16.11.2016 Why is it worth visiting Bulgaria and tasting its wines?

Villa YustinaThis is a title, resp. topic which is expected to be a cliché (frankly said, I agree) and you will probably skip it (please don’t!!!) because you have read thousands of similar articles…. However I decided to write a few words!


  1. It all started 5 000 years ago or even more

Съкровище1Yes, that long ago, and it has been proved. Bulgaria has had a rich history in winemaking for over 5 000 years. The Thracian ritualistic hollow-ware, the hundreds of wineries and local cellars, as well as the vineyards spread on all over Bulgaria are evidence of a real wine civilization that originated here. It has survived until today with ceremonies and traditions related to cults to different gods, such as the Thracian god Dionysus and Christian patron and Saint of vineyards Trifon. Thanks to its high quality, modern viticulture and wine methods Thracian wine became famous throughout the whole Roman Empire! Well, the Ottomans who occupied our country for 500 years were not interested in wine at all (due to religious reasons, of course) and during the communism the quantity was all that mattered. But… please keep on reading…


  1. Wine and wine tourism in Bulgaria are on the rise

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI state it! The wine-growing trends in the country are really optimistic; increasing number of small “boutique” cellars appears next to the big wine producers. Thanks to EU programs lots of investments have been made in this segment in the past 10-15 years. There are also additional factors such as the passion and broad knowledge of local and international wine experts. The result: Bulgarian wines are getting better, although they are still rather unknown abroad! More and more wine lovers from all over the world get fascinated after being in Bulgaria and drinking Bulgarian wine. I have good examples with Via Vino wine tourists from different countries including also such as France and Italy! “Undoubtedly the country is producing the best wines she has ever done”, said Caroline Gilby, MW in an interview in 2013. Probably the rising number of awards for Bulgarian wineries from respected international wine competitions verifies this statement as well.


  1. Bulgaria is unknown wine travel destination


If a Bulgarian wine is found abroad in a shop, then it would be mostly by chance or after a detailed research. Only a few days ago I was so positively surprised to see a good, organic red on the shelves of Systembolaget in Stockholm, Sweden… And what about Bulgaria as a wine travel destination? Totally unknown and… fascinating! In spite of everything would you believe that my country is ranked in top 10 among all European wine producers and in top 20 in the world?!? Talking to many people from abroad I have arrived at a conclusion that the south/eastern “wine boarder” of Europe nowadays is Hungary and to some extent Greece. Plenty of exciting places on the Balkans, including of course Bulgaria remain hidden (what a pity!) and are typical off the beaten track destinations. Many people would consider this fact a disadvantage. But hey, always look on the bright side of life! Aren’t you fed up with Bordeaux, Rioja or Toscana? Isn’t it a good opportunity for all adventurers and wine lovers to discover and enchant something new and really worthwile at the same time? How about being the first, striking a new wine path and telling others about it? Aren’t you curious about Bulgarian indigenous grape varieties (44, at least on paper) and some unique terroir wines from international ones?


  1. Bulgaria is so close


You don’t need to bother about reaching Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital and Odysseia-In & Via Vino home office, resp. wine tours main starting point (of course, upon request we could start elsewhere). As mentioned, Bulgarian wines are still far away but Bulgaria as a geographical location is near! I would recommend you to come to Sofia by air. All major airlines are operating regular flights from/to Sofia airport. And if you prefer to travel on a shoestring – Easy Jet, Ryanair and Wizz Air are offering a number of low-cost flights between Sofia (same airport) and nearly 60 European destinations, including ones in Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Malta, Sweden, UK, etc.


  1. Bulgaria is inexpensive


I don’t like the word “cheap”. Moreover, when we are talking about wine tours, I find this word as extremely inappropriate. But prices in Bulgaria are generally reasonable, just as the wine prices. According to a research which I read a few weeks ago (Wine Price Index by SHAREaCAMPER), Bulgaria ranked in the 10 least expensive destinations for wine, calculating in position 8 with an average cost of £ 8.48 for a 750ml bottle of wine. In a Bulgarian store you can buy a decent local wine for EUR 5,- and a premium one for less than EUR 15,-! The costs for accommodation, food, museums and similar are still quite low, compared to these in Western Europe or North America. And this is what Robin Kick, MW told me a few months ago: “I also think it is a great idea to give wine tours in Bulgaria. It is a more affordable trip for wine lovers so hopefully that will help you draw visitors too.”


  1. Wine and much more from Via Vino & Odysseia-In

Melnik die SandpyramidenBulgaria is a small country (as big and as populated as Virgina in USA and five times smaller than Spain) but has so much to offer – gorgeous nature, turbulent history, impressive heritage sites, hospitable people, delicious food and no need to mention – really exceptional wines! Our team has enthusiastically, carefully and professionally elaborated various “Wine and more” experiences: Bike & Wine, Yoga & Wine, Food & Wine, History & Wine, Roses & Wine, local wine holidays, day trips, wine weekends, comprehensive wine tours – choice is yours! Thanks to 26-years’ experience in the special interest tourism and passion for wine Via Vino & Odysseia-In wine tours combine all this to create a premium blend for our special guests and to let them know that it is worth visiting Bulgaria and tasting its wines…