Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen, who lead the ranking were invited by Probegex as members of the jury of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Plovdiv in 2016. They visited Plovdiv and the region and even shared their positive impressions.
Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is the most prestigious independent wine competition in the world. In 2016 held in Plovdiv, where over 320 professional judges (oenologists, sommeliers, wine journalists, buyers and importers of wine) from 52 nations tasted and evaluated over 9,000 wines and spirits from 55 countries. Last year Bulgarian wines won 109 medals (the record amount in the whole history of the Bulgaria's participation!)
"Wine enthusiast" also mentioned the spots to dine, to taste wine: "Just a few minutes from the Old Town, you’ll find a beautiful tasting room at Dragomir Winery Estate, where you can sample wines made from indigenous and international varieties. Another charming Old Town option is Minkov Brothers Wine Cellar, built on a picturesque hill. One of the oldest wineries in Bulgaria, Asenovgrad LTD was founded in 1947. Its Chateau Assena is a great place to stop when you’re visiting the Bachkovo Monastery..." and prominent wines to drink: "Quality winemaking may have suffered during the Communist Era, but today’s young, post-Soviet winemakers are producing excellent wines from indigenous varieties. Mavrud is one of the leading red grapes. It produces a powerful and tannic red wine that can stand alone or be blended with international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Merlot. Wines are also made from Rubin, a spicy red grape. White wines are produced from native Misket and Dimyat as well as more familiar Chardonnay and Viognier. They can be made in a crisp, stainless steel-fermented style or a fuller oak-aged version."
Here is the list for everybody's taste, passport, and a desire to explore beyond the wine bottle:
#1 Cafayate, Argentina.
Bounded by the Black Sea to the east and Greece to the south, Bulgaria’s Thracian Valley combines archaeological wonders with modern wines.
#3 Canary Islands, Spain
#4 Marlborough, New Zealand
#5 Provence, France
#6 London, United Kingdom
#7 Calistoga, the U.S.A.
#8 Sicily, Italy
#9 Rheingau, Germany
#10 Hood River, the U.S.A.
Bulgaria is no longer a hidden wine destination (though there are still some travel escapes that will definitely impress you!). But hurry up! It is better to book your wine tour, pack your bags, and explore Bulgarian wines before 2019 (that year Plovdiv will be a European Capital of Culture) and will be much more crowded than usual!