First things first. When we talk about Bulgarian wines, vineyards and wineries, one should know that the wine production in those lands goes back to the Thracian times – centuries before Christ. The wine was an essential part of the Thracian culture. It was a sacred drink to them and part of their most important moments in life. They used to celebrate both births and deaths.
Back in those days, the civilized way to drink wine was as a diluted beverage with water. For the Thracians that was equal to a sacrilegious act. Therefore, they got called drinkers and barbarians for consuming their wines non-diluted. Nowadays we know this is the best way to do it.
There are several sorts that are associated with Bulgaria. However, here, in the Thracian Valley, the local wine is called Mavrud. For more information on the wine regions in the country and the traditional Bulgarian wines check this blog of the Free Sofia Tour:
Bulgarian Wine – History, Local Sorts, Must-Trys, Wine Regions
What is more, each year the Old town in Plovdiv hosts a young wine festival – once in the spring and once in the autumn. Many local wineries introduce their production during the event. You can find more information about it here.
Here are some of the vineyards and wineries you can visit around Plovdiv during your stay in our city.
The wine and Spa complex is one of the most popular in the region as it combines a hotel with a winery and a SPA & Wellness complex. It is situated only 50 km away from Plovdiv but it takes around an hour to get there. However, it is worth the trip since the place is very beautiful and they offer wine tasting combined with a tour of the winery. What is more, in the SPA center they offer wine therapies. You can make it into a day trip or combine it with a stay in the hotel.
On the way, you can see the impressive street art in the village of Staro Jelezare or explore the nearby city of Hissar which has a rich Thracian and Roman historical and archaeological background and also offers a wide variety of mineral water springs.
Bendida has an Enotheka and Wine shop in the city of Plovdiv itself. It offers the typical for the Plovdiv region grape wine varieties of Rubin & Mavrud. It is at a very convenient location, only half an hour walking from either the City hall or the Main railway and bus stations.
The winery itself is situated in the village of Brestovica which is only 17 km away from Plovdiv. There they offer two wine tasting options with the focus being on Thracians. You can also get wine at preferential prices.
This winery is situated less than 30 km away from Plovdiv and it takes around 30 minutes to get there. You can combine the trip with a visit to the nearby city of Perushtica. It has a lot to offer – the Red church (a Christian temple in ruins that was functioning between the IV and XIV centuries), parts of the walls of the Thracian fortress Hisarluka and the Byzantine fortress of Yustina (related to Emperor Justinian).
You can also visit the Danov school which is the first school in Perushtica. It has a rich history and nowadays serves as a gallery. Perushtica is also home to the historical church of St. Archangel Michael which served as the last fortress and refuge to the citizens of the city during the April uprising in 1876.
Lastly, for those of you who like hiking, there is an eco-trail that is just 1,5 km long and on your way to the “St. George Chapel”. You can also see the Ustina Waterfall.
The winery itself apart from wine tasting also has a hotel and a restaurant. The complex offers different types of team buildings as well. In September they organize an annual picnic during the grape harvest. You can find all about it on their website.
Chateau Copsa is a place that combines a hotel, a vineyard and a winery. It is situated about 70 km away from Plovdiv, near the city of Karlovo and is technically not part of the Thracian region but it is worth visiting. You can see the wide variety of wines they offer here.
Apart from wine tasting, in September they offer the opportunity for you to join the ancient ritual of crushing grapes with your bare feet. Much like in the old black and white movies!
Villa Venifera dates back to the mid of the 1930s and is one of few wineries in the world that uses only oak barrels and its wines age deep underground. The variety of wines offered includes the local Mavrud as well as other red wines. What is more, the winery produces another popular alcoholic beverage typical for Bulgaria – rakia.
Zagreus Winery is a modern complex with a fully complete production cycle where the grapes are produced in an organic manner. The winery offers a wide variety of wines – apart from the local sorts Mavrud and Vinica, it also cultivates Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. The winery is situated on the main road E80 to Istanbul between Popovica and Parvomay. In that region, you can also visit the Thracian center Halka Bunar and the cult complex Garvanica.
The wine estate offers not only wonderful wine tasting but also an option for an individual wine dinner with a 4-course meal for up to 14 people. The vineyards are right next to the winery. On the estate, there is the production of white, red and rosé wines. In their work, they also use the local sorts of Rubin, Mavrud and Dimyan.
The Winery offers a variety of red, white and rosé wines. The beautiful building of the winery dates back to the late 1930s and was designed by French engineers. Therefore, it is a classic example of a French above-the-ground cellar. The capacity of the winery is 4 million liters.
As you can see the region of Plovdiv offers a lot of wineries to visit. Most of them can be combined with some historical sights, tours, or SPA experiences. Since the easiest way to reach each of them is by car, you can consider a visit to one of the wineries for a day trip or a weekend.
Author: Free Plovdiv Tour Guide – Nikolina Mihaylova
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