The Valley of Roses

Rose Valley wine region

The Valley of Roses region is located in an area in between the Balkan Mountains and Sredna Gorna Mountains. This position surrounded by mountains keeps this small region protected from extreme temperatures.

The name comes from the fact that this valley is the main rose growing and rose oil production area in the country. The valley is dominated by rose plantations used for production of high-quality rose oil and other products derived from the Damascena rose, which is the type of rose that grows in the Rose Valley.

Rose growing and rose oil production is an old tradition in Bulgaria.

Apart from old traditions of rose cultivation and rose oil production, wine making is also prominent in the Rose Valley and also an old tradition in the region . The soil and climatic conditions in the Rose Valley are ideal for the cultivation of high-quality grapes. The southern slopes of Stara Planina (Balkan) mountain serve as a natural barrier for the cold air coming from the north and, in addition, provide for excellent ventilation in the valley. The soils in the Rose Valley wine region are predominantly brown and cinnamon forest soils and are highly suitable for grape growing.

The grapes grown in this region are primarily white grapes. The region is known for fresh and crisp white wines, excellent rosés and fruit-forward, cooler-climate red wines.

roses from the rose valley

A grape to highlight in this region is Red Misket. Red Misket [Misket Cherven] is an ancient Bulgarian grape variety that can barely be found anywhere else. Despite the name, this is a white grape varietal with pink skins. It is a late maturing, cool climate grape. Misket should not be confused with Muscat. In fact, it is not part of the Muscat family but is something blended with Muscat Ottonel.

Red misket wines have clear, pale-straw colour with green hints. When vinified dry, it develops rich floral aromas and hints of yellow and tropical fruits. There are also nuances of rose petals, and violet on the finish. Red misket wines are medium to medium plus in body, with exceptional balance and well-integrated acidity.

The Rose Valley is the main region where Red Misket can be found.

Red Misket Bulgarian grape variety

Another representative of a local variety in the Rose Valley wine region is Pamid – an old grape variety cultivated in Bulgaria since Thracian times that used to be the most widespread Bulgarian variety in the past.

Apart from local varieties, international ones such as: Traminer, Muscat Ottonel, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot could be found in the Rose Valley wine region.

Drawings in the most famous Thracian tomb - Kazanluk tomb

The area of the Rose Valley is famous for another reason apart from the rose plantations and quality wines. It is often referred to as the Valley of Thracian Kings because of the Thracian kings’ tombs and treasures found here. The last Thracian capital of the Odrysian Kingdom was located in the Rose Valley and now sits at the bottom of the dam Koprinka. Driving through the Rose Valley, you will notice the numerous mounds that seem to appear out of nowhere in the valley. Some of these mounds probably hide the treasures of renowned Thracian kings that tell the stories of this mysterious society that worshiped wine more than anything else. Some fascinating burial sites have been excavated and opened to the public such as the Starosel Thracian Tomb and the Kazanlak Tomb (UNESCO).

Explore the Rose Valley wine region and learn about the Thracian kings who once ruled the area on our Rose Valley Wine Trail Tour.