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Top 100 See - - Contents - By Per­cep­tica team

Per­cep­tica (www.per­cep­tica.com) is a team of pro­fes­sion­als spe­cialised in cre­at­ing in­no­va­tive in-depth re­ports based on on­line me­dia analytics. Map­ping brand per­cep­tions among cus­tomers pro­vides valu­able in­sights for help­ing brands, in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions thrive. Wine­mak­ing in South­east Europe (SEE) goes back to the days of the Ro­man Em­pire. Cen­tury-old tra­di­tions in wine pro­duc­tion com­bined with favourable ge­o­graphic con­di­tions and in­trigu­ing lo­cal va­ri­etals make the re­gion a com­pelling ob­ject of anal­y­sis when it comes to wine­mak­ing. And yet, SEE coun­tries are still try­ing to shake off their ob­scu­rity com­pared to world fa­mous wine re­gions in France, Italy, Chile and the U.S.

With opin­ions no longer formed only by pro­fes­sional wine tast­ing elites, rec­om­men­da­tion via word of mouth is in­creas­ingly be­ing recog­nised as the num­ber one rea­son for peo­ple to try and buy new types of wine. Con­se­quently, the amount of con­ver­sa­tion in the me­dia and the spe­cific at­ti­tudes to­wards cer­tain brands and re­gions play a sig­nif­i­cant role in market po­si­tion­ing and brand recog­ni­tion among con­sumers.

Per­cep­tica Me­dia Analytics used this em­pha­sis on on­line rec­om­men­da­tions as a start­ing point in a com­par­i­son of the me­dia image of wine in­dus­tries in nine SEE coun­tries - Bul­garia, Ro­ma­nia, Ser­bia, Mace­do­nia, Mon­tene­gro, Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina, Moldova, Slove­nia and Croa­tia. The mon­i­tored pe­riod en­com­passed one year - from June 2013 to June 2014 - cov­er­ing tra­di­tional and so­cial me­dia sources in English. Our aim was to track down pat­terns in rep­re­sen­ta­tion not only in user-gen­er­ated con­ver­sa­tions about wines in so­cial me­dia chan­nels like Twit­ter, on­line fo­rums and the bl­o­go­sphere, as well as in news sources which re­flect the way coun­tries and pri­vate wine­mak­ers pro­mote them­selves through PR and af­fect in­ter­na­tional per­cep­tions via con­ven­tional jour­nal­ist cov­er­age.

The SEE Re­gion – a taste for tra­di­tion and de­sire for nov­elty

Tra­di­tional Me­dia

Over the an­a­lyzed pe­riod tra­di­tional me­dia sources em­pha­sized the sub­stan­tial his­tor­i­cal back­ground of wine­mak­ing in the re­gion, es­pe­cially to con­sumers who were largely un­ac­quainted with it – in the U.S., Canada, and Asia - pro­vid­ing sound cul­tural back­ground as means of brand imag­ing. The one-time Com­mu­nist rule in the re­gion was also cited as one rea­son for the rel­a­tively low level of in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure of SEE wine­mak­ing be­fore 1989.

Many ar­ti­cles put an em­pha­sis on the nov­elty of wines from the re­gion and its sta­tus as an emerg­ing cen­tre for wine pro­duc­tion, of­fer­ing new and in­trigu­ing lo­cal va­ri­etals un­known to mass au­di­ences and ap­peal­ing for wine en­thu­si­asts and con­nois­seurs. News about tast­ing events and wine com­pe­ti­tions, as well as re­views and rec­om­men­da­tions of wines wor­thy of at­ten­tion dom­i­nated most of the tra­di­tional me­dia cov­er­age.

So­cial Me­dia

Blogs

So­cial me­dia cov­er­age was strongly dom­i­nated by two types of writ­ers: 1. Spe­cial­ized wine jour­nal­ists/blog­gers es­tab­lish­ing their pres­ence both in the bl­o­go­sphere and Twit­ter, who wrote coun­try wine in­dus­try pro­files or re­viewed par­tic­u­lar brands in de­tails; 2. and avid trav­el­ers in var­i­ous cat­e­gories: from tourists on lux­ury sea cruises to back­pack­ers who shared per­sonal sto­ries and travel tips from the SEE re­gion and men­tioned wines and wine­mak­ing tra­di­tions they en­coun­tered dur­ing their jour­neys.

