Bulgaria's wine-producing heritage emerged in the 1950's with the vision to provide easy-drinking wine to the ex-Soviet Union. Within 10 years Bulgaria became one of the largest exporters of wine in the world. Bulgarian wine made its way into the British market towards the end of the 1970's and today Britain remains one of the country's most important customers.Read More
EC-style quality controls were established in Bulgaria which have helped the wines achieve their success on the international market. The main categories are Quality, for the lowest-quality export wines, DGO, Controliran, Reserve and Special Reserve.
The climate in Bulgaria is good for wine production. The eastern side of the country has a temperate climate where white wines tend to perform well. In the south, which is warmer, red wines can be quite rich and full bodied.
The main varieties that are planted include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, all of which are able to produce good quality wines when the conditions are right. Pinot Noir is planted but only in small quantities along with some local grapes that are still used to produce small quantities of wine such as the Melnik (an abbreviation of Shiroka Melnishka Losa) for reds and Gamza (known as Kadarka in Bulgaria) for whites.