Modern Bulgarian Winemaking
When God created Earth Bulgaria got pieces of everything – plains, mountains, valleys between the ridges, beautiful rivers, hills near the sea, and vineyards of superior quality.
Bulgaria has a rich wine history. It is famous for its tradition in viticulture for more than three thousand years. The foundations of wine making in these lands were laid by the Thracians in the 9th century BC. This is evidenced by the numerous excavations, showing that wine played an important role in their life. At that time they even paid with coins depicting bunches of grapes. The Thracians planted massive vineyards here, introduced advanced farming techniques and even developed special tools for vinification and working in the vineyards. Thrace region which is now the most important wine area in Bulgaria, was where the first wine festivals in honor of Dionysus (the Thracian Bacchus) were held.
After a period of ups and downs, nowadays Bulgaria enjoys more and more international recognition for its quality wines. This country, also known as the “sleeping beauty”, possesses all the qualities to be a major player on the global wine market and currently surpasses all Eastern European wine countries with its superior wines. Wine production takes place in a sustainable and innovative way, which guaranties the quality of the grapes and the wine itself. It ensures Bulgaria a deserving position on the world wine map as a wine-producing country. Bulgarian wine makers enjoy a growing recognition abroad and numerous international awards for the wines they create.
Of course, a good wine requires good grapes. That is why in 2005 Bulgaria adopts a National Viticulture Program. The main goals are: creation of new vineyards, facilitation of small boutique style wineries, development of innovative methods for growing up vines, improvement of the competitiveness on the internal market.
Today the country has over 150 000 hectares of vineyards which assigns Bulgaria 15th place in terms of viticulture territory. All vineyards are planted and managed in accordance with international standards. The average yield of 30 hl/ha speaks of low volumes which comes to serve as an indicator for high quality.
The last 15-20 years are a period of enormous investments in the Bulgarian wine sector, which has become the most competitive one from the Bulgarian food industry. More and more vineyards have been planted, new varieties have been developed and, of course, the most modern techniques of vinification were implemented. It’s not a secret that Bulgaria has some of the most talented viticulturists in the world, as evidenced by the fact that many leading foreign companies employ Bulgarian viticulturists. In the recent years there has been also a huge interest from international wine experts and producers who want to invest in Bulgaria.
The vineyards are now scattered across the whole country but mainly in valleys and coastal plain areas. Newly planted ones form a significant share of the total. The best conditions for cultivation are in the valleys of the rivers Maritsa and Danube. Here the grapes benefit the most from both the fertile soils and the excellent climate conditions. Here modern production technologies meet classical techniques to give birth to incredible wines.