The his­tory of the re­gion and its mil­len­nia old wine­mak­ing tra­di­tions emerged in de­tailed so­cial me­dia posts by ded­i­cated trav­el­ers, along­side de­scrip­tions of the most in­ter­est­ing wine re­gions and wor­thy wine brands. Wine ex­perts and con­nois­seurs were a rar­ity com­pared to travel blog­gers but their posts were much more de­tailed, fea­tur­ing lengthy wine re­views and even brief wine­mak­ing coun­try pro­files.

The laid-back Balkan life­style and taste for good food and wine were the key driv­ers of con­ver­sa­tion in the posts of more con­ven­tional trav­el­ers who did not dis­play strong in­ter­est in wine and were con­tent with cheaper brands as a sup­ple­ment to their food as op­posed to high-end treats.

Peo­ple from out­side Europe, es­pe­cially from the U.S., Canada and Aus­tralia, men­tioned not be­ing aware of fa­mous brands from this re­gion - ex­cept Croa­t­ian and Ro­ma­nian ones - while UK posters were more ac­quainted with SEE wines, es­pe­cially with

wines from Bul­garia, which was the sec­ond biggest wine ex­porter in Europe be­fore 1989 and had made a name for it­self on the UK market.

Twit­ter

Many wine com­pa­nies and lo­cal tourist or­gan­i­sa­tions gen­er­ated sub­stan­tial con­tent, pro­mot­ing a va­ri­ety of wine brands and wine tast­ing events. In­di­vid­ual users (as op­posed to of­fi­cial ac­counts/in­for­ma­tion out­lets) ei­ther lifestreamed about drink­ing wine (some­times hash­tag­ging the type/brand) while trav­el­ling or made a brief men­tion of the wines which im­pressed them the most. In­vi­ta­tions to wine tast­ing events and links to more in­ter­est­ing wine re­views on­line were also a pop­u­lar topic for shar­ing among Twit­ter users across the re­gion.

Fo­rums

Fo­rum dis­cus­sions were heav­ily dom­i­nated by per­sonal tips on what is worth see­ing and do­ing while vis­it­ing coun­tries in the SEE re­gion. Most of these com­ments con­tained pass­ing men­tions and gen­eral tips on wine venues and tapas, as well as which fa­mous wine re­gions to visit. Fo­rum go­ers within the an­a­lyzed body of on­line con­ver­sa­tion seemed to be the least fo­cused on in-depth in­for­ma­tion about wines. Spe­cial­ized blogs on wine and gourmet cui­sine re­mained the most vo­cal, de­tailed and spe­cial­ized so­cial me­dia source on wines.

In­di­vid­ual Coun­try Pro­files

Bul­garia - Tra­di­tion and nov­elty

Gen­eral image of the coun­try's wine in­dus­try

Within Europe and the UK in par­tic­u­lar, Bul­garia has es­tab­lished its rep­u­ta­tion as a coun­try of fine wines which of­fers both low-end va­ri­etals at an af­ford­able price and refined high-end wines for con­nois­seurs. The coun­try's an­cient wine­mak­ing tra­di­tions, which go back to Thra­cian times, are widely known and re­con­g­nised abroad.

Bri­tish blog­gers, es­pe­cially older ones with a long­stand­ing in­ter­est in wine, of­ten men­tion how eas­ily avail­able Bul­gar­ian wines were in the UK dur­ing the 1980s and even cite some of the brands they used to drink. While many of them agree that the qual­ity of Bul­gar­ian wines de­te­ri­o­rated im­me­di­ately af­ter the fall of Com­mu­nism in the coun­try, they also ac­knowl­edge a ma­jor change for the bet­ter in re­cent years.

Pos­i­tive wine re­views by wine jour­nal­ists and news about awarded wines and winer­ies' ex­pan­sion to new mar­kets show that the Bul­gar­ian wine in­dus­try is slowly gain­ing mo­men­tum and win­ning praise and recog­ni­tion out­side the bor­ders of Europe: mostly the U.S., Canada and oc­ca­sion­ally in South Africa.

