Bulgaria Print

Introduction to Bulgaria

Although you might not think of Bulgaria as a major player in the wine world, it was the top selling red wine in the UK in the late 1980s, and the largest exporter of wine in the world in the mid 1990s – however, much of it was pretty rough! Thankfully, quality has increased due to investment and winemakers’ attention to detail. Oh, and by winemakers dropping the use of some inferior local grape types in favour of international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The classification system is quite extensive:

  • Standard wines: still wines mostly consumed by domestic market.
  • Special wines: sparkling, liqueur and fruit wines only.
  • Declared Geographical Origin (DGO): although they aren’t not labeled as “DGO”, these wines are allowed to show the region and grape type on the bottle.
  • Controliran: like France’s AOC: must be specific grape type from specific vineyard which must be stated on label along with term “Controliran”.

There are 5 regions with Bulgaria:

  • Black Sea region - specialising in Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer;
  • Danube Plane region - Cabernet Sauvignon;
  • East Thracian Valley - Merlot;
  • West Thracian Valley - Cabernet Sauvignon;
  • Struma Valley - Cabernet Sauvignon, Melnik (local grape like Cabernet Sauvignon).