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Grape growing and wine production have a long history in Bulgaria, dating back to Thracian times.

Wine is, together with beer and grape rakia, among the most popular alcoholic beverages of Bulgaria. Wine production in Bulgaria is divided into five distinct regions. There are several varieties of grape used to produce the wines of Bulgaria.

Northern Region
The Danube River Plains region of Bulgaria includes three sub-regions: Eastern, Central and Western. This area of Bulgaria has a hot summer and produces dry white wines, sparkling wines and quality red wines that have a rich fruit aroma and fresh taste. Typical wines are Muscat Ottonel, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Aligoté, Pamid and the local wine - Gamza.

Eastern Region
This region covers the area of Bulgaria along the Black Sea coast between the border with Romania and the Southernmost point where Bulgaria meets Turkey.
The Eastern region produces some of Bulgaria’s best wines and semi-dry wines, which have a fruity aroma, full bodied and elegant freshness. Half of all the white wines of Bulgaria including Dimyat, Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Ugni blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Traminer, and Gewürztraminer wines are produced in the region.

Sub-Balkan Region
The Rose Valley is located south of the Stara Planina (Balkan) Mountains of Bulgaria and is divided into Eastern and Western sub-regions. The region mostly produces dry white wines and off-dry white wines. Varieties such as Muscatel, Rkatsiteli, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling. The region includes the Sungurlare Valley which is famous for its wine from the Red Misket grape variety.

South Bulgarian
The Thracian Lowland has a temperate continental climate with a good distribution of rainfall throughout the growing season. The region includes the central part of the lowland, as well as parts of the Sakar mountain. Mavrud, a famous local wine, as well as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscatel and Pamid are produced.

Southwest Bulgarian
The Struma River Valley region includes the Southwestern parts of Bulgaria. Covering a small area it has a very distinct climate, due to the Mediterranean influence from the south. Of particular interest are the wines from the Wide Melnik Grape Vine, which produces Melnik - an aromatic, hefty wine that ages well.

Perfect location
The Geshaview village in the centre of Bulgaria is the perfect location for exploring the wines of Bulgaria.

LINKS TO WINE RELATED WEB SITES

GRAPES
Wikipedia article about the grape.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grape

WINES IN BULGARIA
An online community of wine enthusiasts.
http://wineinbg.net/pages/en/home

WINE GROWING REGIONS OF BULGARIA
Wikipedia article on the wine regions in Bulgaria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_wine

BULGARIA - THE LAND OF WINE
Personal web site about Bulgarian wine www.jlu.dk

STAMBOLOVO WINERY
Showpiece Bulgarian winery with long-standing winemaking tradition. www.stambolovo-winery.com

BULGARIA WINE
Information and advice on Bulgarian wines and much more www.informationbulgaria.com

VINES ENCYCLOPEDIA
Encyclopedia site providing objective information on all aspects of wine www.vines.org

ABLE GRAPE
Able Grape, a wine information search engine for learning and research about wine www.ablegrape.com

Red, white, rose wineWine Museum in Pleven, BulgariaBulgarian wine

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Local grape varieties grown that produce the distinctive wines of Bulgaria.

Rubin - The grape variety Rubin was created in 1944 by the Wine and Vine Institute in Pleven, Bulgaria and is a cross between the Nebbiolo and Syrah (Shiraz) wine grapes. It was recognized as a grape variety in 1961.

Ruen - The grape variety Ruen is a crossing between Shiroka Melnishka Loza (known also as Melnik) and Cabernet Sauvignon which was recognized as a grape variety in 1964.

Melnik – wide leaf vine of Melnik - This is an old local variety that has been cultivated since ancient times in the region of Melnik. It is grown only in the Blagoevgrad District of Bulgaria.

Mavrud- This is an old local variety, cultivated only in Bulgaria. It is grown mainly in the Plovdiv District and less so in the Pazardjik and Stara Zagora Districts. It is also grown in areas of the Struma River Valley.

Gazma- Gamza is an old local variety, cultivated in northern Bulgaria. Until recently it was a basic wine variety for the production of red wines in the northern vine-growing region.

Misket Cherven (Red Misket) - This variety has been cultivated in Bulgaria since ancient times and is considered to be an old Bulgarian variety. It is spread mainly in the sub-Balkan Valley and Sredna Gora – the Sungurlare Valley, and the Karlovo and Brezovo districts. There are smaller plantations in the Stara Zagora, Sliven, Yambol and Vratza districts.

Pamid - This is very old local variety, which has been cultivated in Bulgaria since Thracian times. In the past it was the most widely spread variety in Bulgaria but now its plantations are highly limited.

Dimiyat - This variety of grape is an old local one. It is widely spread in the Black Sea region.

Other wine grape varieties grown in Bulgaria.

Pinot Chardonnay - Early ripening grape variety which, because of its qualities, it is used for the production of Champagne wine and some white wines. It produces a full and fine wine which can be preserved for years.

Muscat Otonel - Early to middle ripening grape variety. Suitable for the production of desert, blended, and a variety of table wines. It has a typical Muscat aroma.

Sauvignon Blanc - Middle ripening typical wine grape variety, suitable for the production of elite table wines, Champagne wine materials and desert wines.

Aligote - Precious wine grape variety, producing high quality table and of Champagne type wines, as well as wine materials for cognac distillate.

Riesling - Middle ripening wine grape variety. It produces Champagne type and table wines which develop their precious qualities through maturing.

Ugni Blanc - A comparatively late ripening wine grape variety. It produces fine white wines, suitable for maturing. Very good for obtaining materials for wine distillate.

Rkatziteli - One of the most popular late ripening wine grape varieties. It is used for the  production of table and sweet wines, Champagne type and high quality cognac type wine materials.

Merlot- Middle ripening wine grape. Wines produced by it are intensely coloured, mild and fine.

Cabernet Sauvignon - Middle ripening wine grape. The wine Cabernet Sauvignon is rich in  colouring substances, distinguished by its full body and after a long period of maturing it becomes mild and noble. Blended with other varieties it is used for the production of champagne type, desert and sweet wines.