Typ­i­cal fea­tures

A com­bi­na­tion of wine­mak­ing tra­di­tions and a newly es­tab­lished image as a pop­u­lar con­tem­po­rary pro­ducer of wine are the key fea­tures of the on­line me­dia image of Bul­gar­ian wines.

Ar­ti­cles in Korea, Thai­land and China men­tioned wine tast­ing events aim­ing at the pro­mo­tion of fine Bul­gar­ian wines, or­gan­ised via in­dus­try bod­ies such as the Trakia Re­gional Vine and Wine Cham­ber or the Bul­gar­ian em­bassies.

Fa­mous wine re­gions

Mel­nik was ar­guably the most cited wine des­ti­na­tion within the coun­try. Travel blogs and fo­rums unan­i­mously rec­om­mended it for its wine cel­lars and va­ri­ety of com­mer­cially pro­duced brands and lo­cal home winer­ies.

Most fre­quently men­tioned brands/types of wine

The in­volve­ment of Edoardo Miroglio in the pro­duc­tion of Soli wines at­tracted a lot of in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion on both tra­di­tional and so­cial me­dia and the brand was ex­ten­sively cited in for­eign on­line me­dia sources, es­pe­cially af­ter it was ranked in De­canter. com's list of “32 Great wines un­der 20 Bri­tish pounds. It was also the most of­ten cited Bul­gar­ian brand among Twit­ter users, mostly in the UK.

Bri­tish users re­called Do­main Bo­yar as a pop­u­lar and af­ford­able brand they have been

ac­quainted with for a long time. Brits also praised Za­greus, Enira, Vinica, while blog­gers from other coun­tries and Twit­ter users were more in­ter­ested in Cherga, Todo­r­off and An­gelus Es­tate which has won a golden and two sil­ver awards at the pres­ti­gious In­ter­na­tional Wine Chal­lenge in Lon­don. Amer­i­can blog­gers were in­ter­ested in Kuk­eri Caber­net, af­ter it re­ceived a highly pos­i­tive re­view in The Examiner. Kuk­eri's pro­ducer Peter Kir­ilov at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Amer­i­can wine­mak­ers and wine lovers due to his choice of grapes se­lected from Veeder, near the Napa Val­ley.

Croa­tia – Wine reach­ing the far side of the world

Gen­eral image of the coun­try's wine in­dus­try

Croa­t­ian wines gained sub­stan­tial in­ter­na­tional me­dia ex­po­sure out­side the bor­ders of Europe due to the coun­try's pop­u­lar­ity as a tourist des­ti­na­tion and the long his­tory of wine­mak­ing in Is­tria which were men­tioned in news ar­ti­cles, blog posts, and syn­di­cated con­tent via Twit­ter in the U.S., Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa.

Typ­i­cal fea­tures

Croa­t­ian wines are fairly pop­u­lar as far away as New Zealand and Aus­tralia largely thanks to the large Croa­t­ian di­as­pora and brands like Se­laks - one of New Zealand's orig­i­nal wine brands, founded in 1934 by Croa­t­ian im­mi­grant Marino Se­lak. Se­lak was one of 8,000 Croa­t­ians who em­i­grated to New Zealand in the early 20th cen­tury, “who could not fathom life with­out wine be­cause it held such huge im­por­tance as the so­cial glue of cel­e­brat­ing food and fam­ily," as one blog­ger put it.

Wine ori­gins were a key theme in on­line me­dia cov­er­age of Croa­t­ian wines, and not only be­cause of peo­ple like Se­lak. Ge­netic tests have re­vealed that two grape types the prim­i­tivo (cur­rently gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity in Cal­i­for­nia), and zin­fan­del (fa­mous world­wide) are in fact dif­fer­ent clones of the same grape and ev­i­dence now points its ori­gins to Croa­tia, to a grape called crl­je­nak. Prosek, an­other pop­u­lar Croa­t­ian wine, was con­tested by Ital­ian wine­mak­ers who con­sider it as an im­i­ta­tion of the fa­mous Ital­ian Prosecco.

Fa­mous wine re­gions

Travel blog­gers and fo­rum go­ers, as well as a small por­tion of Twit­ter users read­ily shared their ex­pe­ri­ence in Croa­tia and es­pe­cially the Dal­ma­tian coast, es­pe­cially Hvar. The his­tory of Is­trian wine­mak­ing in An­cient times was men­tioned by more knowl­edge­able blog­gers as an ex­am­ple of the cen­turies old wine­mak­ing tra­di­tions in the coun­try.

