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Bulgarian Wine
Bulgarian Wine

Bulgarian Wine

General Information

The cultivation of grapes and wine-producing throughout the Bulgarian lands find their origin in the high antiquity. Indisputable proofs about that are the archaeological finds, preserved until nowadays.

In the antiquity the today's Bulgarian lands were inhabited by the Thracians. The first pieces of information about the wine-producing of the Thracians we encounter in the poems of Homer – the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”. The wall inscriptions in the Kazanlak tomb, the images on the items of the Panagyurishte golden treasure, exhibited in a number of towns in Europe, Asia and America testify that the grapes and the wine have taken an important place in the life of the Thracians. The Thracian tribes worshipped the god Dyonissios as the patron of viticulture and wine-producing. With the establishment of the Bulgarian state in 681 AD the Bulgarians inherited the experience and the traditions of the local population in the cultivation of grapes and wine-producing. The winery that was found in the region of Preslav dating back from the VII – X century AD is a testimony of that.

In the Middle ages the greater part of the vineyards were possession of the monasteries. The produced wines were famous of their high qualities, glorified by the poets. Theophilactes described with admiration the light and pleasant wine that he drank in southern Bulgaria. For five centuries (1396 – 1878 AD) Bulgaria was under the Ottoman yoke and although the Koran prohibits drinking of wine the state Ottoman documents testify, that the Bulgarians were permitted cultivating grapes and producing wine. In the end of the XIX and in the beginning of the XX century a new way of vine cultivation and wine-producing was adopted. In the co-operative vaults the processing of grapes was carried out by means of the proper technological equipment, upon the compliance with higher hygiene requirements and the application of the achievements of science and practice. All this reflects positively on the formation of quality wines of the “Gamza”, “Pamid”, “Shiroka melnishka”, “Mavrud”, Misket” and “Dimyat” sorts .

Wine-producing has found wide reflection in the everyday life of the Bulgarian. A holiday without wine is unthinkable, and the holidays to celebrate in Bulgaria are numerous. With special solemnly is celebrated the day of the viticulturist and wine-producer “Saint Triphon Zarezan”. This original Bulgarian holiday takes place annually on the 14th of February. From times immemorial on this date the people go to the vineyards playing music. The best viticulturist cuts the wine and pours it with wine. A hoop is made from the twigs, which is put on the shoulder, and after the ritual a common rejoicing begins. In an especially solemn way is celebrated as well the beginning of vintage. This day is determined in dependence on the ripening of the grapes. This is a holiday of abundance. Lassies dressed in the traditional way carry heavy vessels of grapes, and after them are moving the cart filled with grapes, and the whole procession directs towards the vaults under the sounds of music. 


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