Guest of Honour 2017: Bulgaria

We are pleased to announce the guest of honor of Megavino 2017: Bulgaria, one of the oldest wine producing countries.

Wineries present at the Bulgarian booth

Domaine Bessa Valley

Region: Thracian Valley. 266 ha. vineyard. Bessa Valley is located in the south of Ognyanovo village, on the hill between the Rhodope Mountains and Maritsa River. It has a temperate continental climate with Mediterranean climate influences. Most of the plots are covered by clay-limestone soils whereas the highest ones are made up of clay and gravels. Planted varieties: Merlot, Shiraz, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

History: Founded in 2001, Domaine Bessa Valley is perpetuating a very old wine producing tradition. The “Bessi” (Bessa) were a Thracian tribe dating from 2000 BC. They produced wine to celebrate their cult to Dyonisos, God and the symbol of masculinity for perpetuating life. The owners, famous Bordeaux wine producers, took BESSA as the winery name to respect and perpetuate the Thracian land tradition and this long history of wine production.

Concept: Production of “Grand Cru” wine quality at an affordable price.

Owner: Stephan von Neipperg, an excellent winemaker from Saint-Emilion.

Top wine: Enira

Website: http://www.bessavalley.com

Vinex Slavyantsi Winery

Region: Rose Valley. 700 ha. vineyard. Temperate continental climate with Mediterranean climate influence due to the hots winds coming from the Aegean Sea and Black Sea. The terroir is composed mainly of poor soils made up of sand slay, loam and limestone. Varieties: Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Dimyat and Misket.

History: A traditional, Bulgarian winery dating from the end of the 19th century, Vinex Slavyantsi functioned as a private wine cooperative from 1929 until 1952. Nationalization came in 1952 and the company was part of the Bulgarian State Wine Monopoly until 1995 when it was privatized.
Since 1995 the company has been a joint-stock company.

Concept: Production of terroir wines with a high price/quality ratio, combining hand harvesting with modern-classic vinification. Every year, all the wines are made from the same batches, with the same blend and same quality. Vinex Slavyantsi is also the first and only Fair Trade winery in Europe. The goal is to keep the Romani interested in staying in the region by offering better salaries and educational facilities. And to develop their future in wine production.

Owner: Zhekov family.

Top wine: LEVA

Website: http://levawines.com

Logodaj Winery

Region: Struma Valley. This region includes the southwestern parts of the country. It is not large, but has specific climatic conditions resembling the Mediterranean region. The local varieties grown in the Struma river valley are Early Melnik Vine, Broad Leave Melnik Vine, Rouen, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The resulting wines are characterized by warm, southern tones in the aroma, with fullness of flavour and a rich overall impression. The wines made from the Early Melnik Vine variety are of particular interest: rich and sufficiently large and on aging they acquire exotic and very nice colours in their flavour.

History: Logodaj Winery, established in 1994, is located in the very heart of the picturesque Struma valley. It is the sunniest, hottest part of Bulgaria, with an ancient and rich history and long–lasting traditions in winemaking. The sun’s warm rays and the terrain greatly contribute and the craftsmanship of the winemakers has long been acknowledged. Broad Leave Melnik Vine and Early Melnik Vine are grape varieties grown only in this part of the world, along the Struma valley.

Concept: Logodaj is a new and modern winery, whose concept is to create delicious, multi-layered, complex wines with a rich and concentrated fruitiness and harmony. We emphasize the development and acknowledgement of the unique Bulgarian grape varieties all over the world. Production is dictated by the nature of the vintage, hand-harvesting only when the grapes are fully ripe, the grapes of the individual vineyards fermented separately, with respect for a unique and precious terroir.

