We live and breathe with the philosophy that “winemaking starts at the vineyard”. That is why we have carefully selected three plots of land in the villages of Terziysko, Ognen and Devetak to grow our vineyards and make our favourite wines.
What does terroir mean?

he winds caressing the vines...
The sun shining upon them...
The rains quenching their thirst...
The earth that nurtures them...
The natural force that creates the individual character of the wine.
The wine which enables us to feel the earth and the sensuousness of time.

This is the Karnobat Valley terroir.

With the Black Sea so close to the east and the Aegean to the South, the climate in the region is quite favourable. The day-time and night-time sea breezes encounter two local winds – the north and south winds. The north wind blows in the afternoon and at dusk, from the high points to the low ones, to cool off the heated earth. The south wind blows mostly in the morning, from lower points to higher ones, to lift the morning dew and refresh the vines. These influences in the valley make the winter milder, the autumn long and warm, and the spring cool. They prevent parching summer heat.





We live and breathe with the philosophy that “winemaking starts at the vineyard”. That is why we have carefully selected three plots of land in the villages of Terziysko, Ognen and Devetak to grow our vineyards and make our favourite wines. Despite their proximity to one another, the vineyards have their own individual characters which contribute to the complexity and attractiveness of our wines.



The territory of the village of Ognen is located on the eastern slopes of the Terziyski Hill, where it meets the Karnobat Plain, at an altitude of 184 to 225 metres. The vineyards face the southwest. The soil is slightly leached, maroon forest soil. After the mild winter and the spring rains, the region enjoys warm sunshine until the late autumn days. These conditions make it possible for the grapes to ripen well and are exceptionally favourable for growing red wine grape varieties. We have chosen Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.



The territory of the village of Devetak is to the southwest of the Hisar Hill, in the eastern parts of the Sliven Plain. The rolling landscape features small hills and hollows. The vineyards are located on the low crests of the hills and their hillsides at an altitude of 180 to 205 metres. Volcanic and sedimentary rocks are combined with sand-and-clay soil. On this unique terrain, the sunrays playfully caress the slopes, shine upon them from all sides and enable us to grow both red and white wine grape varieties. We have selected a palette of traditional and modern varieties, including Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Viognier, Muscat Petits Grains, and Muscat Ottonel.



The territory of the village of Terziysko is located on the eastern slopes of the Terziyski Hill, where it meets the Karnobat Plain. Low mountains and hills dominate the terrain. The vineyards face the east and the south and are located at an average altitude of 350 metres. The soil is maroon forest soil, with very diverse and rich structure. The rainfall distribution in the year is very favourable for the ripening of the grapes. The higher altitude and cooler climate have proved to be suitable for white wine grape varieties. We have selected Rhine Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel and Black Muscat.


Cabernet Franc is a red wine grape variety. It is widespread all over the world. According to DNA studies it is one of the genetic ancestors of Cabernet Sauvignon (after it crossed with Sauvignon Blanc).

As compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc ripens one or two weeks earlier. Cabernet Franc vines are more resistant to low winter temperatures than Cabernet Sauvignon but more vulnerable to spring frosts. They are adaptable to a wide range of soils but thrive best in limestone ones, which give the wines a full, round body. This variety is very sensitive to excessive numbers of fruit buds, which cause more vegetal and grassy aromas to develop.

Cabernet Franc has lots of common phenolic and aromatic compounds with Cabernet Sauvignon, but with some manifest differences. It has more clearly projected aromas. Depending on the region and style of the wine, it develops flavours of tobacco, spices, raspberry, blackcurrant, and sometimes even violets and graphite. There are often herbaceous, vegetal nuances reminiscent of what can be defined as leaves or even green peppers. The Cabernet Franc grapes are not that heavily pigmented but the wines produced from them are equally intense and complex. It is a little less high in tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, and the wines have a smoother body. New World winemakers put more emphasis on the fruity flavours and sometimes put off harvesting a little to minimise the undertones of green leaves.

Depending on the winemaking practices, Cabernet Franc is more often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot than featured as a varietal wine. The wines can be consumed young or be left to age for tens of years. After a long period of maturing, they develop fine, fresh aromas.

To best enjoy Cabernet Franc, the wine has to be calm, and we should resist the urge to shake the glass. Its unique aromas combine well with cheese, dishes with tomato sauces, red meat and game meat, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Unlike many others, Cabernet Franc may be consumed after dinner, before dessert.

Typical aromas of Cabernet Franc:

• fruity – raspberry, cherry, plum, strawberry
• floral – violet
• vegetal – green pepper, stalks
• brief contact with oak – vanilla, coconut, liquorice
• longer contact with oak – wood, smoke, toasty undertones, tar
• bottle maturation – musk, mushrooms, humus, cedar, cigar box


Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely spread red wine grape varieties. It originates from France. It emerged in the 17th century as a chance cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It is not only the similarity of the varieties’ names that suggest so, but also the aromas found in Cabernet Sauvignon which are common with those of the other two varieties – blackcurrant or a blackcurrant fruit bud.

This variety is easy to grow and tolerant to many different types of climate. The grapes’ skin is thick, and the vines are resilient and resistant to rotting and chilly weather. Due to this adaptability, which does not prejudice the structure and aromas typical of the wines made from this variety, Cabernet Sauvignon often takes the place of local varieties, which has given it a “colonizer” status.

