5 Bulgarian Sparkling Wines
A tale of a cave, organic wine, endemic varieties, traditional vs other methods and a legendary winemaker. . .
Harvest is already underway in Bulgaria and usually the first grapes to be picked are those used for sparkling wine in order to preserve their acidity. Bulgarian wineries produce sparkling wine, you may ask? Yes, they do. And increasingly so. More and more Bulgarian wineries are experimenting with the bubbly drink that is usually associated with the celebration of events and festive occasions. In some of the wine cellars, sparkling wines are quietly undergoing the different processes of turning wine into sparkling wine, and will be available in the coming years. Here are 5 sparkling wines from Bulgaria available on the market now.
Old equipment for sparkling wine production at Magura winery inside the Magura cave
Magura winery is a historic winery established in 1967 nearby the village of Rabisha by the famous Magura cave, known for cave drawings from different prehistoric eras. In fact, the purpose of establishing Magura winery was…to produce sparkling wine. One of the cave’s galleries has been used for ageing of sparkling wine for about half a century now. The story goes that there was a professor of oenology from Rabisha village who studied in France. Noting that the terroir around Rabisha is quite similar to the one in the renowned Champagne region, the idea for the winery’s establishment was born.
Magura winery produces three types of sparkling wine. Magura Brut and Magura Dry are produced using the traditional method and Magura Brut Rosè is a sparking rosè wine made from Pinot Noir. All of the wines age inside the Magura cave.
You can visit Magura winery on our tour in the Northwest, where you can taste the sparkling wine in a memorable setting inside the Magura cave.
Ageing of sparkling wine at Edoardo Miroglio wine cellar
Edoardo Miroglio Wine Cellar was one of the forerunners in contemporary sparkling wine production in Bulgaria. The Italian-owned wine cellar produces sparkling wine using the traditional method – meaning that the secondary fermentation happens in the bottle. Edoardo Miroglio produces four types of sparkling wines. Sticking to the classical production method, all sparkling wines use Pinot Noir or Chardonnay or a blend of both. Edoardo Miroglio Brut and Edoardo Miroglio Brut Zero have aged minimum 24 months on the lees and are blends of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. Edoardo Miroglio Brut Blanc de Blancs is a 100% Chardonnay that has been minimum 24 months on the lees. Edoardo Miroglio Brut Rosè is a sparkling rosè wine, made from 100% Pinot Noir. In addition to these four sparkling wines, the new product in Edoardo Miroglio’s sparkling portfolio is a 100% extra dry, organic Gewurztraminer.
You can visit Edoardo Miroglio Wine Cellar on our Eastern Thrace Wine & SPA tour in the Thracian Valley wine region.
Villa Yustina’s Brut (left) and Brut Rosè (right). Source: Meik-98
The first encounter with Villa Yustina’s sparkling wine was in 2013 when the winery released its first sparkling wine (vintage 2011). Today, Villa Yustina produces two types of sparkling wine – Villa Yustina Brut, which is a 100% Chardonnay and Villa Yustina Brut Rosè, a 100% Cabernet Franc. The choice of Cabernet Franc might come as a surprise, but we assure you that Villa Yustina’s Brut Rosè is an excellent and different choice for a sparkling wine.
Villa Yustina’s sparkling wines are produced using the Charmat method, made popular by Prosecco wines. The wine spends 6 months on the lees and the second fermentation occurs in a pressure-resistant tank rather than in a bottle.
A new project by Villa Yustina is hinting that the winery is determined to place a larger emphasis on sparkling wine in the near future. You can learn more about the new Villa Yustina project on our Yakata and Western Thrace wine tour or on a One-day tour from Plovdiv.
Logodaj’s Satin Brut (left) and Satin Rosè (right). Source: Logodaj winery
Sparkling wine is usually associated with traditional grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. But how about sparkling wine from an indigenous grape variety? Logodaj winery located in the Struma Valley wine region in the southwest of Bulgaria made the bold move to introduce sparkling wine from the local Bulgarian variety Broad Leaved Melnik. Thus, Logodaj’s Satin Brut and Satin Brut Rosè are both produced from 100% Broad Leaved Melnik using the traditional method for making sparkling wine. Broad Leaved Melnik is not only a local Bulgarian variety, but is also endemic to a small area in the Struma Valley wine region. If you are looking for truly unique sparkling wines, these are the ones you must try.
You can learn more about Broad Leaved Melnik on our Melnik and Struma Valley Wine Tour.
Some of Borovitza winery’s sparkling wines
No introduction to sparkling wines from Bulgaria will be complete without mentioning Borovitza winery. Another representative of the Northwest and not too far from the historic Magura cave, Borovitza is a small winery tucked away in the magnificent natural formations that are the Belogradchik rocks. The small winery is special in many ways. Its sparkling wines are one of its special features. Despite being a small producer of around 50 000 bottles per year, Borovitza has around 25 different brands, among which you will find a few sparkling wines. The terroir in the area is so diverse that it cannot be fitted into just a few styles of wine.
Borovitza is a project brought to life by Ognyan (Ogi) Tzvetanov and Adriana Srebrinova. In the wine world, Ogi was known as Dr. Champagne because of his academic work with sparkling wine and the prestigious awards his sparkling wines have won throughout the years. Unfortunately, Ogi passed away in January 2016, but his legacy lives on through the hard work of Adriana and everyone who shared his philosophy of terroir wines.
If you are looking for outstanding examples of terroir sparkling wines, Borovitza’s Ognyan Tzvetanov Extra Brut Premier Cuvée and Adriana Srebribova Extra Brut Rosè Cuvée are phenomenal choices. Both wines are made using the traditional method. Ognyan Tzvetanov Extra Brut is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, whereas Adriana Srebrinova Extra Brut Rosè is a blend of Pinot Noir and a slight hint of the local variety Mavrud. The tiny winery even has something as unusual as a sparkling orange wine!
You can visit the truly unique Borovitza winery and discover its wines on a wine safari around the Belogradchik rocks on our Northwest Wine Tour.
Sparkling wine production in Bulgaria is becoming more widespread. In addition to the wineries mentioned above, a few other wineries are expected to take their sparkling wines out of the cellars soon, whereas a number of others have plans to start producing sparkling wines. We believe such trends are a sign of the growing confidence and boldness of Bulgarian winemakers. Perhaps it is worth putting Bulgaria on your wine tour map?