The Land of Roses
The roses seem to love the soil, climate and land of Bulgaria. We could be called the ‘country of the roses.’ The rose plantations in the Rose Valley are the largest in the world.
Bulgaria and the wine
Bulgaria is a country situated in Southeast Europe and occupies the eastern quarter of the Balkan peninsula, being the largest country within its geographic boundaries. It is bordering Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east.
It has a temperate-continental climate with moderate features which is characteristic for Central Europe, with hot summers, long, cold winters and very distinct seasons. Abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country from December to mid-March, especially if you are in the mountainous areas of Bulgaria.
Rainfalls are between 470 to 953 l/m.
Bulgaria has 17 types of soils according to FAO.
Azonal soils are a group often classified as a category of the highest rank and embracing soils that lack well-developed horizons because of immaturity or other factors that have prevented their development.
Zonal soils are largely masked by the overriding effects of climate. The major zonal soils are tundra soils, podzols, Mediterranean soils, chernozems, chestnut soils, and ferallitic soils.
Some of the soils- chernozem, grey forest, cinnamon forest, humus-carbonate, alluvial meadow, moderately sandy and etc.
Since 2005 Bulgaria has two specific main wine regions-the Danubian plain and Thracian valley.
The Danubian Plain or North Bulgarian region encompasses the south banks of the Danube and the central and western parts of the Danubian Plain. The Danube River, which dissects the Bulgarian-Romania border to the north and then expends to the foothills of the Balkan mountain range in the South. The climate of the area is temperate continental.
Grapes grow in the area are Muscat Ottonel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Aligoté, Pamid and the local Gamza.
Winery of Dunubian Plain:
Winery Borovitza- village Borovitza
Grape varieties- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gamza, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlo, Marsanne, Roussanne, Gamay and Viognier.
Chateau de Val, Bononia Estate, Dos Alamos Winery, Magura Winery, Nissovo, Gulbanis Vine, Lovico Winery-Suhindol, Maryan Winery, Winery House Rousse, Vinprom Svishtov, Vimprom Rousse.
Black Sea (East Bulgarian)
The Black Sea region comprises of 32 micro-regions. These regions are established with good distribution. The wineries in Preslav, Pomorie, Karnobat, Slavyantsi and Tarclaims are stellar examples of these claims. The Black Sea region is characterized by long and mild autumns that are a favourable condition for the accumulation of sugars to make fine white wine. Grape varieties are Dimyat, Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Ugni blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Traminer, and Gewürztraminer. Excellent wines are also made from the red grape varieties like the classical Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlo with increasing Pinot Noir.
Wineries – Boi& Ar, Zelanos Winery, Minkov Brothers Winery, Varna Winery, Dives Estate, Vinex Preslav, Staro Oryahovo, Vinex Slavyantsi, Salla Estate, Chateau Sungurlare, Santa Sarah, Black Sea Gold, LVK Vinprom Targovisthe, Tohun Winery, Chateau des Bergers, Tsarev Brod Winery.
Rose Valley (Sub-Balkan)
The Rose Valley region is located south of the Balkan Mountains. It is divided into an eastern and western subregion, with styles such as Traminer, Aligote, Pamid, Muscat Ottonel, Muscatel, Riesling, Rkatsiteli, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominating. The region mostly produces dry and off-dry white wine and less red wine. The region includes the Sungurlare Valley, famous for its wine from the Red Misket grape variety.
Rkatsiteli is vinifera originates in Georgia and is one of the oldest grape varieties. In Georgia, clay vessels were found with seeds of Rkatsiteli grapes which date back to 3000 BC.
Wineries of Rose Valley- Chateau Copsa, Dorobas, Sopot Winery.
We will be continuing with the other two regions in the second part of The Land of Roses and then I will give all regions in separate articles to give more deep information about the terroir and the wineries of Bulgaria.