Owner: Petar Drosanaski

Top wine: Melnik 55

Website: http://www.logodajwinery.com/en

Assenovgrad Winery

Region: Thracian Valley. 300 ha vineyard. Assenovgrad is located on the northern hillsides of the Rhodope mountains and on both banks of the Asenitsa river. From the south it is encompassed by hills, which in places abruptly slope down towards the river. From the west and north in front of the town lies the Assenovgrad’s productive site. The average altitude of the region is 158 metres. These characteristics show that in the region of Assenovgrad, nature has created a soil and climatic conditions suitable for the advent and development of viticulture as an occupation of the population. Viticulture is one of the most ancient occupations in the town.

History: The Assenovgrad location is the place where the wine making history of Bulgaria began. The reason for this is that it is located at the foothills of the Rhodope mountains and to the south of Plovdiv, the oldest town in Europe (+ 6000 BC). The citizens made wine to supply the biggest town at the time. Over time, one indigenous varietal became the most cultivated and most famous one of all Bulgaria: Mavrud.

In 2001, a Bulgarian-Swedish joint-venture project was achieved for the production of small amounts of high-quality wines. For this purpose, an experimental cellar was established, equipped with the latest Barrique barrels. During 2003-2004 and 2012-2014, the company was completely renovated both technologically and technically, creating opportunities for the application of the most modern technologies in wine production. By 2015, the winery had over 300 ha of own vineyards of red varieties well as white Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. During 2005–2007, 144,000 bottles were exported to the Chinese market. Since 2010, “Vinzavod” Assenovgrad has been exporting 3 million bottles of wine annually.

Owner: M Rosen Chatalbashev.

Top wines: Plaisir Divin, Ornement

Website: http://mavrud.com/en

Edoardo Miroglio Winery

Region: Thracian Valley. 180 ha. vineyard. It is located on the slope heading down to the village of Elenovo. The physical and chemical composition of the soils, the soil layers, the microclimate that is created between the hilly area located more than 400 metres above the sea level on Saint Ilia hill, give the area everything necessary for the production of high-quality wines. The planting of the vineyards began in 2002, choosing Pinot Nero as the first variety. Over the next two years other international varieties such as Chardonnay, Traminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon follow. In the spring of 2005, the Edoardo Miroglio winery expanded with the Bulgarian varieties Mavrud and Melnik. In 2008, the range of local varieties further expands with Bouquet and Rubin.

History: Edoardo Miroglio settled definitely in Bulgaria for the production of textiles in Sliven. He fell in love with the country and obtained Bulgarian citizenship. He is a modest man, leading an international textiles empire that delivers to all the major fashion designers in the world. He established the Edoardo Miroglio winery in 2002.

Concept: As with his other Italian wineries, Edoardo Miroglio produces wines with a word, a spirit, that leads all his wine production: “Elegance”.

Owner: Edoardo Miroglio, an Italian textiles tycoon. Coming from Alba, he is passionate about wine and the owner of 2 wineries in Piemonte.

Top wines: SOLI, BIO, ELENOVO.

Website: http://www.emiroglio-wine.com/en

Katarzyna Estate Winery

Region: Thracian Valley. The winery is located in the “White Soil” area, at the foothills of the Eastern Rhodope mountains and right at the border between Bulgaria and Greece. The sub-region is part of the big southern wine region, the “Thracian Lowlands”.

History: Founded in 2006, the Katarzyna Estate now owns 750 ha of vineyards situated in one of the best wine-growing regions of Bulgaria. In the different parts of the estate, the soils are of the types Chromic luvisol, Eutric cambisol and Rendzina. The climate is temperate continental with a well-presented Mediterranean influence. All grape varietals are selected to perfectly match the climatic features and the structure and type of soil.

Concept: The goal of the Katarzyna Estate is to manifest the uniqueness of its vineyards and terroir by using traditional winemaking techniques to make wines which bear the elegance and refinement of “The Old World” and to find the pure balance between fruit, acidity, oak and tannins.

Owner: Christophe Trylinski

Top wine: Contemplations Merlo&Malbec

Website: http://www.katarzyna.bg/?lang=1

Domaine Boyar International EAD

Region: Thracian Valley. The company works with a wide range of international and native grape varieties, mostly Mavrud, Rubin, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, etc.

