Castra Rubra Winery
Founded in 2006, this winery is a real architectural jewel. An enormous passion turned into a modern working winery of highest level. It is set in an exquisitely designed stone building and features state-of-the-art technology both in the vineyards and at the winery. Castra Rubra meets the highest standards for quality and minimal external influence upon grapes and wine.
The winery is situated in the most south-eastern corner of the country, close to the Turkish and Greek borders, in the shadow of the southern Sakar Mountains. This place was chosen not only because of the excellent conditions for growing vineyards - suitable sun exposure, soils with good drainage and extremely rich and various composition, but also because the place is full of history.
The winery is in its last year of certification for organic production and is currently under strict observation by the certifying agency. The vineyards rely entirely on organic techniques, grapes are entirely hand-harvested. Here you will find Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Alicante Bouschet, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Blanc, Syrah, Petit Verdot and, of course, the local pride - Rubin and Mavrud.
The grapes are picked up and sorted three times by hand. The first selection is made during the harvest in the vineyards when the grapes are gathered in crates of 6 – 8 kilograms. After this they are transported to the winery where two additional selections are made during the receipt of the grape on sorting lines.
The grapes go into the vinificators only by gravitation. Once into the vinificators, a cold maceration is made continuing for 10 to 11 days. It is followed by fermentation for 15-20 days and postfermentation for 7-10 days. Fermentation takes place in 5000 liter wood vats with an internal cooling mechanism. Wines are later transferred to French barriques. Some of the wines are placed on specially designed racks so that the barrels may be rotated on a regular basis, the lees thus circulating freely during the barrel aging period. Depending on the purposes of the wine it ages in new French oak barrels from 10 to 20 months. Each of the different wines is bottled immediately in one lot. The state-of-the-art equipment allows complete control over the temperature and the humidity during the whole vinification process and in the following storage.
The person who creates these wines and guides the team of young oenologists of Castra Rubra Winery is Michel Rolland, one of the most significant representatives of the contemporary wine world. These wines are not only the pride of their makers but also the new face of the Bulgarian winemaking.
Castra Rubra is a Latin name which literally means red fortress. The winery is built on the place of a mythical Byzantine fortress with strategic location. The fortress was situated on the ancient important trade route Via Diagonalis connecting Rome with Constantinople. Even nowadays one can see the traces of the big diagonal stone paved road, to which one of the most successful wines of the winery – Via Diagonalis has been dedicated.