Bad Times In Bulgaria

A bad grape harvest in Bulgaria has forced one of the Eastern European nation's top wineries to cut its output.

The Domaine Boyar winery, a 14-year-old operation, produces Domaine Boyar and Blueridge wines. The company also distills hard liquor, a segment of its business unaffected by the poor harvest, according to CEO Margarit Todorov.

The company is a leading producer and exporter of Bulgarian wines with sales of more than 5 million liters per year. It began as an agent for various Bulgarian wineries in export markets, particularly in Western Europe. In the mid-1990s, the process of privatization in Bulgaria as the government shifted from dictatorship to democracy changed the national economy.

Todorov and his partners created a strategy to gain direct control of production and the company became a wine producer as well as a sales agent. It has wineries in three cities. The Shumen operation will be most affected by the cutbacks.

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