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HISTORY OF WINE MAKING IN BULGARIA

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IN VINO VERITAS

 

According to historic and archeological researches the territory presently occupied by the state of Bulgaria may well be the first geographical region where vines were planted and wine produced. The same area may claim property to the first vine protection decree in 2 c. AD as well as to the first prohibitionist laws implemented in history by the Bulgarian Chan Krum during his reign from 802 to 814 AD. The wine cellar may also be Bulgarian invention since Bulgarian monastic orders had first been reported to have stored wine in cool vaults deep under the ground level.

Wine making traditions have endured during the Middle Ages and the Ottoman rule in Bulgaria. After the liberation from the Ottoman yoke wine making prospered. The economic progress after the Liberation laid the foundations of Bulgarian vinology. Fine wineries evolved such as Sjarovi Brothers for example. As a whole, however, Bulgaria continued the traditions of South and East European wine making, producing light, often over oxidized wines for immediate consumption.

During the time behind the "Iron Curtain" wine making was consolidated, monopolized, and turned into a state industry. Its target market, however, was restricted to the "Eastern Block" in the framework of the UEP ( Union of Economic Partnership) of the socialist countries and standards remained low.

In the 80's Vinprom, the state owned wine company slowly opened up to western markets. Since then, and especially after the fall of the communist government Bulgarian wine has been growing in popularity and is making its own niche on Western and World markets.

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At the following sites additional information on the wine industry in Bulgaria may be found:

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Bulgarian Wine Guild
A detailed and comprehensive document. A must read.
 
Suhindol
A brief overview
 
Wine in Bulgaria
An unfinished yet promising personal page
 
Please note that these links are external to the current site. If you wish to come back you will have to use the "back" feature of your browser or bookmark the current page to return for later reference.  

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Last modified: December 11,1997
Rossen Paounov
longa@sprint.ca