Hristo Dermendjiev, one of the leading names in the Bulgarian wine industry, has died at the age of 72, at home after a long illness.
Dermendjiev’s winemaking influence and passion were instrumental in forging the national and international popularity of Bulgarian wines in the 1980s.
Born on 29 February 1932 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Dermendjiev’s professional career was closely linked to the state-owned wine monopoly Vinprom, which he joined shortly after his graduation in 1954.
He went on to hold a senior managerial position at Vinprom’s wine production unit in Austria between 1967 and 1974, and later worked for the German subsidiary of Vinimpex in Stuttgart, from 1992 to 1994.
From 1995 until the diagnosis of his illness in 2003 he was one of the most valued oenologists working at Domaine Boyar.
Margot Todorov, the founder of Domaine Boyar (now Boyar Estates) and close friend of Dermemdjiev said, ‘This is a very sad day. Hristo Dermendjiev was one of the most noble and honorable people it has been my pleasure to know.
‘Although not entirely unexpected, his passing was still an enormous wrench for his family and friends and it is a true testament to his fine nature that hundreds of people came to pay their respects to this very special man.’
Todorov added that Dermendjiev’s professional achievements were all the more impressive in view of his refusal to hide his personal opposition to the former Communist system. He rejected repeated invitations to join the Communist party during his lifetime, often at great personal risk.
Hristo Dermendjiev was a keen sportsman and a successful basketball player. He was a member of two of his country’s leading teams and also played in the Bulgarian national basketball team.
Written by Agencies