Bulgaria Wine Regions

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Bulgaria wine regionsIt seems that historically speaking, Bulgaria might as well be the bastion of grape growing in the ancient world. Viticulture, or the cultivation of grapes, was quite popular in the old Bulgaria as historic and archaeological findings will show.

It can even be possible that the wine cellars used by wineries around the globe. Whether this last bit of information is true or not, what is certain is that viticulture in Bulgara endured the Ottoman empire and was able to go through the Middle Ages.

The wine industry in Bulgaria become a state business when the country accepted the socialist rule. Nothing much was to expect from the wines made in Bulgaria back then. The supply was not that great and consistent nor the quality of the grapes harvested was not that good.

However, the government decided to open up their grape industry to the western markets in the 1980s. Since then, the development of the country’s rape industry has begun and continue to grow especially today when the socialist government has been abandoned by Bulgaria.

Bulgaria can be geographically divided into five wine producing regions. Each one of these regions grows its own distinct grapes and create their exquisite wines.

Northern region

Home to the fine Suhindol and Rousse wines, the Northern region of Bulgaria covers the area of Danube river up to the Balkan mountain range from North to South. This area is between the Dobrudzha Valley and the Yugoslav border. Traditionally, higher altitudes produces great quality grapes, and it would be hard to produce bad blends of wine from such grapes.

In the Northern region, both red and white grapes are used to produce high quality wines. Most known reds are the local Gamza, the Cabernet Sauvignon, and the various Merlot wines. On the other hand, the more known whites are Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Eastern Region

If you prefer a little spicy white wine, then the Eastern Region’s best might just be the one you’re looking for. The Eastern Region encompasses the areas of the Black Sea coast between the Northern border where Bulgaria touches Romania and the Southern point where the country shoulders Turkey.

Predominant wines in this region are whites made from white grape varieties the most famous of which are found in Misket and Dimiat. Bulgarians and East and South Europeans in general prefer the whites from this region.

Sub Balkan Region

The Sub Balkan Region refers to the deep valleys of the Balkan Mountain. Living under the shadow of the great mountain, you’ll notice that the area exhibits unique micro climates. The same micro climates allow the farming of the more famous Sungurlare Misket and Sungurlare Eau deVie varieties, both of which are of high quality. You’ll find some local white favorites including the popular Slavjantzi.

Southern Region

Starting from another valley and going up the mountain range, the Southern Region is much respected for its great Bulgarian variety grape-Mavrud. This region covers the Tracian Valley from the Balkan Range to the Greek border. The climate in this area is almost Mediterranean which is very ideal for for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot production. Also, Jambol and Haskovo from the area are great as well.

South Western Region

This last region is fondly called the Pirin Macedonia. This area includes the Struma Valley. The valley has a Mediterranean-like climate making it great for producing Cabernets. The region is also home tot he Melnik variety, local variety Keratzuda, Damianitza, and the rose type created from Kresna.