Viticulture in Bulgaria has a long tradition. Bulgaria is one of the world's greatest wine producing countries.
Bulgaria can be due to the climatic conditions and the varieties grown into five wine-growing regions:
- The region Danube plain in northern Bulgaria. It extends over the central and western parts of the Wallachian Plain, the south bank of the Danube and the adjacent areas. This region is characterized by its temperate continental climate with hot summers and many hours of sunshine. There are mainly grown Muscat Ottonel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Aligoté, Pamid and Gamza.
- The Black Sea region in the east of Bulgaria. The Black Sea region is characterized by a long, mild autumn. These are excellent conditions for the formation of sugar, which particularly benefits the white wines from the region. In the Black Sea region in particular Dimiat, Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Ugni blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer find.
- The Rose Valley in central Bulgaria. The Rose Valley is located south of the Balkan Mountains. In this region, Muscat, Riesling, Rkatsiteli, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot dominate Misket.
- The Oberthrakische lowlands in southern Bulgaria. The region has a temperate continental climate with an even distribution of rainfall throughout the growing period. Here mavrud, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscat and Pamid is grown.
- The Struma valley in the southwest. In this area reign almost Mediterranean climatic conditions. The grape varieties grown are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and regional Melnik.
Viticulture in Bulgaria dates back to the time of the Thracians, who inhabited the present-day Bulgaria in the 8th century BC. By the Roman occupying new viticulture and wine methods came on the Balkan Peninsula. In this time of Thracian wine throughout the Roman Empire became famous.
In the Middle Ages, monks were building especially red wine in the territory of today's Bulgaria. During the Turkish rule, the wine had no special significance, because the Koran forbids Muslims to the enjoyment of wine. However reinforced table grapes grown in that time.
Beginning of the 20th century the phylloxera destroyed a large part of the land. In the following reconstruction in addition to the traditional varieties French grape varieties have been introduced. In the following decades, wine cooperatives developed along Western European lines. In the socialist era, the state monopoly Vinprom was established in 1947. To supply the Eastern Bloc the wine took on industrial coatings. 1990, all wineries were privatized.
Wine industry today
In 2004 Bulgaria produced on an area of 97,000 ha 1,949,000 hectoliters of wine. Of this amount, 63% red wine, 31% white wine, the remaining 6 % to dessert wine. Before the collapse of the Eastern Bloc 80 % of the total production was exported, just under half ( 905,000 hl) is exported. 85 % of exports go to six countries: Russia (35 %), Poland (23 %), Great Britain, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania.
A large part of the vines shows an unfavorable age structure (65% older than 20 years) and is in poor condition. The necessary care is primarily used for the varieties for which only low prices can be achieved, for example, Pamid and Dimyat, not instead of.
In recent years, the wine has benefited from modernization programs. For example, 5,000 ha of vineyards were replanted in the framework of the SAPARD program.