Most fre­quently men­tioned brands/types of wine

Mal­va­sia, Prosek, Plavac Mali, Bibic, Maneghe-tti red, the cel­lars of Ivo Duboković

Ro­ma­nia: Wine red as blood

Gen­eral image of the wine in­dus­try

The mys­te­ri­ous Tran­syl­va­nia with its misty, old cas­tles and the most fa­mous vam­pire in the world, Count Drac­ula, serve as a key brand­ing in­spi­ra­tion for many wine pro­duc­ers in the coun­try. But apart from brand­ing, high qual­ity and orig­i­nal taste es­tab­lish the coun­try's image as an emerg­ing wine des­ti­na­tion for both lay­men and wine ex­perts in­ter­ested in tast­ing tours in old cel­lars and pic­turesque coun­try vine­yards.

Typ­i­cal fea­tures

Twit­ter users were highly in­ter­ested in wine la­bel de­signs, es­pe­cially those hint­ing at Ro­ma­nia's fa­mous Tran­syl­va­nian legacy – Count Drac­ula. In­sta­gram pho­tos of orig­i­nal wine la­bels were ex­ten­sively shared and helped pop­u­lar­ize on­line the di­verse wine­mak­ing in­dus­try in Ro­ma­nia.

Award win­ning wines and recog­ni­tion for lo­cal winer­ies shares so­cial me­dia space with more af­ford­able op­tions, de­scribed by tourists as “great value wines” with ap­peal­ing pack­ag­ing and de­sign.

Fa­mous wine re­gions

For the trav­eler in­ter­ested in the tra­di­tions of wine-mak­ing, a trip to Ro­ma­nia of­fers many op­por­tu­ni­ties to visit its fa­mous wine re­gions and sam­ple dif­fer­ent re­gional wines like Mur­fat­lar, Cot­nari, Jid­vei, Dealu Mare and Odobeşti.

Most fre­quently men­tioned brands/types of wine: Fran­cusa, Feteasca Alba, Ta­maioasa, Feteasca Nea­gra, Babeasca. Twit­ter users make all sorts of rec­om­men­da­tions: from pop­u­lar stan­dard wines like Pinot Gri­gio, to more ex­ot­i­cally la­belled San­gre de Taur, Vam­pire, and Sin of Drac­ula.

Slove­nia – An emerg­ing star on the wine stage

Gen­eral image of the wine in­dus­try

Slove­nian wines were of­ten de­scribed as a great “bar­gain” by travel blog­gers who vis­ited the coun­try and en­joyed wine tast­ings, sight­see­ing tours and fes­ti­vals. Price perks were com­bined with good qual­ity and crisp taste and most of the on­line re­sponses were quite pos­i­tive.

Slove­nia was fre­quently de­scribed as an emerg­ing star on the Euro­pean and in­ter­na­tional wine scene, not only by wine lovers but also ex­perts and in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives in tra­di­tional me­dia.

Typ­i­cal fea­tures

Tourists were im­pressed by Slove­nian mulled wines, served at dif­fer­ent lo­cal fests and Christ­mas mar­kets.

There were of­ten com­par­isons in so­cial me­dia be­tween Ital­ian and Slove­nian wines as the coun­tries of­fer sim­i­lar con­di­tions in terms of cli­mate for wine grow­ing and are ge­o­graph­i­cally ad­ja­cent. Spe­cial at­ten­tion was also paid to or­ganic wines and the ones pro­duced through the so called bio­dy­namic method.

Slove­nian orange wines - pro­duced through longer grape skin mac­er­a­tion, tra­di­tion­ally in clay ves­sels, with a tex­ture sim­i­lar to that of a red wine, while the taste of fruit and min­er­als sug­gests a white one - were also quite pop­u­lar on­line, es­pe­cially af­ter a favourable men­tion by Washington Post.

