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Northwest Bulgaria and Gamza

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Northwest Bulgaria and Gamza

Gamza or Kadarka is a wine grape variety grown in Bulgaria since ancient times. Plantations with Gumza in Bulgaria are mainly in the Danube plain.

Legends of Gamzata 

Many myths and legends are found in the north-west (what we call north-saved) as to where the variety originated. 

The inhabitants of Novo selo believe that this variety comes from their lands. According to the legend, several crusaders, on their way back from Jerusalem to their homes, decided to settle in Vidinsko and right there they planted this wonderful Gamza vine, which was brought from the south. 

According to another legend, the wine of the Gamza variety was already consumed at the time when the sons of Khan Kubrat came from Volga Bulgaria. It was believed to bestow magical power and help in battles. Excessive consumption, however, leads to domestic quarrels and drunkenness, as a result of which, a local – wealthy boyar, ordered to eradicate all plantations in this region, with this vine. He was famous for having an unusual guard – a lion that roamed freely at night and defended the palace. As a result, soldiers of the night watch were often found dead at dawn. Only one not only survived, but also fought off the lion. In response to a question to him, what his bravery and courage were due to, he explained the wine from Gamza, whose vine his family kept on their estate. Thus, the boyar canceled the ban and Gamzata began to be grown en masse, and he named her after his daughter – Gamza, in ancient Arabic: capricious.

The gamza these days

In today’s times, it seems that the chance to establish Gamzata as a flagship in our country, as the Hungarians are doing, is being missed. Gamzata is a regional variety, it is found both in our country and in the border areas in Romania, Serbia and in Hungary (under the name: “Kadarka”), Austria, Slovakia.

In the foreground in our country, the emphasis is on mavruda, crosses with a wide mill vine, even crosses like ruby are much more imposed and familiar.

We can divide the reasons into two main parts:

The first is in the plantations with Gamza and rather their absence. There is no science in this direction, it is very difficult to find planting material and the main reason for this is – the search. At the same time, consultants and pipinieri from Italy and France do not offer it, which is logical.

After 1989 very few vineyards were planted with Gamza, in general the projects with new vineyards in northern and in particular northwestern Bulgaria are much less than in the south and along the Struma river valley. Many of the old massifs are abandoned and there are few farmers who have taken care of their vineyards all the time, and the reasons for this are clear to everyone.

You can now buy Bulgarian wines from varieties such as Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Malbec and others, which speaks for itself.

The second main reason is in trade and supply.

Immediately after the transition, Gamzata was perceived as a synonym for cheap, table wine, and all good restaurants gradually removed it from their lists. Wines of “western” varieties, as well as imported wines, are quickly becoming fashionable. In this period, Gamza sounds “Provincial”.

There are hopes and predictions that the humpback will return to the scene, first in two years, then in another two years, but it never happens by itself. And so the moment comes when we take it as a personal cause, as year after year, things gradually start to happen. Currently, you can find Gamza in many of the wine lists of good restaurants in Sofia and in the country, as well as on the shelves of specialized stores, and more and more people are looking for it. It is true that they are mostly connoisseurs and people who drink wine and are interested in it.

Abroad, traders are massively looking for local and typical varieties, they have had enough of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and other red varieties and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc from the whites. Everyone is looking for something different, something typical of the given country, and if the wine bears the character of the region, things happen quickly because those in this profession quickly recognize terroir wines.

Novoselska gamza

The Novoselska Gamza variety is the original and original Gamza, which is believed to have been planted in the Novo Selo area as far back as 1711. And while the Gamza variety grown in central northern Bulgaria has been relatively modified by wine and viticulture specialists, such as from denser wines are produced, the Novoselska Gamza variety is distinguished by far greater elegance.

The clusters of the Borovitsa winery from the Great Terroirs series are vinified from old vines – 45/60 years old, and those from the Borovitsa series from vines in their strength -16/20 years old.

