They teach us to dream big, so that’s how I begin this story and gradually pull you in. “I have a dream” a.k.a. some day I want to know there will be a place somewhere along the Bulgarian part of the Danube river where a neat little boat will have dedicated its time to showing people the best places along both the Bulgarian and the Romanian coasts. A couple of wineries, some historic sights, good music and proper local food would suffice. Perhaps a monotonous voice would be telling passengers stories about the revolutionaries that crossed the river (part of Bulgaria's history) and sneak in a verse or two by Botev, repeating all of this in 5 or 6 other languages (almost fluently). Romantic atmosphere, history, and culture – nothing more, nothing less. If you like it, climb aboard. River cruises are not a revolutionary idea. However, the Danube coastline and Northern Bulgaria in general have stopped being associated with the word “tourism” long time ago despite the fact that a lot of our historic identity and nature landmarks are located in the region.
Vino Culture has a few simple goals to fulfill since its opening in 2014: to build up respect for wine, to make it available to wine lovers, to show new and unfamiliar varieties, and to inform and educate the visitors without a drop of patronizing superiority. Here, wine and the attention to its selection are major players aiming to broaden your horizons and intrigue the senses.
Sunshine reggae… but I somehow knew that visiting the sea capital of Bulgaria in mid-season would be a challenge.
People with 'unbalanced acidity' are more nervous than ever. They buzz chaotically around town going the wrong way in one-way streets, music blasting out of their cars show the rest 'how it is done here'.
We are now blogging from a place in Bulgaria where figs, almonds, lemons, kiwi, pomegranates, olives and grapes grow without much effort and with enviable carelessness. If you need specifics, we’ll tell you that this place is called Orbelus and it’s the first Bulgarian certified organic wine producer.
41° 28' 24" N
23° 23' 19" E
Villa Melnik has long been on our list of Bulgarian wineries we want to tell you about and we are extremely happy that the time has finally come. Besides the visit, we had the chance to get to know their beautiful region that (we admit) was somewhat unfamiliar to us.
If you can judge a country by its wine, the best place to find an extensive selection of “reference points” for Bulgaria is Vino Orenda. This wine shop offers Bulgarian wine exclusively with a portfolio of more than 55 wineries and 350 wines (really impressive for the scale of wine production in the country). Vino Orenda is situated in downtown Sofia at 50A Makedonia Blvd. (close to Ruski Pametnik for those of you who know a bit about the capital’s landmarks).
The wine shop is the place to taste and learn more about Bulgarian wine with the polite and duly assistance of an experienced consultant. You can also find a lot of useful written information on wine tourism in Bulgarian and catalogues of Bulgarian wines, or you can simply indulge in a conversation with the owner on what is worth seeing and/or drinking in the country. Finally, if you are looking for gifts for friends or you want to take back a liquid piece of Bulgaria with you, this is the place to find a great variety.