Wine tourism in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria is one of the biggest wine producers in Eastern Europe. The tradition of wine producing originates from the ancient Thracians, who walked amongst Bulgarian lands more than 3000 years ago. They believed that drinking wine is not only a pleasure, but a way to get closer to God, making the beverage a must in many religious rituals.
Today, Bulgaria is known for its variety of wines, such as Gamza, Dimyat, Rubin, Pamid and others. Each region of the country has its own range of different wines.
There are five official wine regions:
Danube Plain (northern) region
Black Sea Coast (eastern) region
The Valley of Roses (sub-Balkan) region
Struma River Valley (western) region
Thracian Lowland (southern) region
The Danube Plain region has the perfect conditions for wine producing, which makes it the home of 35% of Bulgaria’s vineyards. The signature wine of this region is Gamza, however, many different wines, such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pamid and Merlot are also produced in these lands.
The most well-known vineries in the Danube Plain region are The Vinprom Rousse Winery, Lovico Suhindol and Magura Winery (this one runs wine tasting).
The Black Sea Coast region houses about 30% of the country’s vineyards. The conditions there are perfect for white grapes, and some of the most famous wines produced there are imyat, Traminer, Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer, as well as exquisite Sauvignon Blanc.
The biggest wineries there are the Chateau Euxinograde’s winery, where Prince Ferdinand and Tsar Boris III’s wine collections are kept and Domaine Boyar, which is famous for its Chardonnay and champers and also offers gourmet tastings.
The Valley of Roses region is mostly well-known for rose oil production, but it’s also an excellent producer of dry wines. It’s famous for Misket, which is grown in the Sungurlare Valley.
The most famous winery in these lands is the award-winning Vinex Slavyantsi, remarkable with its whites and its Leva blend (Chardonnay, Muscat and Dimyat).
The Struma River Valley region is small, but it’s also the nation’s leader when it comes to producing strong reds. It is located in the village of Melnik. The region is notorious for its Shiroka Melnishka Loza, which was was a favourite of Winston Churchill. The climate is also perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The wineries Damianitza and Logodaj are the leading winemakers of Melnik. Damianitza creates Ruen, a blend of local varieties with Cabernet Sauvignon, and Rubin. Local varieties, such as Ruen and Shiroka Melnishka Loza are the specialty of Logodaj. Visitors are welcome there.
The Thracian Lowland region has been producing wines since the 5th century BC. This region, located south of Stara Planina and extending to the Sakar Mountain, is the producer of the red, spicy Mavrud, which are Bulgaria’s most famous wine grapes, as well as Pamid, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Red Muscadine.
The Bessa Valley Winery is well-known for its fine Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and Enira. The winery tasting tours of the vineyards and the cellar, and does gourmet food pairings with up to seven different wines.
Terra Tangra is one of the newest wineries in Bulgaria, but it’s already popular as the producer of Bulgaria’s first certified organic wines.