Fa­mous wine re­gions

The ar­eas Movia, in Goriska brda re­gion, and Vi­pava Val­ley, or Vi­pan­ska dolina, emerged as the most fa­mous wine re­gions in the coun­try in so­cial me­dia. The vil­lage of Vi­pava and the re­gion in which it is lo­cated are known to be the home of 150 dif­fer­ent pro­duc­ers, 23 grape va­ri­eties and a wine pro­duc­tion univer­sity. Most fre­quently men­tioned brands/types of wine: Gorice Rose, Eiswein (sweet wine made by freez­ing the grapes on the vine be­fore they are picked), Fine Sau­vi­gnon Blanc Fur­mint Quer­cus Pinto Bianco, Movia Ri­bolla Gialla, 2010 Movia Sau­vi­gnon Blanc Pri­morje, Sk­erk Vi­tovska, etc.

Moldova : An un­usual but thriv­ing wine des­ti­na­tion

Gen­eral image of the coun­try's wine in­dus­try

Moldova is a small coun­try sit­u­ated be­tween Ro­ma­nia and Ukraine, of­fer­ing an au­then­tic cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence and off-the-beaten-path charm in its purest form. With over 140 winer­ies, the coun­try has es­tab­lished tra­di­tions in wine in­dus­try with beau­ti­ful vine­yards and un­der­ground wine cel­lars, cen­tury old wine­mak­ing tra­di­tions and cap­ti­vat­ing land­scapes.

Typ­i­cal fea­tures

Dur­ing the an­a­lyzed pe­riod Euro­pean tra­di­tional me­dia fo­cused mostly on po­lit­i­cal/ trade is­sues re­gard­ing Moldova in the con­text of the EU - Rus­sia – Ukraine con­flict. The Econ­o­mist ded­i­cated an ar­ti­cle to the sub­ject: “Why has Rus­sia banned Moldovan wine?” de­scrib­ing the neg­a­tive arm-twist­ing ef­fects of the eco­nomic blow against Moldova's as­pir­ing wine in­dus­try.

Moldovan wines re­ceived highly pos­i­tive re­views and praise from wine blog­gers and ex­perts in the U.S., Italy and Ger­many and some users claimed that they can com­pete with top wine pro­duc­ers like France, Italy and Spain.

‘The Winer­ist' UK, whose co-founders are from Moldova, helped spread the word about great lo­cal wines across Europe and blog posts from U.S. Peace Corps vol­un­teers sta­tioned in the coun­try also helped pop­u­lar­ize Moldovan wines out­side the bor­ders of the coun­try.

Fa­mous wine re­gions

So­cial me­dia posts fo­cus on many op­por­tu­ni­ties for wine tast­ing tours or­gan­ised at Chateau Vartely, Cri­cova, Milestii Mici and Et

Cetera and Chateau Co­jusna winer­ies, lo­cated close to the cap­i­tal of Moldova, Chisinau were the most com­mented, as well as Pur­cari win­ery.

Ser­bia: A land of pure wine

Gen­eral image of the coun­try's wine in­dus­try

There are nearly 70,000 ha of vine­yards in Ser­bia, pro­duc­ing about 425,000 tonnes of grapes an­nu­ally. Ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tional me­dia sources, the his­tory of viti­cul­ture in Ser­bia dates back hun­dreds of years but many blog­gers and jour­nal­ists with knowl­edge of the in­dus­try point that the main rea­son for Ser­bia to stay off the wine­mak­ing map was due to the coun­try's eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal un­rest in the 1990s.

In the last 10 years wine­mak­ing has started to re­cover and has be­come widely known for its qual­ity, af­ford­able price and unique taste. More ex­pen­sive and ex­quis­ite wines are now tightly associated with the ris­ing in­ter­est in gourmet cul­ture within the coun­try Typ­i­cal fea­tures

Mod­ern marketing savvy winer­ies are ef­fec­tively us­ing so­cial me­dia to pro­mote their prod­ucts. Samovino (mean­ing “only wine” or “pure wine”) is quite pop­u­lar among blog­gers and Twit­ter users. It is de­scribed as a project fo­cused on Ger­man and Aus­trian wine trade run by a few young and wine entrepreneurs. The Alek­san­drovic win­ery was also ac­tively us­ing hash­tags such as #ser­bian­wine, #viti­cul­ture, #Balkans, #Šu­madija, #‎Proku­pac‎ to pop­u­lar­ize its ac­tiv­i­ties.

