Spartacus was a Thracian, born in that part of Thrace which is now Bulgaria, where grape growing and wine production has a long history dating back to the early Thracians around 3000BC - long before the Romans would introduce wine-making to the lands of France, Germany and Spain!
Justly famous for its wines, due to the country’s unique climate and soils, a variety of grapes thrive here. In 1960, a government decree officially divided Bulgaria into five distinct viticultural regions.
Bulgaria's viticultural regions
Danubian Plain, where the climate is temperate continental, with hot summers and many sunny days a year. Typical styles are Muscat Ottonel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Aligote, Pamis and the local Gamza.
Black Sea region, characterized by long and mild autumns that are a favourable condition for the accumulation of sugars to make fine white wine (53% of all white wine varietals are concentrated in the region). Wine styles include Dimyat, Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Ugni blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Traminer and Gewürztraminer.
Rose Valley, located south of the Balkan Mountains, is divided into an eastern and western subregion, with styles such as Muscatel, Riesling, Rkatsiteli, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot dominating. The region mostly produces dry and off-dry white wine and less red wine, but is famous for its wine from the Red Misket grape variety.
Thracian Lowland, where the temperate continental climate and the favourable distribution of rain are good for the red wine growing in the lowlands of Upper Thrace. Mavrud, a famous local wine, as well as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscatel and Pamid are grown. The valley, drained by the Maritsa River, has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and warm, dry summers.
Struma River Valley, small in size but climatically very distinct and characteristic due to the strong Mediterranean influence from the south. The local style Shiroka Melnishka Ioza (taking its name from Melnik) is cultivated, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
A fusion of Turkish, Greek, Russian, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisines and cultures, Bulgaria is steeped in history, overflowing with great wines and laden with sumptuous food.
With its unspoiled sandy beaches, lakes and snow-capped mountains, its mouth-watering home-cooked dishes accompanied by delicious wines, Bulgaria is a great place for a food and wine tour, with tastings at local farms, producers of cheeses, meat products, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Excellent food and wine - and the home of Spartacus! Great reasons to visit Bulgaria.
Check out this Wine Tour in Bulgaria
Slow Tours also offers a number of other Wine Tours in Europe