Here you can see all the wines of the Borovitsa winery of the Gamza variety:

Gamza, Borovitsa Collection

Gamza (Grani), Great Terroirs

Gamza (Black pack), Great Terroirs

Gamza Rose, Work etiquette 

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Northwest Bulgaria: orange sunsets and more

Northwest Bulgaria: orange sunsets and something else

By Yana Petkova and Irina Sofranova 

Northwest and wine

Northwestern Bulgaria is little known to wine lovers and the little that is known about its nature, wines and people is rather laconic and not particularly positive. 

It is true that there are many sheep and their derivatives in the Northwest: yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese… It is also true, however, that the region offers a series of other natural goods that await its tasters. Wonderful wines, historical and cultural sights, hospitable and well-intentioned residents, unique conditions for alternative tourism and remarkable, unspoiled nature. 

We have visited the region several times and each time we leave one idea better, positively charged and somehow purified. It’s as if people are born good here. The soul of the region is pure and sublime. Here I breathe with a full chest. 

Borovitsa 

Borovitsa winery welcomed us without fanfare when we first visited it, way back in 2015. We got to know one part of the tandem behind the project – Ognyan Tsvetanov: a man with an alternative way of thinking who dedicated his life to wine. He walked us through the history of winemaking, told us about his own vision for winemaking, and offered us some of the most wonderful sulphite free, orange and offbeat wines we had tasted. Without presenting them in detail. They were just talking to themselves. Borovitsa is one of the treasures of the Bulgarian wine world. Authentic, without unnecessary emotions. 

It’s life-affirming when you see people following their calling and living their dream. Which create cultural and social values and which show you that even in godforsaken Bulgaria anything is possible. The possible is happening in the village of Borovitsa, located among the Belogradchik rocks in Northwestern Bulgaria. The fantastic shapes of the rocks capture the local imagination and lead people to name them and ascribe stories to them. The wonderful thing for us, the wine people of Avinissima and DiVino, is that a rare but very real wine fiction happens right here in the Borovitsa cellar. 

 

The style of Borovitsa winery

There are hardly any more discussed wines in Bulgaria than those of the Borovitsa winery. In reality, there is no room for discussion – either you understand these wines and become their die-hard fan, or with deep bewilderment you thank and do not repeat. The structure, the fusion, the idea and the execution of the wines are unquestionably looking for equals in our country also because of the unique terroir, but especially because of the visions of the founders of the project about the wine. These are Ognyan Tsvetanov and Adriana Srebrinova – people for whom pages could be filled, but since we do not have that much space in this material, we will mention only some basic (for the purpose of the post) facts.

After accepting a consulting job in the region, Ognyan Tsvetanov discovered something unseen before in Bulgaria – fresh, elegant and aromatic wines; alive and jumpy. Not only white, but also red. After a process of persuasion on his part and samples brought to her feet, his colleague Adriana persuades her to go to the place and as they say in English – The rest is history. Adriana stays in Borovitsa and the two begin the struggle – for land, for cellar, for grapes, for style, for recognition, for understanding. As is often the case with Bulgarian wineries that are outside the mainstream, recognition comes from outside, where tasters’ senses are tired of standard wines and are always on the lookout for something new and really good.  

Fifteen years later and after hardships that temper the human will to an almost meditative level (you know, nothing else will happen to me), the Borovitsa winery today has 8.7 hectares of its own vineyards on a terroir that scientists from Harvard University come to study .

A little clarification: the Belogradchik rocks are made of variegated Triassic sandstones and conglomerates, rich in hematite pigment, with a solder of clay and quartz. Hematite is an iron oxide and rock-forming mineral, but more interestingly, it has been known since ancient times as the Sorcerer’s Stone. The stone was believed to ward off spells and grant invulnerability, so it was used as a protective amulet against attack and injury, and American Indians even beautified their bodies with hematite dust before battle.

Craft wines

The wines of Borovitsa are the epitome of the craft approach to wine – the grapes from each small plot are vinified separately, with the batches ranging between 280 and 380 bottles, and information is given on the label not only about the variety and aging, but also about the type of soil, yield of the acre, the age of the vines, the level of sulphites or lack thereof, which bottle number of the series you are holding in your hands or which vessel as number the wine comes from. The labels of the cellar are about 35, and the varietal mirror is impressive: Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, Gamsa, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Marsan, Roussan, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The combinations in which you can meet them are incredibly diverse and you will have a hard time choosing just one favorite wine. 

