Wine production has over a thousand year long tradition in Bulgaria. Nowadays Bulgaria is a proud producer of fine quality wines, some of which are made from unique sorts of vine.
Bulgaria is divided into five wine regions, each with its own specifics and peculiarities. Almost all wineries in the country offer wine tasting.
Unique local varieties:
GAMZA is a local red variety, which thrives best in North-west Bulgaria. The grapes of this variety mature late and produce red dessert and table wines. They are fresh, light-bodied and should not be flavoured with oak. Gamza wines are usually consumed young. The variety is grown in Macedoni, Romania and Hungary under different names.
SHIROKA MELNISHKA is a local red variety which grows only in the region of Melnik and Sandanski. The coloring of the wine is medium deep, and the wine has ripe cherry and herbal aromas.
MAVRUD is a very old local variety grown mainly in the areas of Plovdiv and the foothills of the Rodopi Mountains. Wine produces from Mavrud is a saturated ruby purple and has an excellent flavour.
DIMYAT is a typical Bulgarian white grape used for production of dry white wines as well as aromatic wines and brandies. It grows best in the region of Varna, but also grown in other parts of the country. It develops a fruity aroma with hints of ripe peach. Its flavour is mild with a pleasant freshness.
PAMID is the champion among the local sorts, as it is grown in the entire territory of Bulgaria, covering 35,4% of all vine growing massifs of the country. Pamid is not among the cold-resistant sorts and for that reason it is planted more often in the warmer regions of Bulgaria’s South. According to some Bulgarian historians, Pamid is grown in Bulgarian land since the times of the ancient Thracians. Bulgarians like this wine – for its taste of fruit, its lightness and last, but not least – because it’s best when consumed as “young wine”.
RED MUSCAT is believed to be “the most Bulgarian’’ sort, which possesses an identity of its own created through the centuries of cultivation in Bulgarian lands. The Red Muscat is the most cold-resisting sort of vine from which only white dry wines can be produced. The Muscat wines are nice to drink, with light body, with specific shades of tea, flowers, even a slightly sour accent of blossoming orange tree.
THE WINE ROAD
In the last few years a new momentum was easily noticeable in both wine production and wine tourism. The trend of investing in new vine massifs is in line with the appearance of several new projects for the so called Wine Sampling Halls. There are wine cellars where the feeling of tradition and romance is kept, where one can see how close Bulgarians are to their wines – and this is what provokes the curiosity of the wine tourists. Nowadays specialized wine tours could be organized in almost every winery, and this is the best way possible to get in a closer touch with the ancient traditions of wine culture in Bulgarian lands. Following the Wine Road visitors would not only taste some good wine – starting from the vine ending in the winery cave, always with a ceremony of wine tasting. Wine tours are welcome in almost all of the wineries in the country. There – in the winery – the visitors are given the chance to follow the whole process of wine making combined with tasting classy wines.
Some destinations of wine tourism are already quite popular – such as:
- Damianitza winery – where the wine-tasting could be combined with visit to the Rozhen Monastery, also to the village of Rupite, or the town of Sandanski.
- The Todoroff wine cellar is putting the accent on the closeness of wine with art.
- The Euxinograde winery, with its famous Chateau brings us back to the times when legends were born,
- The Vila Vinifera winery is to provoke the creativity of the visitors, giving them a chance to put into a bottle their own combination “coupage” of wines, after a thorough tasting, of course.
- The complex Via Pontica in Pomorie also deserves mentioning, not only because of its wines, but also because of the beauty of the park near the sea,
- Vinex Slaviantzi in the famous Sungurlarska Valley,
- The Leventa Complex, notorious with the wall paintings the visitor could enjoy while tasting its wine,
- The winery Sinite skali, or the Blue Rocks near Sliven, one of the wineries using the latest technologies,
- The Telist Cave, where the visitor is given the chance to taste wines of the category of “exceptionnelle”, selected by a French enologist.