Fa­mous wine re­gions

Ser­bian wine routes in­clude: Palic, Fruska Gora, Vr­sac, Smed­erevo, Oplenac, Ne­gotin, Kn­jaze­vac, Zupa. Among the most fre­quently men­tioned Ser­bian vine­yard ar­eas are Subot­ica area, Su­madija (cen­tral Ser­bia) and Zupa as well as the Ne­gotin re­gion. Su­madija (cen­tral Ser­bia) gains pop­u­lar­ity among blog­gers as the per­fect touris­tic des­ti­na­tion for Sau­vi­gnon Blanc & Pinot Noir lovers.

Most fre­quently men­tioned brands/types of wine

Proku­pac was typ­i­cally men­tioned the most in on­line so­cial me­dia. Other fa­mous wines are Tam­janika (bet­tery known as Mus­cat), Zu­pl­janka and Ital­ian Ries­ling, Samovino, Ber­met, Šu­mad­inac (the very first sparkling wine pro­duced in Ser­bia), Smed­erevka, etc.

Mace­do­nia – The hid­den gem

Gen­eral image of the wine in­dus­try

Out­side the re­gion and es­pe­cially out­side Europe, on­line users share they are skep­ti­cal about try­ing Mace­do­nian wine, be­cause they do not re­call hear­ing much of the coun­try's wine­mak­ing tra­di­tions prior to vis­it­ing it. How­ever, that skep­ti­cism quickly dis­solves once they have tasted the wine and Mace­do­nia, along with the other coun­tries from the SEE re­gion has seen some­what of a “boom” in its wine in­dus­try since the fall of the iron cur­tain.

Typ­i­cal fea­tures

Mace­do­nian ex­porters are try­ing to reach mar­kets out­side the bor­ders of for­mer Yu­goslavia and are strength­en­ing ex­ports to the EU (es­pe­cially Ger­many, which ac­counts for 40% of the coun­try's ex­ports and US mar­kets.

Stanushina (or Stanusina) - an indige­nous Mace­do­nian va­ri­ety, also nick­named “Mace­do­nian Girl” is con­sid­ered one of the old­est grape va­ri­eties in the world. On­line so­cial and tra­di­tional me­dia sources high­light the fact that Popova Kula Win­ery is the only pro­ducer of Stanushina Red Wine and Rosé who suc­cess­fully saved this type of grape from ex­tinc­tion and made it pop­u­lar again.

Fa­mous wine re­gions

There are about 80 winer­ies in Mace­do­nia in three ma­jor wine re­gions - The Cen­tral (Po­var­darie), Western (Pe­lag­o­nia-Polog), and Eastern Re­gions (Pchinya-Oso­govo). One of the best known names in wine in­dus­try is Tikvesh (also Tikves).Chateau Kam­nik and Popova Kula were the other two most pop­u­lar pro­duc­ers, fol­lowed by Traikovsky Wines, Bovin Win­ery and Skovin Win­ery.

Most fre­quently men­tioned brands/types of wine

Vranec (red) and Smed­erevka (white) are the two main va­ri­eties of grape grown in the coun­try. Fa­mous types of wine and brands in­clude: Stanushina, Tem­janika, Rkaciteli, Zilavka and Proku­pec, Bela Voda and Vranec Classic by

Tikvesh Win­ery, Im­per­a­tor by Bovin Win­ery, Vranec Ver­i­tas Re­serve by Stobi Win­ery.

Mon­tene­gro :

The Mediter­ranean feel of the east

Gen­eral image of the coun­try's wine in­dus­try

The balmy cli­mate, re­laxed cafe cul­ture, and a love of good food and fine wine all give Mon­tene­gro a Mediter­ranean feel. Wine lovers were charmed by the beau­ti­ful walks, good food and ex­cel­lent wine of that re­gion. Blogs and Twit­ter were most ac­tive chan­nels for con­ver­sa­tion about Mon­tene­gro when it comes to tourism and wine.

Con­ver­sa­tion on Twit­ter was mostly fo­cused on the In­ter­na­tional Wine Tourism Con­fer­ence, where Mon­tene­gro par­tic­i­pated for the first time and where its wines re­ceived great re­sponse from the au­di­ence. In­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives also took the op­por­tu­nity to share their pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence from the event on Twit­ter and the Bl­o­go­sphere.