Borovitsa is an impressive place. Not to mention the wines. But also everything around – from the imposing centuries-old oaks and huge old walnuts in front of the cellar, through the stunning beauty of the large vineyard, spread out on the hillside under fantastic red rocks and full of a rich variety of herbs in the rows, to the vital energy and total competence and uncompromisingness that the jet by Adriana Srebrinova. This summer she also hosted – once again – the Festival of Fermented Products, because although the North-West is not her native land, she already belongs to it and actively fights for people to come here, for interesting events to happen and for there to be more Light in the tunnel. 

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Orange wine

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Orange wine

You’ve probably heard of orange wine. But do you know what exactly it is? You won’t usually find orange wine in every shop or restaurant – although sought after and prized by wine lovers and the specialist wine bar crowd, orange wines are rare. And this is no accident. 

In fact, the secret of orange wine is not so much in the technology of its making. It is produced according to the standard technology for white wine, and the infusion time can vary from a few hours to a whole day. The secret lies in a specific combination of a specific branch of the Chardonnay variety and the type of soil where the grapes are grown. Orange wine is very gentle and does not tolerate any intervention at all – it is completely natural, which ranks it according to another criterion in the category of quality wines that cannot be achieved with industrial technology. 

Borovitsa winery has been making this “new” style of wine for more than 12 years. The first year of Borovitsa orange wine was 2008, when it was obtained largely by chance. “When we planted a branch with Chardonnay, it turned out that when the grapes were crushed, a very rich orange blossom was produced, which subsequently, during fermentation, made the wine shades orange.” The fire and Adriana jokingly say that they got a “Fanta orange”, but unlike Fanta, the wine is completely natural, extremely gentle and fine. It became one of the pearls of the Borovitsa winery and is still made today. 

Here is also a video by the ladies of Avinissima, which tells more about orange wine, including the Orange Garden of the Borovitsa winery.

And here you can find more information and order our Orange garden.

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Award for “Best White Wine”

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Award for "Best white wine"

This year starts with a really nice surprise for us! “Strajite MRV” 2019 received the award “Best White Wine” for 2021 in the Divino Top 50 ranking. 

As we have always said, making wine in Borovitsa is a mission and a vocation, as well as a lot of effort, diligence and creative courage! The point of all efforts is to offer wines that are original, interesting and bring pleasure to our fans! 

We are happy and grateful for the recognition and trust that has been given to us with this award! 

MRV is one of our favorite wines, established over the years. A blend of the popular French varieties Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier, from which the abbreviation “MRV” comes, it conveys in a unique way the character of the local terroir. 

Try it with the local “Bel Muzh”, with river fish, with soft cheeses and pasta with cream sauces. Cheers! 

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Welcome to the website of the Borovitsa winery!

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Welcome to the website of the Borovitsa winery!

These days, having a website is pretty standard – the modern equivalent of giving out your business card. For a long time, the site was not a priority for Borovitsa, probably because all of Adi’s passion is focused on the vineyards, on the winery and above all on making wonderful wines. 

Today, there are a few more people around Adi – enthusiasts, and this allowed the launch of this website, as well as a new Facebook page of the winery. And the idea is that communication can flow freely between the winery and you – the people who drink and taste the wines of Borovitsa. 

We have a lot of ideas and naturally not all of them are ready, so we have to develop both this site and other digital and real formats to communicate. Fine wine is truly an experience, and part of the experience is to share it in pleasant company. 

We want to hear from you – wine connoisseurs, opinions and impressions. We want you to share which wines have particularly impressed you, and why not inspire a wine of “your own” by contributing ideas and recommendations for the special Working Etiquette series, which each year features some individual wines for friends. 

So – come, take a look at the information about Borovitsa and the wines that are made there. If you would like to give us feedback or a recommendation, please email us at: info@borovitzawinery.com