SOFIA ARRIVAL – BRESTOVITSA (D)
Upon arrival in Sofia, your tour starts with a trip to the Neragora Winery at the village of Chernogorovo. The earth is clean, virgin and strong, every year in the area of Chernogorovo hundreds of storks come back to shrink their nests. These are the lands of the ancient Thracians, among the first in the history of humankind to make and worship the wine. Later, the trail in the steps of the Thracians continues to the town of Brestovitsa with a check-in at your Hotel and Winery – the first boutique cellar in Bulgaria which paves the way for a new style in wine making. The tasting of exquisite wines is followed by a dinner at the on-site restaurant.
BRESTOVITSA – PLOVDIV (B, D)
The day begins with a short trip to the nearby village Ustina where the Yustina Winery is located. While the area abounds in tales about Thracians and their wine, it is for sure that the winery location is not chosen by accident – it is believed that the ancient Thracian capital Besapara was located near Ustina. In almost a blink of an eye, the route takes us to Plovdiv, a city with a spirit of antiquity. Built on the three hills that were grouped together, Nebet Tepe, Taksim Tepe and Djambaz Tepe, Plovdiv emerged as a real town in the XII c. B.C.
POLVDIV: BACHKOVO MONASTERY (B, D)
Start with a visit to one of the most beautiful monasteries in Bulgaria: Bachkovo monastery, the second largest monastery in Bulgaria, beautifully situated on a ledge, just 30 km south-east of Plovdiv. Back to Plovdiv, the wine tasting session at Dragomir Winery will unveil the dream of two Bulgarian enologists – Natalia Gadjeva and Konstantin Stoev, to enhance the image of Bulgarian wines as appealing, exciting, and diverse, with constant quality through the years. Currently, the winery produces about 60,000 bottles per year.
PLOVDIV – MOGILOVO (B, D)
The “Thracian wine route” takes you further eastward of Plovdiv, some kilometres before the town of Parvomai, at the Zagreus Winery. A modern complex with complete production cycle, Zagreus currently grows grape varieties such as Mavrud, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot on own massifs of over 120 hectares. The picturesque road to the village of Mogilovo leads to the Midalidare Winery where wine is produced exclusively from grapes of own vineyards as the winemaking technology incorporates all modern requirements for environmentally friendly product. The first wine cellar of Midalidare with a capacity of only 120,000 bottles a year was built in 2009, while the second cellar, built in 2011, increased the production by another 160,000 bottles a year.
MOGILOVO – JREBCHEVO DAM (B, D)
After a restful night, it is time for a new share of high quality wines. After elaborate analysis and soil tests in the micro-region of Elenovo village, Edoardo Miroglio found that the terroir of Elenovo is unique for Bulgaria and is equally good for cultivating both red and white grape varieties. Later during the day, one of the most modern wineries in the region – Windy Hills, will open up its doors for a remarkable winetasting session amidst its own vineyards. The overnight at Jrebchevo Dam will add a new perspective on the contemplations before the new day breaks full of adventures.
Overnight: Jrebchevo Dam
JREBCHEVO DAM – STAROSEL (B, D)
The walk around the town of Kazanlak in the morning tells the story of Thracian Kings and their legacy in contemporary Bulgaria. The Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak is among the first Bulgarian monuments on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list (1979). After this leap back to antiquity, the journey emerges into its most charming phase – rose oil production, not only the oldest and the most delightful industry in this country, but also very specific and almost exclusive for this region. The modern rose oil distillery in the village of Skobelevo will disclose some of the mysteries behind the most famous Bulgarian scent. Tasting of exquisite wines and an exceptional dinner will put an end to this day at Starosel Winery and Hotel.
STAROSEL – KOZLEKOV (B, D)
The day starts with a visit to the Thracian tomb in Starosel, dated VI c. BC, and continues with a winetasting session at Chateau Copsa Winery in the foothills of Stara Planina. Following the basic rule that good wine comes only from grapes from well-grown vineyards, in 1998 the owner of Chateau Copsa – Minko Minkov, began buying land, thus merging old vineyards and planting new ones. Next stop along the route is one of the most charismatic Bulgarian towns – Koprivshtitsa. Huddled in the mountain-folds, the town boasts a large number of architectural monuments from the period of National Revival in the 19th century – ethnographic treasures, old weapons, works of art, fine fretwork, household weaves and embroidery, national costumes and typical Bulgarian jewellery.
KOZLEKOV – SOFIA DEPARTURE (B)
On the last day of this magnificent trip, the first stop is at Rumelia Winery established in 2006 in the town of Panagyurishte – the town that preserves the world known Panagyurishte Golden Treasure. With an area of own vineyards of around 54 hectares, the vines grown at Rumelia are Mavrud, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah for the red and Muscat Ottonel and Chardonnay for the white wine varieties. Depending on the flight schedule, there will be a possibility for some free time or a short guided walk at Sofia city centre.