Virtual wine tasting with Tsarev Brod Winery

In these strange times, when travel gets postponed and reservations get canceled, it is difficult to practice some of our hobbies, especially when they are related to travel. That’s why we have reduced wine tastings – we usually like to travel to the winery, to take a tour, to meet the responsible for the good wine, to taste it on the spot. However, we did not hesitate at all when we received an offer for a virtual wine tasting from Tsarev Brod Winery. We decided to see if the magic of such a thing would be lost online, as we knew that we could always go on-site later and have a real tasting. So, here’s how our first virtual wine tasting went!

Виртуална дегустация на вино с винарна Царев Брод

The preparation

Since wine is needed for a wine tasting (can you imagine?), the winery sent us a box of samples in advance, so we had three bottles of wine. The box also contained brochures with catalogs of the winery, as well as a map of wine routes in northeastern Bulgaria (we will talk about this more below).

Then we made a booking through the special platform on their website – we chose the tour, convenient for us date and time, and after receiving confirmation by e-mail, we were ready for action!

The winery tour

Exactly at the appointed time, the oenologist and winemaker Nikolay Krastev was waiting for us in the virtual room. He had positioned himself in the middle of the vineyards to show us what they looked like. He began his story with the history of the winery, the varieties of grapes they grow, interesting facts about the area, how he himself found himself there.

As we watched the green vineyards merge to the horizon, somewhere where the Madara Horseman is, Niki slowly reached the end of the vineyard and the huge winery yard. We even met the dog Gergana, named after the great Bulgarian variety that is grown and bottled there and which we were about to taste for the first time.

The wine tasting

The way of the grapes from the vineyard to the cellar is short, they work with fresh and freshly picked fruits. Niki walked past the fermenters, some of which he designed himself. We quickly found ourselves in the tasting room, where the wines and glasses neatly prepared reminded us to take our glasses out of the cupboard and the bottles out of the fridge.

The first virtual “Cheers!” we said with the forgotten Bulgarian variety Gergana, which at the moment you can only try at Tsarev Brod Winery. Gergana is created as a hybrid between the varieties Dimyat and Muscat Ottonel. We smelled amazing aromas of sweet citrus, apple, melon, mint, and wild mint.

We continued with a great unfiltered rose from another interesting Bulgarian variety – Evmolpia. Niki told us that they do not filter it so as not to deprive it of its rich color and taste. And Evmolpia as a variety is derived from a combination between Merlot and Mavrud.

For the grand finale, we tried a red Evmolpia from 2019. There were only a few bottles left of this good year, so we made sure to enjoy the wine that had matured for 8 months in French oak. We liked the rich color and rich flavors and aromas of black fruits (blackberry, blueberry, plum) so much that we later finished the whole bottle.

Виртуална дегустация на вино с винарна Царев Брод

To be continued

Although virtual, the experience managed to immerse us in the world of wine, to remind us why we love wine tourism, to take us around Tsarev Brod – without even having to get up from the chairs in our kitchen at home. Of course, we plan to visit the winery on-site as soon as possible.

Niki and his colleagues from several other wineries in the northeastern region have prepared a wine map and are developing ideas for wine tourism in the region – between the Danube River, the Black Sea, and the old Bulgarian capitals. Follow their events on their Facebook page.

Виртуална дегустация на вино с винарна Царев Брод

Our impressions from our first virtual tasting are very positive! We didn’t expect it to be so fascinating, to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of the wine and the winery as if we had been there for real. Certainly, the oenologist Nikolay Krastev, full of knowledge and experience, helped a lot with all this, and we hope to meet him non-virtually soon. And an additional benefit of the virtual wine tasting is that no one has to be a designated driver. You can just finish your wine and you go to bed right away!

*This article comes as a partnership with Tsarev Brod Winery and Stovino. All opinions and impressions are our own!

Виртуална дегустация на вино с винарна Царев Брод

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