Updated: Mar 18
вино ( WINE )
The chances are many of you haven't drunk Bulgarian wine unless you grew up in Russia during the 70s and 80s because the wine industry in Bulgaria was state-owned. Most of it went to the Soviet Union, but Bulgaria became the 4th largest wine producer during this time.
After the USSR collapsed, the industry was put back into the private sector and suffered a demise in quality, slow in the process, but finally, there is a resurgence in their wine. They opt for the most reliable Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling and Muscat, which the French brought over in the 60s.
• 2 regions of Bulgaria are recognised by the E.U, North and South, with sub-regions within those; the 2 regions are:
• Danubian Plain (North Bulgarian)
This region has around 30% of the vineyards in the country and includes three sub-regions. (Eastern, Central, Western)
Black Sea Coastal (Eastern Region) This region has around 30% of the vineyards and includes three sub-regions (Northern sea coast, Internal sub-region, South sea coast)
Valley of the Roses (Sub-Balkan Region) To the south of the Balkan Mountains spreads the sub-Balkan region with its two sub-regions: the Eastern sub-region. It includes the Sungurlare Valley, which mainly grows “Red Misket”, designated for the production of dry and semi-dry wines. Western sub-region. It includes the Rose Valley.
This region is in the South of the country.
The west of this region is protected from severe winds and weather systems from the northeast. The climate is still continental but more modest than many parts of the Danubian Plains. There is plenty of rainfall throughout the growing season. It has mainly been the emphasis on red wines. But in recent years, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat and Traminer have produced good results. The area also shows potential for sparkling wines.
Struma River Valley (South Western Region) This Bulgarian region includes the southwestern parts of the country. It is not large in size, but it possesses some specific climatic features similar to the Mediterranean regions.
Here are 5 facts on Bulgarian wine
• Bulgarian wine has the capacity to process about 700 000 tons of grapes a year.
• Bulgaria is the second-largest exporter of bottled wine in the world (after France)
• Winston Churchill was among connoisseurs who continuously ordered barrels of the local red Bulgarian wine.
• Mavrud is a typical Bulgarian wine variety from Thracian Lowland.
• Bulgaria has more than 70 private wineries and wine cellars.
We have recently tried a Viognier by Cote du Danube from the leading producer of Viognier in Bulgaria and one of the top 6 in the world, according to English wine expert Oz Clark, is a dry white wine known to connoisseurs. As always, we do love Eastern European wines and this one definitely didn't disappoint; it was aromatic and full-bodied.
As we have already stated in previous blogs, we are really not lovers of red wine but did buy a bottle of Bessa Valley Enira, which we had a try and were quite surprised at the fruitiness, but here is a description from the Bessa valley website on the wine.
" This wine shows a deep purple colour. The nose explodes with vanilla and menthol aromas, followed by strong blackberry and raspberry nuances. The mouth starts with a round attack, followed by some structured woody tannins and red fruits in the middle. This wine is ending with an amazing balance between its 12-month wood ageing and the perfect ripeness of its harvested grapes."
All wines were supplied by Wadebridge Wines in Cornwall U.K very helpful in finding our wines from all over the world.
Bulgarians have been trying to get Rakia recognised as a national drink for a while, and some historians think it originated in the country. Still, it is also prevalent around Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.
Rakia is hard liquor from the brandy family. It is made from fermented grapes, plums, or any fruit that has sugars in it. Its alcohol content can vary from 40% to 70-80% home-produced rakia. Drink it ice cold but not on the rocks.
This country offers many great wines and Rakia we certainly enjoyed a fair bit, a glass of wine sitting on the balcony watching the sunset then have a few Rakias ready fort he night out what more can you ask for, Enjoy!!