History: Domaine Boyar is the first private wine company after the political changes in Bulgaria of 1989 and it registered in Sofia and London simultaneously in 1991.

Concept: It is amongst the biggest and most successful wine producers in the country and is the biggest exporter of Bulgarian wine to Western Europe, especially to the Belgian and British Markets, USA and Canada. The company owns two wineries – “Blue ridge” in the town of Sliven – one of the biggest and most modern wineries in East Europe, and “Korten” located near Nova Zagora – a boutique winery, dedicated to handcrafted, high-quality wines in limited editions. Domaine Boyar is also developing as a major importer of leading wine brands as a partner of Constellation Brands, Accolade wines, Barton & Guestier and others, representing their wines in Bulgaria.

Owner: Maubara Services Ltd.

Top wines: Solitaire, Korten wines, Platinum, Elements, Quantum, etc.

Neragora winery

Region: Thracian Valley. 80 ha of certified organic vineyards. Neragora is actually the biggest Bulgarian wine producer of organic wines.

History: The “Golden hills” surrounding the Neragora estate create its unique identity, providing an excellent microclimate perfectly suited to the cultivation of vines. Arriving in Chernogorovo, the Azzolini family found a pristine natural habitat and worked hard to maintain the harmony of this ecosystem of flora, fauna and vineyards. This is the reason for the choice of organic agricultural techniques.

Concept: The approach and philosophy of Neragora is based on an understanding of the uniqueness of the terroir and the climatic conditions of the area. Our choice of organic viticulture is based firstly on the characteristics of the climate: it is dry and ventilated and allows us to minimise the application of invasive treatments. The soils benefit from natural drainage, there are no pockets of humidity, the climate is dry with no fog formation and there is a pronounced difference between day and night temperatures. The grapes are naturally healthy without needing special care. We have the same “hands-off” approach in the winery as well. With such high-quality grapes, organic vinification is a natural choice – there is no reason to manipulate or modify the process by applying biotechnologies or using excessive sulphur or other fermentation additives that can alter the characteristics of the grapes. In order to maintain the integrity of the soil, we keep the natural grass cover in all our vineyards. In this way the richness and vitality of the first few centimetres of surface soil are preserved, which is very important for the vines. We also encourage natural shrub vegetation around the vineyards and the rainwater channel. This is very important for preserving the natural balance of the environment – water insects are a natural control against the insects in the vineyards. So we don’t need to use insecticides.

Owner: Azzolini family

Top wines: Ares, Gea and Cherno.

Website: http://www.neragora.com

Burgozone

Region: Danubian Plain. Burgozone is a boutique, family-run winery located in the Danube Plain region in Northern Bulgaria (facing Romania). The vineyards are situated on the south bank of the Danube, benefiting from a hot continental climate, moderated by the proximity of the river. The terroir is characterised by a large diurnal range and carbonated humus on loess soil, bringing aromas and freshness to the wines.

History: The domain is named after the ancient Roman fortress “Burgozone”, which protected the Roman empire from enemy invasions. The region was growing vines 2000 years ago and at the beginning of last century was famous as one of the best wine producing regions of the country. Along with its numerous awards in international wine competitions, Burgozone was awarded the “Golden Winery of Bulgaria” by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Philosophy: We consider that 70% of the wine’s quality comes from the vineyard and its sustainable management. Our objective is to produce wines with a “personality” and “terroir specificities” while respecting the varietal characteristics. We produce mineral, elegant wines with a pronounced fruit character that are characterized by the 3Fs – Fruit, Freshness and Finesse).

Top wines: Château Burgozone Chardonnay (first Bulgarian wine with the Grand Gold Medal from the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in 2010), Château Burgozone Pinot Noir (available in on-trade) and Côte du Danube Viognier (available at Carrefour).

Website: http://www.burgozone.bg/en