Saying Goodbye to 2019!
Our end-of-year letter to you!
As another year draws to a close, it’s time to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. It is also a time to give thanks to the customers, partners and friends that supported Bulgaria Wine Tours. As a young and small company, it means a lot to us that customers choose us to create their holiday. Our carefully selected network of partners helps us create and deliver authentic travel experiences. Their local knowledge and insider access is key to inspirational, intriguing and memorable travel and truly local experiences. We like to say that when you embark on a tour with us, you start off as a customer but by the end of the tour, you are a friend. We find that our past customers truly have become friends that we keep in touch with. Some of them not only return for another tour but also recommend us to their social networks. It is heartening to see the support from our new friends.
Reflecting on 2019
The year past has been exciting with lots of positive changes. Where do we start?
We launched an updated website that now allows our guests to book and pay directly from our website through an automated booking system. We have added craft beer and brewery tours in Plovdiv to our portfolio of tours – perfect for beer lovers! More day tours from Plovdiv have been added to our offering of day wine tours including a Full Day Tour to the Valley of Roses to taste the interesting wines coming out of Bulgaria’s smallest region and a Full Day Tour to the under-the-radar family wineries of Sakar. We have expanded our cooperation with wineries in Bulgaria and conducted our first tour in the northeast of Bulgaria this year with a small group of wine lovers. We have kept busy with our research trips in the region just outside of Plovdiv, in Eastern Thrace and at the Black Sea. Keep an eye out for new tours in 2020!
We also had the chance to visit the Willamette Valley and Columbia Gorge in Oregon and taste some wines. This was a really special moment for us as it was our first time wine tasting in the United States, and it gave us the chance to do a little research and compare wine tasting experiences in Bulgaria vs. Oregon. We got to visit the legendary Eyrie Vineyards, who were the pioneers of both Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in the region.
A big thing that happened towards the end of the year was moving into our new office. Our new office is located in the center of Plovdiv by the Plovdiv Municipality Building. Our new office hours are Monday-Friday from 09:00 – 17:00. At roughly the same time as moving into our new office, another fantastic development happened! We welcomed our very first employee into the business making our small team grow from 2 people to 3 people! Krassimira Kodukova joins us after 9 years at a nearby winery that was a pioneer in wine tourism in the region. Expect to see Krassimira (Krassi) leading wine tours out in the field and organizing wine tours from our office, when she is not out visiting wineries with our guests.
What else happened in 2019?
Our co-founder, Vasil Zlatev, presented the topic: “Why we need to create a strategy for sustainable development of wine tourism in Bulgaria?” at a conference entitled the “National Conference Bulgarian Wine in the 21st Century” held in Sofia in conjunction with the largest wine exhibition in Bulgaria – Divino.Taste. To download the presentation (only in Bulgarian), please click here.
More exciting news!
In 2019, Bulgaria Wine Tours became one of the founding members of a new association in Bulgaria called the “Bulgarian Association of Wine Professionals”. Keep an eye out for more information about this association!
Another electrifying thing to happen in 2019 is that the founders of Bulgaria Wine Tours were asked to participate in a campaign by the Council of the European Union called #Europeans. Check out the video here. It was an honor to be part of this video campaign!
During 2019, we participated in two major tourism and travel exhibitions: ITB Berlin and WTM London. We also got to check out ProWein – the world’s no. 1 trade fair for wines and spirits.
What’s Happening in 2020?
2020 is quickly looking like a year with a lot of new things happening!
We are developing a new brand that we hope to launch by spring 2020. It’s a bit of a secret for now! Watch this space!
Our co-founder – Vasil Zlatev – will be participating at The 12th Annual International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop (IWINETC) that will be held in Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy on 24 & 25 March 2020. We are very much looking forward to it as there will be wineries from Melnik and the Struma Valley will be exhibiting their wines for the first time at this event, and will be promoting not only Bulgarian wines from this region but wine tourism in this region.
We are expecting more groups to come for a wine tour and discover the wines of Bulgaria. Hopefully, we will welcome groups from Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK. Of course, we also hope to welcome many more individual visitors too. Whether you are a couple, a small group of friends or a family, we can assist in organizing a wine tour for you.
For solo travelers, couples or small groups, who would like to join a group in discovering Bulgaria’s wines, we have a shared group tour taking place in the spring (April 6-13, 2020) and in the fall (October 12-19, 2020). Check-out our Taste of Southern Bulgaria Group Tour here.
In 2020, we will be hosting a few press/fam trips. One of them is scheduled for February 29 – March 2 2020 and will be focus on Wine, Beer and Cultural Experiences in Plovdiv. For participants from the UK, we recommend taking a flight from London Stansted direct to Plovdiv. Check-out the program here. Other dates are available too throughout the year as well tailored press trips. Get in touch with us if you are interested in visiting Bulgaria for a wine and culture-themed familiarization trip.
We are very much looking forward to 2020 and to introducing Bulgarian wines and wine regions to as many people as possible. We will have new ideas, new tours, new brands. We can’t wait for the year to come. Once again – Thank YOU! We wish you happiness, prosperity and the best of luck in 2020!
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +359 (0) 882 602 021…
Lots of love…
Zina & Vasil