Bulgaria’s indigenous grape varieties are still relatively unknown (yet fantastic!) to many people. Some of these lesser known grapes are very old varieties that have been around for thousands of years and play an important role in the history of modern Bulgaria. Some of the grapes are being heralded by experts as the ones to watch in the future. There are 44 local grape varieties in Bulgaria – 22 red and 22 white. Not all of them are actively used in winemaking, but some of the most prominent local grape varieties used in wine are:
An ancient red grape variety, originating from the Thracian Valley wine region in the south of Bulgaria. The wines are dark, strong and develop nicely in contact with oak. This is definitely a grape with a promising future.
A hybrid between the grape varieties nebbiolo and syrah. Rubin wines have a deep ruby color and typical aroma of berries and are sometimes blended with Mavrud for a 100% Bulgarian blend.
Shiroka Melnishka Loza
A red grape variety endemic to the Melnik area. There are different hybrid varieties created from this grape variety, such as Melnik 55.
A white grape variety cultivated mainly along the Black Sea coast, used for the production of dry white wines and distillates.
An old white grape, which is rather difficult to work with and rare to find. Tamianka wines are fresh with aromas of spring flowers and citrus fruits.
Cherven Misket [Red Misket]
Mostly used for high quality white wines. There are different geographical variations of the grape in Bulgaria. The various Misket wines are sweet and floral.
A wine tour to Bulgaria is a wonderful opportunity to try local wines that you are unlikely to find in your home country. Tasting Bulgarian wines is a great way to immerse yourself into the culture for behind every wine is a tale of a piece of Bulgaria’s fascinating history.