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Wine industry in Bulgaria. Types of Bulgarian wine

Wine industry
The potential for wine making in Bulgaria is enormous. The climate in the northern part of the country is continental with cool winters and hot summers.
It is milder to the south due to the influence of the Black sea and the Mediterranean.
Local hilly terrenes create ideal micro-climates and combined with good quality soils they produce extremely suitable conditions for growing best quality grapes.
Bulgaria has several well developed viticulture and enology institutes, most notably in Plovdiv the second largest city in the country.

The best wines are produced from the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties, high quality, rich, and Bordeaux-like. Local grapes include:
-          Gamza - the most widespread sort produces earthy, light bodied red wine good for simple fare. In Romania and Hugary it is known as Kadarka.
-          Mavrud - is a full bodied, spicy red that can age to more than 8 years
-          Melnik - grown in the southernmost part of the country makes hefty red wines that age very well
-          Pamid - rustic and hardly unforgettable but still good enough "commercial" for weekly drinking.

Whites are produced from renowned varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Riesling as well as from the local: Misket, Ottonel, and Dimiat. Whites are not nearly as good as reds but they are rapidly improving and recently some very nice surprises from Rouse winery have appeared.
As still unpopular as it is, Bulgaria is the second largest exporter of bottled wine in the world, second only to France and it has four times the area, planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, of California. It appears to be the fastest growing new-comer on the market. The annual average production of wine in Bulgaria ranges between 200-220 million litres depending on the crop. In the Bulgarian wine industry, traditional classic technologies are applied, as well as refined, and modern ones borrowed from the leading wine producing countries like France.
Types of Bulgarian wine
According to the Wine Law, wines in Bulgaria fall into the following categories:
-          WINE WITHOUT DECLARED ORIGIN, but of declared variety or registered brand name. They constitute 5% of the total production of the quality wines.
-          Regional Wines, also called Country Wines. These wines possess the original properties of the grape varieties they are made from Two varietal names can be mentioned on the label. They correspond to the category VIN DE PAYS (France) and LAND WEINE (Germany). These wines constitute 18% of the total production of quality wines.
-          Wines of Declared Geographical Origin (D.G.O.) These are wines made from selected grapes originating from a particular geographical region. Origin is declared by the producer. This category constitutes 70% of the quality wines.
-          Wines Of Controlled Appellations of Origin (A.O.C) These wines are made from grapes, originating from strictly defined and controlled micro-regional vineyards with a limited maximum yield of grapes per hectare and defined minimum sugar contents. These wines constitute about 2% of the total production of quality wines.
-          "Reserve" Category This is a special category of wines aged in small oak casks with the purpose of extracting phenolic compounds from the wood, and then in larger oak casks. Reserve wines can be either of declared geographical origin, or of controlled appellation of origin.
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