greece), Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki – Dpt. of Agricultural Technology (Greece).