Bulgaria - an attractive destination for wine tourism
Bulgaria is known not only for its nature’s beauty, but also with its quality wine. On the territory of present Bulgaria, the production of wine has been widespread for over 5000 years. Vine growing and winemaking have been developed by the Thracians, which were one of the best winemakers during ancient times. Winemaking traditions survived in time and today Bulgaria offers quality wines, made from unique local sorts with impressive tastes.
Wine destinations can be growing regions or micro arrays. The wine tourism includes lectures about the technology of wine, vine harvest and preparation of the grapes for fermentation, degustation and buying wine directly from the winery.
At the present moment in Bulgaria there are five major wine regions which have specific features: North area – Danubian Plain, East region – Black Sea, Southwestern region – Struma River Valley, Sub-Balkan area – Rose Valley.
Black sea (East Bulgarian)
The area extends along the Black Sea, Dobroudzha and the Ludogorie. This region has warm and prolonged autumn, which helps for the accumulation of enough sugars for the preparation of fine white dry wines with fruity aroma, rich and simultaneously fresh taste.
The widespread sorts are Muscat Ottonel, Aligote, Dimyat, Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc, Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc. In some microareas are grown red sorts like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc.
Thracian Lowland (South Bulgarian)
This area covers the central parts of the Thracian Valley and parts of Sakar mountain and the climate is humid continental. In this area are grown most of the red sorts of grapes: Mavrud, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Muscat, Rubin Pamid and others.
The main wine centers are in Asenovgrad, Haskovo, Brestovitsa, Stara Zagora, Harmanli, Pazardzhik, Perushtitza, Peshtera, Chirpan and Lubimets.
Struma River Valley (Southwest Bulgarian)
In this region are covered the southwestern parts of the country, for which is specific the mediterranean climate.
The distinctive sorts for this region are the local sort Wide Melnik Vine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mavrud, Pamid and Muscat. The larger wineries are located in Damyanitsa, Sandanski, Blagoevgrad, Melnik, Petrich and Harsovo.
Danubian Plain (North Bulgarian)
This area includes the central and west parts of the Danubian Plain, south coast of the Danube River and the areas around it. This area has moderate continental climate with hot summer and many sunny days.
These conditions are suitable for the cultivation of several sorts: Muscat Ottonel, Gamza, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Aligote, Pamid, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Muscat and others. The only Wine Museum in the country is located in Pleven.
Rose Valley (Sub-Balkan)
The area extends south of the Balkans to the northern slopes of Sredna gora and has two sub-regions – Eastern and Western.
The mainly common sorts are Red Muscat, Riesling, Rkatsiteli, Shevka, Pamid, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The largest wineries are located near Sliven, Karnobat, Karlovo, Slavyantsi and Sungurlare.