12 routes, 12 chances for tasting Bulgarian wines – Part 1

The wine in Bulgaria is a tribute for centuries. This is the reason why we have plenty of destinations that deserve attention and time and are combined with good wine and local specialties. We present you 12 routes, full of beautiful views, tastings, tasty food and meetings that you will remember for a long time.

Mizia (Oryahovo, Pleven, Svishtov, Ruse)

The red varieties in Mizia are a tribute, especially Cabernet Sauvignon. Sara, Gamza and Merlot are also grown. Here is the only wine museum in the Balkans. In the region of Ruse and Svishtov there are many wineries offering tasting tours and even overnight stays along the vineyards. Along the wine, visit the Kailuka Park (near Pleven), the ancient towns of Ulpia Eskus and Nove, the Orlova Chuka Cave, the Ivanovo Rock Churches, the Basarbovo Rock Monastery and the Sexaginta Prista. On the local people` recommendation, you should definitely try fried river fish from the Danube, fish soup or katchamak while you are in the region.

Zlatia (Vratsa, Montana, Vidin)

Although more red wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Pamid are grown in the region, the most common variety is Gamza (aka Kadarka). The traditional Bulgarian variety is the basis of many quality white wines. You can read more here. While being in the region, do not miss out to try one of the 20 strawberry varieties grown under Kom peak. They are characterized by their strong aroma. Bel Muzh (white man) – a traditional dish for Belogradchik and Kerkellek region – is prepared from corn flour, fresh milk, butter and salt in Vratsa region. By the road, visit Ledenika, Magurata and Venetsa caves, the Baba Vida Fortress, the Belogradchik Rocks and the Cherepishki Monastery.

6 Bulgarian Grape Varieties For Splendid Superb Wine

The Struma Valley (Kyustendil, Blagoevgrad, Petrich, Sandanski)

The climate here is very similar to the Mediterranean. It is the warmest and sunniest part of Bulgaria. The wine of this region has warm southern tones in the aroma and a full taste. Do not miss to try Melnik 55 – a Bulgarian wine variety, a cross between the Shiroka Melnishka vineyard and the French Waldigie variety. Cherries are one of the Kyustendil` symbols, so do not miss to try them. The region is known as the orchard of Bulgaria. While you’re still there, try Kyustendil zelnick- one of the many varieties of banitsa with a tasty filling. Sarmi in the Shiroka Melnishka vineyard` leaves, are also a tasty addition to a glass of wine. In this part of Bulgaria are the Rila Monastery, the Stobki Pyramids,the Melnik Pyramids and the Belasitsa waterfalls.

Western Trakia (Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Asenovgrad, Velingrad)

Mavrud is another one of the traditional Bulgarian varieties that deserve attention. Its cultivation has the deepest traditions in Assenovgrad. The entire region has many wine tourism opportunities for a few days or even longer. Thracian rice banitsa, trahana (a Persian origin dish), Nikuldenski fish (carp in dough) and homemade lutenitsa are the dishes in the region, which can add to a bottle of Bulgarian wine. Walk through the Old Plovdiv, Tsigov Chark Fork, Fotinski Waterfalls, Perushtitsa.

Old capitals (Veliko Tarnovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa, Shumen, Targovishte, Pliska, Veliki Preslav, Gabrovo)

Pelin is a wine with a characteristic bitter taste that results from the addition of the the same name herb. Her best variety can be found in the Osmar village. The region also produces high-quality Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir and others. You can choose between many tasting tours and exploratory talks featuring an enologist. Elenski Butt, Gornioryahovski Suzhuk, prums from prunes – “Gabrovo chocolate”, stuffed ragout with bulgur – red peppers, stuffed with bulgur, cheese and walnuts are recommended specialties to try. Visit the historical hills of Tsarevets and Trapezitsa, Arbanasi, Shumen Fortress, Madara Konnik, Osmar Rock Monasteries, Hankrum Rock Monasteries, Pliska, Nicopolis ad Istrum.

The Rose Valley (Panagyurishte, Koprivshtitsa, Starosel, Hisarya, Kazanlak)

Although both white and red varieties are grown in the vicinity, the undisputed leader is the Karlovski misket – one of the tratitional Bulgarian varieties. Together with it, while walking and exploring the Panagyurishte treasure, Koprivshtitsa and Starosel, you can try local cheeses, milk, Panagyurski eggs, for which we have already told, and necessarily gully products such as rose jam. In this part is the Valley of Trakian Kings and the millennial history of the civilizations on these lands.

(to be continued)

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