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Austria & Eastern Europe - Wine Map of Bulgaria

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

Merlot grapes

© Provided by DKBooks

Photo: Harvest time, Northern Region © Provided by DKBooks Harvest time, Northern Region

View of vineyards near Melnik, Southwestern Region

Photo: Tasting room at Vini Sliven, Sub-Balkan Region © Provided by DKBooks Tasting room at Vini Sliven, Sub-Balkan Region

Tasting room at Vini Sliven, Sub-Balkan Region

Photo: View of vineyards near Melnik, Southwestern Region © Provided by DKBooks View of vineyards near Melnik, Southwestern Region

Harvest time, Northern Region

Photo: Merlot grapes © Provided by DKBooks Merlot grapes


Wine Map of Bulgaria

This small country on the Balkan Peninsula is divided into five viticultural regions. The Northern Region runs from the Dunav (Danube) south to the Stara Planina (Balkan Mountains), and then continues on to the Thracian Plain. The Eastern Region borders the Black Sea and is best known for its white wines. In the center, the Sub-Balkan Region produces mostly red wines. In the Southwestern Region, the Struma River winds through the Rhodope Mountains, surrounded by Bulgaria’s only hillside vineyards. The Southern Region has a moderate continental climate, well-suited to ripening red varieties.

Bulgaria: Areas & top producers

Northern Region

Stork Nest Estates

Sub-Balkan Region

Blueridge Winery

Vini Sliven

Vinex Slavyantsi

Southern Region

Santa Sarah

Vinazod Assenovgrad

Southwestern Region


Perfect case: Bulgaria

Terroir at a glance




100–1,000 m.


The Stara Planina (Balkan Mountains) range stretches across the center of the country and protects southern Bulgaria from cold winds blowing off the Russian steppes. The highest altitudes are in the Rhodope Mountains in the southwest.


Loess over limestone on the Dunav Plain; alluvial soils on the Thracian Plain; forest soils near the mountains.


Continental climate in the north, Mediterranean in the south and maritime on the Black Sea coast.


July average is 73°F (23°C).


Annual average is 630 mm.

Viticultural hazards:

Hail; fungal diseases; September rain.

Making waves among the vines

The poor state of Bulgaria’s wine industry is largely a result of the shocking condition of the vineyards, which suffered greatly after the fall of communism. The way forward, however, is shown by exciting new ventures such as the Bessa Valley project at Ognianovo in the Southern Region. The financing comes from German wine lover Karl Hauptmann and Bordeaux-based producer Stephan von Neipperg, with Marc Dworkin as winemaker. They were attracted by the region’s superb soils and great potential for top class wine. With help from the local mayor, they have bought 200 ha and planted four varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. The first vintage, 2003, was just 6,000 bottles and was eagerly awaited by all those who realize that Bulgaria needs a show-stopping wine to help rebuild its reputation.

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