The Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region encompasses the area where the flat Thracian Valley merges with the smooth hills of the Sakar mountains and the final ranges of the Rhodope mountain. This wine region stretches over the area with probably the best conditions for viticulture in the country. This fact is also evidenced by the numerous Thracian artifacts discovered here that demonstrate how widespread winemaking was in this region during ancient times.

Eastern Rhodope and Sakar wine region

Eastern Rhodope and Sakar wine region

Located just around 70-80 kilometers from the Aegean Sea, the climate in the Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region is highly suitable for growing vines. The region is characterized by mild winters with almost no temperatures below zero and hot and dry summers. At the same time, onshore winds penetrate the area through the Maritsa River valley and provide essential ventilation for the vineyards. The soils in the Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region are varied and it is often the case that different soil types are found at immediately neighbouring plots of land; however, the predominant soil types are brown and brown forest soils.

Therefore, it is no surprise that mainly red grape varieties are cultivated in the Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region. In fact, during the time when winemaking was coordinated by the state, this region was designated as an ideal area for Merlot. Now many other grape varieties are successfully cultivated here – Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Rubin, Mavrud and even Pinot Noir from the red varieties and Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Traminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat Blanc A Petits Grains (here called Tamianka) from the white varieties.

Apart from excellent wines, the Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region offers multiple cultural and nature landmarks. The area is rich in biodiversity and is in fact the place with the most endangered bird species in Europe. In addition, unique cultural heritage sites can be found in this region such as: one of the most important Thracian temples – Perperikon, the tomb and temple of the ancient poet and singer Orpheus at Tatul, the magnificent Roman estate – Villa Armira and the largest Thracian tomb ever discovered by the village of Mezek.

The Eastern Rhodopesand Sakar wine region has sometimes been referred to as the Napa Valley of Bulgaria. The reasons are that there are numerous wineries in this region that are situated very close to each other and, of course, because excellent wine is being made here. A typical characteristic of the Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region is that here you will find large producers, smaller producers and even family-run estates with as little as one person working there full time; this fact enriches further the wine tour experience.

The Eastern Rhodope and Sakar wine regoin provide ideal conditions for growing red grapes
Eastern imperial eagle - the symbol of Sakar
Mezek tomb from IV c. BC - the largest Odrysian tomb on the Balkans

A host of international experts point to the Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region as the wine region that could make the country’s wines world-known in the near future. It is not a coincidence that the prominent French oenologist Michel Rolland is a consultant to one of the wineries in the region and finds great potential in the area. The Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region is a mix of experiences – the  taste of outstanding wines, the appreciation of pristine nature, the touch of wilderness and the overwhelming sense of how far back history stretches here. Explore the Eastern Rhodopes and Sakar wine region and feel the uniqueness of the area.