Young Wine Festival – Plovdiv

For yet another year we decided to attend the Young Wine Festival in Plovdiv, but for the first time, we decide to write something on the blog about it. It is harder for us to catch up with blogs on wine topics – because our experiences are often memorable, but memories have the ability to expire as an open bottle of wine…

For a few days, the beauty and romance of the incredible places in the Old Town of Plovdiv, such as Ethnographic Museum, Encho Pironkov Gallery, Hebros Hotel-Restaurant, Georgiades House, Balabanov’s House, Birdas House, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev Gallery, and others are revived and seasoned with smiling faces walking on cobbled streets with a glass of wine in hand. An atmosphere that should be felt, heard, seen, smelled, touched, but most of all – tasted.

Дефиле на младото вино Пловдив

Why visit the Young Wine Festival in the Old Town of Plovdiv?

Over the years we have discovered that people visit the festival for various reasons. Let’s start with the obvious – some just love to get drunk with wine. That’s totally fine – the only condition is to observe decent behavior and not to interfere badly with other visitors.

Many guests of the Old Town of Plovdiv are anyway there, and it’s just an incredible bonus – to get to know the atmospheric streets and beautiful buildings with a glass of wine in hand. Even foreigners come to try young and not only young wines with organized excursions in Plovdiv. The festival is growing… hopefully, it will remain a good place for independent visitors.

Many wine lovers are heading to the stands of their favorite wineries to keep up with what’s new. Or go to unknown names in the hope of expanding the circle of their favorite wines.

Дефиле на младото вино Пловдив
Taking our time

What to expect from the Young Wine Festival in Plovdiv?

Until recently, I thought we were one of the last – amateur sommeliers who wanted to practice their favorite activity, expand their horizons, gain experience in tasting and find new favorite wines.
But in fact, there are more reasons for us to return to Plovdiv’s Old Town at the end of November.

Pleasant meetings with winemakers, sales representatives, winery owners, technologists – we are poorly imagined how such a wine event gets people from all walks of life and with different experiences together. And knowing that we have a common passion and there are no bad people who love wine – the exciting encounters begin!

The only problem is that time may not be enough for you to talk to everyone. And as the tasting advances, the memories seem to be easier to evaporate. That’s why we often record a video of favorite wines we’ve tried, with interesting people and remarkable wineries.

Sometimes we meet with an awful lot of nervous representatives on the stands who are overwhelmed with everything and behaving arrogantly and even rudely. We usually punish them by leaving immediately and not trying their wines. Let’s not forget that bad people do not go with wine, so they are probably in these circles for a short time or until they get enlightenment.

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Just before the moment of enlightenment

Practical tips for Plovdiv’s Young Wine Festival

The festival offers its own glasses are engraved with the name and logo of the festival. For us, they are not very practical and comfy, so we usually carry large glasses of our own, open enough to make aromas easier to sense. And we use these glasses at home. For the sake of our planet, please do not use the plastic cups that are distributed everywhere. Whether you’re bringing a glass from home or buying glasses from the festival, there are options without single-use plastic.

Do not hurry to buy a lot of tokens because they may be too many. In general, 1 token equals 1 tasting, but with time we realized that many stands are far above the idea of collecting tokens. If you really want to support a cellar or winery, buy some of your favorite wine and this way everyone will be happy.

Saturday is the most active day of the Gorge, so it can be quite overcrowded. If crowds and waiting lines are not your things, you can visit on Friday afternoons or on Sundays. On Sunday there are just a handful of people, but there is a chance that many of the wine will be over until then.

There are people who distribute printed programs with the location of the wineries throughout the Old Town. We encourage you to start from the places where you have some favorites but also to experiment. Usually, samples of unknown varieties and wineries make the best surprise and there is always something very exciting and interesting. This year, for us, this was the Evmolpia variety and the Topolovo winery, Chateau Kolarovo, Libera Estate, Zaara Estate.

Our recommendations to organizers and exhibitors

It would be great to find more buckets to dispose of the excess wine. We are in favor of not throwing away the good material but somewhere they just pour too much, and almost 40 wineries with several wines each – it’s a tough job.
We will be glad to see more water for rinsing, drinking, washing. Some houses have fountains, but the festival needs at least one serious source of fresh drinking water in each house. To help us be hydrated, to have our glasses washed away, otherwise, the tastings are polluted, and if somebody spills some wine on you, you can rinse. We promise not to wash underwear in the fountains!

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Smiles are guaranteed, even in the cold November days.

Where to stay and where to eat?

Two very important matters, given that we will be very tired and will consume a lot of magic beverages.
For years we have been staying in guest house Old Plovdiv. You will understand why, as soon as you step into the old house. The atmosphere is incredible with its old-style furnishings, the rooms are warm and the breakfast is delicious. During the festival, we stop by for a break, a pause, a toilet. The staff is smiling and always ready to help.

There are many options to eat in the city. It is a tradition for us to begin with an early pre-tasting lunch at Citizen’s Club restaurant. We do not want to taste on an empty stomach, just the opposite – we fill it up properly. Then we have dinner after the end of the festival day, usually somewhere in the center, outside the Old City for change. From dinner, we have the least memories.

And here, the hidden mission for this article has succeeded – to write about one of our favorite wine events without going into deep wine terminology. Our goal is to show that the Young Wine Festival is much more than wine tasting and that it is for everyone who wants to feel Plovdiv or the wine in a new way and have fun!

Young Wine Festival Plovdiv, Bulgaria Pinterest

You can browse our most memorable wine experiences all over the world, the best wineries in Bulgaria, or our unique guide to Bulgaria! If you want us to join your wine event, we can work together!

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