“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation” once said the famous American politician and scientist Benjamin Franklin. With this post we plan to help you discover a whole new universe. Please don’t leave Bulgaria without trying a couple of glasses of wine!
Bulgarians have a long history in winemaking. This is something we inherited from everybody that once inhabited our territory – Thracians, Romans, Byzantines etc. They were all famous for being good wine connoisseurs. From the archaeologists we know that the Thracians had many rituals dedicated to the God Zagreus (or Dionysus as the Greeks call him or Bacchus as the Romans know him) – the God of Wine who inspired some of their most important cults. Images associated with the harvesting of grapes and winemaking are found on pottery, murals and mosaics in residential and public buildings. Even in some tombs.
At the end of the 19 century this tradition grew and developed as a professional industry. The interest in good wines and local types of grapes is nowadays rapidly increasing. Both among locals and foreigners. Wine tourism has become a popular tourist attraction.
There are 5 main wine regions in Bulgaria. Each one of them has its features and different grape variety. We hope that this will give you a better idea of the wine variety in our country:
This is the perfect region for both red (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pamid, Gamza, Pinot Noir) and white (Riesling, Tamianka, Aligote, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Misket) wines. Winemaking is mostly concentrated in the cities of Vidin, Ruse and Pleven where you will be able to visit a Wine Museum.
It’s the place to enjoy the summer. Enjoy the Black Sea and the Bulgarian medieval historical sites with a glass of wine! In the cities of Varna, Pomorie, Shumen and Preslav and in the whole region you can explore white wines such as Chardonnay, Dimyat, Riesling, Rkatsiteli, Aligote and Traminer
region is the place where you must try dry and semi-dry white wines and experience the unique Red Misket.
This is the kingdom of the red Mavrud. The districts around Asenovgrad, Haskovo and Plovdiv mainly focus on this indigenous Bulgarian variety. However, they also offer supreme selections of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rubin. A visit of these regions would be a deep dive in the Thracian valley of the Kings and a chance to experience high quality wines.
This is where you will find the gorgeous town of Melnik. This region combines the perfect mix of mild Mediterranean climate, beautiful culture, unique Bulgarian architecture and the taste of the red Broad-Leaved Melnik
You can explore Bulgarian wines by visiting all these regions. Even if you decide to stay in Sofia, you can still find all varieties in the local dedicated wine shops or in the supermarkets for a reasonable price. Usually a good quality one would costs between 6 and 10 lv (3–5 € ). However, there are boutique wines at a price between 20 and 50 lv (10–25 € ). Another option may be bars like EnjoyWine where you can discover unique flavors by participating in wine tastings, tours and trainings.
Whatever you decide, here are the must-try local types of grape in Bulgaria:
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Author: Our guide Stoyan Bonev