What makes a good wine event a great one? Is it a delicious food? It is an impressive venue? Is it a well-structured organization? All these and one more detail...It is an authenticity.

All wine lovers had an excellent opportunity to embrace the authenticity of Bulgarian wine and cultural heritage at Avgustiada wine Festival 2016, which was held in Stara Zagora.

Wine and Stara Zagora. The Origin of the Winemaking Tradition:

Stara Zagora is the city of linden trees, poets, straight streets, Thracian heritage, mineral bath and ancient winemaking traditions. It is not surprising that four years ago it was chosen as a city to organize Avgustiada festival - a unique celebration of wine and cultural heritage, full of joy, delicious wine, mouth-watering food.

Avgustiada 2016 was a fourth edition that took place in one of the attractive tourist destinations in Stara Zagora  -  Regional Historical Museum, where the ancient facilities from 14th to 16th were found.

Why Avgustiada? Augasta Trayana is the old name of Stara Zagora, and the city is proud home to the magnificent Dionysian procession mosaic – a unique finding that glorifies wine and merriment. (One of the evidence of the ancient winemaking tradition was a marble votive tablet of Dionysius, I-II century in ancient Bulgaria). 

Avgustida 2016. The results of the Festival:

The winner of the Festival of wine and cultural heritage Avgustiada 2016 is St. Rose Wine from Alexandra Estate (Golden Avgustiada award).
The silver award was given to Stallion Classic wine from Angelus Estate Winery.
The bronze was awarded to Soli Invicto wine from Edoardo Miroglio Wine Cellar
The visitors of the exhibition had a chance to determine the best wines. The award was given by the first Queen of Avgustiada 2016 - Antonia Doycheva

The participants of the event:

The festival gathered over 35 wine producers from all over Bulgaria. White, red and rosé wines were exhibited. Among them were Bulgarian indigenous grapes varieties such as Mavrud, Rubin, Melnik 55, Tamianka and great examples of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and many other. During the festival the following master classes took place: "Unknown wine treasures of Macedonia" and "Romania - wine charm and elegance to the north of Bulgaria."

The special participant of Avgustiada 2016 was Stobi Winery from Macedonia. It is the newest and most modernly designed Macedonian winery, located in the municipality of Gradsko, next to the ancient site Stobi, where it gets its name from. Stobi Winery is located in the most famous wine region - Tikvesh. The wisdom and experience of the first inhabitants transferred from time immemorial until today are reflected in perfect harmony with the modern technology and the knowledge. The visitors not only tasted but even could buy a bottle of native grape varieties called - Vranec and Antigona as well as Pinot Noir and Petit Verdot.

The regular Turkish guest was a winery called Chamlija.The winery has a winemaking tradition since 1936. All the vineyards are located in Kirklareli Province. There is even a connection between the name of the province and Bulgaria. The Bulgarian name of Kirklareli was Lozengrad, which means "The City of Vines." The thing that all the wines have in common is the aroma of minerals. The guests of the events had an opportunity to try typical Turkish grape varieties such as Papaskarasi and Narince as well as Mavrud, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc.

Wine and Food:

The festival of wine and cultural heritage was a touchpoint of wine producers, food industry representatives; connoisseurs of wine, gastronomy, and cultural heritage as well as representatives of various industries from Bulgaria and abroad. All the guests had a chance to enjoy a glass of wine as well as a cup of aromatic and natural tea or coffee from DABOV Specialty Coffee. Wine lovers tried a plethora of culinary delights prepared by the leading chefs. Among the specialty foods were truffle cheeses, typical Bulgarian lukanka and sudzhuk, bread and baked goods, olives, olive oils, spices and more.

Latterly, wine and culinary culture in Bulgaria has marked a massive development and the festival in Stara Zagora aroused lots of interest. The forum in Stara Zagora, with its uniqueness and perfect atmosphere, are among favorite wine events in Bulgaria with a great potential to attract more international visitors next year.

If you like the wine report, we would truly appreciate if you share an article to spread a word about Bulgarian wine and create a sustainable tourist attraction of the cultural heritage in Stara Zagora.

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