Typ­i­cal fea­tures

Blog­gers and Twit­ter users were es­pe­cially fond of the so called “cooked wine”- a lo­cal va­ri­ety of mulled wine, lo­cally called kuhano vino/ ku­vano vino" - made from red wine and var­i­ous com­bi­na­tions of nut­meg, cloves, cin­na­mon, su­gar and orange zest, of­ten served with slices of orange or lemon.

In gen­eral, lo­cal wines were praised by peo­ple seek­ing refuge from mass wine pro­duc­tion, one of the of­ten re­peated com­pli­ments was “they feel very ‘home­made'.”

Fa­mous wine re­gions

The vine­yards of God­inje re­gion as well as Plan­taze (the re­gional leader in the pro­duc­tion of wine and brandy) were men­tioned as one of the fa­mous Mon­tene­grin qual­ity wine pro­duc­ers. Blog­gers of­ten men­tioned the Milovic fam­ily home and cel­lars, where you can taste fine-qual­ity Mon­tene­grin wine and cui­sine.

Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina: Have you tried Zilavka?

Gen­eral image of the coun­try's wine in­dus­try

Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina is renowned for its na­ture, cul­tural her­itage and di­ver­sity, cui­sine, and lately for its wines. Af­ter its re­cov­ery from the tu­mul­tuous past in the 90s which se­verely af­fected its agri­cul­tural and wine pro­duc­tion, the coun­try is cur­rently re­dis­cov­ered by travel en­thu­si­asts, new ex­pe­ri­ence seek­ers, food and wine lovers and is gen­er­ally viewed as a per­fect des­ti­na­tion not only for sight­see­ing but also for wine tast­ing.

Dis­tinct fea­tures

Bos­nia is not on the top list of ex­pert wine crit­ics at least when it comes to its me­dia pres­ence. Most of the au­thors who men­tion drink­ing lo­cal wines are usu­ally av­er­age con­sumers and wine lovers rather than wine ex­perts or in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

The in­for­ma­tion out­let @Wi­ne­sofBos­nia is one the most ac­tive in pro­mot­ing Bos­nian wines on Twit­ter, but it seems that pri­vate Bos­nian winer­ies still have not fo­cused their ef­forts on build­ing en­gage­ment through this so­cial me­dia chan­nel. It is worth men­tion­ing that some for­eign restau­rants are in­creas­ingly rec­om­mend­ing Bos­nian wines to their clients.

Fa­mous wine re­gions

The most fre­quently men­tioned Bos­nian area of vine­yards is Mostar (in the south­ern part of Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina) where trav­el­ers can visit lo­cal winer­ies and taste Mostarska Zilavka. Most fre­quently men­tioned brands/types of wine:

The lead­ing va­ri­eties in Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina are Zilavka (white) and Blatina (red). The most men­tioned wine pro­duc­ers in so­cial me­dia are Brkić and Vino­gradi Nuic.

What op­por­tu­ni­ties lie ahead of SEE wine­mak­ers?

So­cial me­dia pres­ence, when it is ad­e­quately planned and en­gag­ingly sus­tained is a great op­por­tu­nity to pop­u­lar­ize your brand and reach new cus­tomers. Your brand's best am­bas­sadors are within the net­work of peo­ple who have al­ready tried a cer­tain type of wine and are will­ing to dis­cuss it with oth­ers. In­flu­ence through word of mouth is es­pe­cially pow­er­ful in an in­dus­try which of­fers thou­sands of dif­fer­ent brands world­wide and it is hard for a non-ex­pert to make an in­formed pick.

Brand per­cep­tions within a spe­cific coun­try's in­dus­try pile up and can af­fect cus­tomer per­cep­tions sig­nif­i­cantly. If your coun­try's over­all me­dia image has a far from rec­og­niz­able rep­u­ta­tion, it would take much more ef­fort to stand out on the in­ter­na­tional market and win over new cus­tomers. SEE coun­tries have dif­fer­ing de­grees of in­ter­na­tional dis­tinc­tion and while some are vir­tu­ally un­known out­side Europe, oth­ers are gain­ing mo­men­tum and win­ning over the praise of wine ex­perts over­sees – in the U.S., Canada, and Aus­tralia - and try­ing to con­quer new hori­zons in po­ten­tially huge mar­kets for ex­port like China and Malaysia.

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