Bulgarian wine regions
The Eastern region, with around 30% of the country's vineyards, is the second largest wine-producing zone after the Northern region, and by far the most important for white grapes. White varieties are more widely planted in these parts, as much as anything because of the red dominance elsewhere in the country. Currently few whites can be termed world-beaters, but the best known wine from the region is Han Krum Chardonnay. The most widely planted varieties in the region are: Red Misket, Dimiat, Muscat Ottonel and Ugni Blanc. Historically, this region has been of 80 % white grapes, with most of the grapes going for distillation. While the region is renowned for its whites, there are several red wines of note - especially Shumen Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Sub-Balkan region cuts across the centre of Bulgaria, boarded by the Balkan Mountains to the North and the central highlands, the Sredna Gora, in the South. The wines produced in the region are a diverse mix of styles from the eastern and southern regions. The principle grape varieties to be found are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Aligote, Rikat, Red Misket and Muscat Ottonel.
The major wineries in the Sub-Balkan region are Slaviantzi at the eastern end of Sredna Gora and Sliven (VINI-Sliven and Domaine Boyar's Blueridge - Sliven), which is situated on the southern foothills of the Balkan - the Stara Planina.
The Southern region - land stretching across to the Greek border and bellow the Balkan mountain is mainly Cabernet country, although Merlot and Chardonnay do well here. Mavrud - an indigenous Balkan grape variety is planted in the west of the Southern region, near the city of Plovdiv. Right up close to the Balkans themselves is the sub-region of Oriachovitza, a zone which producers some of the best Cabernet and Merlot in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria has ideal conditions for grape growing, a long history of wine making, new investment, modern equipment, a burgeoning ambition and an enviable reputation among wine drinkers across the world. Now with the recent privatisation encouraging an influx of investments in the wineries, there is a bright future ahead, so allow us to introduce you.
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