What to expect
The base of this tour is Plovdiv – the second largest city in Bulgaria and European Capital of Culture 2019. All the wineries are enchantingly picturesque and located in the broad, rolling terrain of the Rhodopean Collar (Yakata) wine region situated at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains. On the tour, you get to stay in Plovdiv – the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe and visit the quaint village of Brestovitza, which is probably the village in Bulgaria with the highest concentration of wineries. Meet the custodians of the vineyards and let them tell their stories. Sample the local dishes. Broaden your knowledge on the Thracian tribes that once ruled these lands. Sense the buzzing atmosphere in Plovdiv. Taste the noteworthy wines. Join us on the discovery of the wines of the Western Thrace.
Meet your Tour Leader in Sofia at 10:00 am. Start the tour off strong with a visit to Manastira Winery for the first wine tasting. Tour the winery with the winemaker and enjoy a tasting of 5 selected wines in the tasting room. Learn about the wine making history of Bulgaria starting from the Thracians that were making wine on these lands millions of years ago through the increase of production during communism and subsequent collapse of the commercial wine making industry to the current state of the modern Bulgarian wine industry. Enjoy a traditional lunch in Plovdiv. Check-in to your 4-star hotel. In the afternoon, enjoy a walk of Plovdiv and end the afternoon with a wine tasting in a local enoteca. Transfer back to hotel. The evening is at your own leisure.
Accommodation: 4-star hotel in Plovdiv
Meals included: Lunch
The first wine experience of the day is Villa Yustina in the village of Ustina. Enjoy a tour of the vineyard park and winery and end the visit with a memorable tasting of 5 wines in the tasting room. Enjoy lunch at the Yustina Restaurant. Continue to The Red Church, which is a partially preserved early christian basilica located by the town of Perushtitsa. Enroute to Plovdiv, a second winery will open its doors and welcome us into the winery for a tour and tasting of fine wines. Return to Plovdiv in the late afternoon. The evening is at your own leisure.
Accommodation: 4-star hotel in Plovdiv
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
The morning is free to enjoy as you wish. Check-out is at 12 pm. Your Tour Leader will be waiting to transfer you back to Sofia at 12 pm. Expected time of arrival in Sofia is 2 pm.
- Guided walking tour of Plovdiv and Old Plovdiv
- Visits to 3 wineries including a tour and tasting of 5 wines per winery
- Wine tasting at urban wine cellar/local urban enoteca including appetizers and water
- Transfer from and to Sofia. Pick-up/drop-off point to be advised
- All ground transportation with a minivan/car included in the tour’s itinerary
- 2 nights at 4- star hotel in Plovdiv in shared ensuite double rooms
- Visit to The Red Church – an early christian church with amazing wall paintings
- Meals as per itinerary
- English-speaking Tour Leader from Bulgaria Wine Tours
- VAT & All local taxes
- Mandatory Insolvency Insurance
- Private transfers
- Meals & Beverages not mentioned in the tour description
- Alcoholic beverages not mentioned in the tour description
- Travel and medical insurance
- Extras and incidentals
Where to meet
We pick you up from your hotel, Airbnb or any other landmark location. Please advise at time of booking.
- Remember to bring comfortable footwear and weather-appropriate clothing. The tour takes place in sunshine or rain.
- Bring your camera along to capture special moments
- Bring some local currency (BGN) for purchases just in case the wineries do not accept card payments
- The minimum number of people per tour is 2. The maximum number of people per tour is 6.
- Transportation is either in comfortable car or 8-seater passenger van (depending on the group size)
- Food allergies or dietary requirements can be accommodated if advised before the tour. Please advise at time of booking.
Wine cellar “Manastira” is located in a rural and nature-rich area about 60 km from Plovdiv in southern Bulgaria. The winery produced high-quality wines. The name of the winery comes from an old Christian monastery that used to exist in the area. Unfortunately, the monastery was destroyed by the Turks who conquered the area in the 15th century. The entire area was called The Monastery after the old Christian monastery. The winery produced wines from mavrud, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.
Villa Yustina is located in the village of Ustina about 25 km from Plovdiv. The name of the winery, as well as the village, originates from emperor Justinian I who was an emperor of the East Roman empire in the 1st century AD and who commissioned a fort to be built on the hills by the present village. Villa Yustina began its journey in the wine world in 2006 and soon after in 2011 its main oenologist received the price “Oenologist of the year”. Villa Yustina is a proud birthplace of one of the best cuvees of the local varieties Mavrud and Rubin. Villa Yustina will enchant you with warm hospitality, the beautiful vine park and other outdoor recreational possibilities and if you are lucky enough to meet the owner Milko Tsvetkov, you will also make a lifelong wine friend.
The Thracian Valley is Bulgaria’s largest wine region in terms of number of producers. 20% of total vineyard acreage in Bulgaria can be found the in The Thracian Valley. The ratio of white grape varieties and red grape varieties is approximately 10-90. The large region varies from transitional to continental to mediterranean in climate. The region enjoys dry and hot summers, warm autmns and low winter temperatures. The region is mostly known for full-boded whites, rosés and extractive red wines. Since 2005, The Thracian Lowlands has been an EU Protected Geographic Indication. The most famous native grape from this region is mavrud. Mavrud is an old, red grape variety that has been cultivated in Bulgaria since the ancient times. The birthplace of Mavrud is the area around today’s city of Plovdiv in the Western Thrace wine region. The name Mavrud is probably connected with the Greek word “mavro,” which means black. This is probably because the skin of the Mavrud grape is blueish-black. The highest concentration of Mavrud lies within its birthplace, the Plovdiv region. The grape covers 2% of the total vineyard acreage in Bulgaria. The wines made from Mavrud vary in style, depending on the region and yields. In general, it has a deep ruby colour, medium tannin, medium acidity and a pleasant, blackberry, dark cherry and prune aroma. A new trend is producing this grape in a more elegant style, with savoury and herbal characteristics. This is usually done from single vineyards and with limited yields. Mavrud wines develop perfectly when in contact with oak and acquire a powerful and complex aroma, supplemented by a medium to full body and a dense and harmonious taste. The Mavrud marries very well with Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot in blends. It is also becoming increasingly popular to blend with another local grape – Rubin. Rubin is a successful hybrid between the grape varieties Syrah and Nebbiolo, and was created toward the end of the 1950s. It was planted mainly in the Plovdiv area, but later throughout the Thracian Valley, Sakar and Struma River Valley. The hybrid is often described as a man wearing a suit and cowboy boots. As the name suggests, wines from Rubin have a deep ruby colour and typical aroma of berries, spices and herbs. The wines can be consumed equally young and matured. When Rubin wines mature, their tannins smoothen out, and the flavour improves, while the freshness is preserved. Rubin wines have recently gained considerable popularity within the Bulgarian market and abroad. Some Bulgarian wineries often produce blends of Mavrud and Rubin to bring out the best of the two, most popular local grape varieties. Many other international varieties are grown in this region.
- Up to 30 days before the tour = 70% refund
- Up to 14 days before the tour = 50% refund
- Less than 14 days before the tour = no refund
- Changing the tour date is possible (according to availability)
- No shows are fully chargeable with no refund
- In the unlikely event that Bulgaria Wine Tours is forced to cancel a tour, you will receive a full refund.
- Please see our general booking terms and conditions for more information