The current national currency of Bulgaria is the lev. It is pegged to the euro. Bulgaria has a target date for joining the euro zone in 2013. The prices of Bulgarian wines are slowly rising but they are still quite low.
Bulgaria offers delicious, fruity reds at an excellent value for money. Bulgaria spends nothing more than pin money on entertaining wine writers, nor on any luxuries, except bottling lines (which are usually powered by humans).
No one seems to have ever met a Bulgarian winemaker. So maybe there are none. The wine in Bulgaria simply makes itself, without human intervention and, obviously, without expensive technology. Yet, are there any wineries? Having been unable to go and visit Bulgaria and find out, I can’t say for sure. The statistics say that the annual average production of wine in Bulgaria ranges around 220 million litres.
The more renowned export wines are produced from the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties: high quality, rich, and Bordeaux-like.
Local grapes include:
- Gamza red wine – the most widespread sort produces earthy, light bodied red wine good for simple fare. In Romania and Hugary it is known as Kadarka.
- Mavrud red wine – is a full bodied wine, spicy red that can age to more than 8 years
- Melnik red wine – grown in the southernmost part of the country makes hefty red wines that age very well.
- Pamid Red Wine – rustic and hardly unforgettable but still good enough “commercial” for daily drinking.
White Bulgarian wines are produced from renowned white varieties such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and riesling as well as from the local: misket, ottonel, and dimiat. White Bulgarian wines are not nearly as good as red Bulgarian wines but they are rapidly improving. Recently some very nice surprises were released by the Rouse winery.