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. It was the Thracians who layed the foundations of wine making in these lands in the 9th century BC. This is evidenced by the numerous excavations, also 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 new farming techniques and even developed special tools for working in the vineyard and vinification. Thrace region which later becames the core of the present Bulgaria, was the scene of the first festivals in honor of Dionysus (the Trachian Bachus) and wine.
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 provides Bulgaria as a wine-producing country an increasingly deserving position on the world wine map, getting more and more international recognition and awards for the wines traditionally produced there.
Of course, a good wine requires a good grape. Therefore, in 2005 Bulgaria adopts a national viticulture program. The main goals here are: creation of new vineyards, facilitation of small boutique style wineries, development of innovative methods for growing up vines, stimulation of the competition on the internal market by attracting inetrantional players.
Today the country has over 140 000 hectares of vineyards which assignes her 15-th place as a wine-producing country in the world and even the second largest world exporter of bottled wines following France. All vineyards have been 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.
During the last 15-20 years a lot has been invested in the Bulgarian wine industry, which is now the most competitive sector of 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 implemented. It’s not a secret that Bulgaria has a number 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 who want to invest in Bulgarian wines, the wines winning numerous prestigious awards at the international competitions.
The vineyards are now scattered across the whole country but mainly in valleys and coastal plain areas. Newly planted ones form significat share of the total. The best conditions for cultivation are in the valleys of the rivers Maritsa and the Danube. Here the grapes benefit both from the fertile soils and the excellent climate conditions. In these vineyards traditional classical techniques have been applied in combination with modern production technologies, folloing the wisdom of wine industry experts such as the French ones.