Despite this variety’s adaptability to all types of climate, the warmth it gets is very important for the development of the fruit, its ripening and harvesting. When the climate is cooler, the Cabernet Sauvignon vines develop excessive foliage to collect sunlight, and the grapes develop more grassy aromas reminiscent of green peppers. That is why vine growers and winemakers need to intervene more aggressively by defoliation and green harvest. In warmer regions where the grapes are exposed to excessive heat and there are conditions for them to become overripe, the wine develops blackcurrant jam aromas. Cabernet Sauvignon usually ripens 2 weeks later than Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In some regions the climate turns out to be much more important than the soil, particularly with New World winemakers. Cabernet Sauvignon actually thrives in various soil types.  

As a base for wine blends, Cabernet Sauvignon contributes to their structure, freshness, tannins and maturing potential. In such blends the Merlot variety smoothes the aromas and taste, Cabernet Franc enriches them, Syrah gives other fruity and floral accents, while Petit Verdot contributes colour and density.

When the Cabernet Sauvignon is young, the wine usually has black cherry and plum aromas. The blackcurrant aroma is among the most distinctive ones for this variety. Depending on the wine style and the region where the grapes were grown, the wine’s aromas may be reminiscent of eucalypt, peppermint and tobacco. While it matures, the wine sometimes develops cedar, cigar box and sharpened pencil aromas. The New World wines generally have an emphasised fruity character, while those from the Old World are more elegant, with earthy undertones.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon is its affinity to oak – both during its fermentation and while maturing in barriques. The wood not only softens the tannins, in which this variety is naturally high, but it also complements the variety’s flavours with fantastic vanilla and spicy aromas. Much of Cabernet Sauvignon’s reputation is due to its capacity to mature and develop in bottles. Its tannins become smoother, and its character is enriched by new aromas. Depending on the wine’s style, it can mature for tens of years.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a very powerful and potent wine that can match lighter, more delicate dishes. The young Cabernet Sauvignon combines well with milder spices, such as pepper, and with fatter meat, such as lamb, or dishes with thick butter and cream sauces. After maturing in oak barrels, it is a wonderful accompaniment to smoked, grilled or barbecued meat, with herbs such as dill, brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. The Old-World-style wines, with clear earthy undertones, combine well with mushrooms, while the New World ones, with their expressive fruit aromas and a juicy feeling in their flavour, go well with more daring dishes with various aromas, such as vanilla, and with chocolate desserts. Cabernet Sauvignon is a good accompaniment to cheese like cheddar, mozzarella and brie, as well as fragrant and blue cheeses.

Typical Aromas:

• fruity – blackcurrant, blackberry, black cherry
• vegetal – green pepper, asparagus, green olives
• spicy – ginger, green peppercorns, paprika
• brief contact with oak – vanilla, coconut, liquorice
• longer contact with oak – wood, smoke, toasty undertones, tar
• bottle maturation – cedar, cigar box, musk, mushrooms, humus, leather


Chardonnay is among the white wine grape varieties most acknowledged worldwide. According to DNA studies, it emerged as a cross between two varieties – Pinot Blanc and an unknown white variety imported by the Romans from the Balkans and widely cultivated in the rural areas of Eastern France. The French aristocracy’s Pinot used to grow near the so-called “peasant grapes”. Thus the two varieties crossed, creating some quite successful new ones, such as Chardonnay, Aligoté, Gamay Noir and many others.

Much of Chardonnay’s reputation is due to its adaptability to various conditions and soils. Yet it prefers limestone, sandy and rocky soils. Chardonnay vines are not very productive and are susceptible to diseases. They are quite vigorous, with lots of foliage, which deprives the grape clusters of energy and nourishing sap. Vine-growers tackle this by aggressive defoliation and pruning.

This variety is quite sensitive to winemaking practices and is difficult to process between harvesting and bottling. It buds early – usually a week later than Pinot Noir. To prevent frost damage, vine-growers prune aggressively just before bloom, applying a method developed in Burgundy. Thus they shock the vines and hold up their blooming by up to 2 weeks. The harvesting time is another critical moment for winemakers, since the fruit quickly loses its acids when ripening.

Chardonnay’s aromas largely depend on the terroir and the oenological practices. They are memorable yet delicate, hard to define yet easy to recognise. They are reminiscent of apple, lemon, peach and tropical fruits. The French style produces elegant and mineral to rich and oily wines, while the New World impresses with expressive and fruity citrus aromas.

Thanks to the wide range of styles, Chardonnay may be combined with various kinds of food. It is most often served with grilled chicken or other white meat such as turkey. Chardonnay wines with a marked oak influence are not suitable for delicate fish and seafood but are a good accompaniment to smoked fish, piquant Asian dishes, garlic sauces and guacamole. Those with a higher acidity combine well with tomato-based dishes and dishes prepared with sweet onions. Older, more mature Chardonnay is often suitable in combinations with mushroom soups and mature cheeses.

Aromas most typical to Chardonnay:

• temperate fruits – apple, pear, peach, apricot
• citrus – lemon, lime, orange, tangerine
• tropical fruits – pineapple, banana, mango, guava, kiwi
• floral – acacia, hawthorn
• malolactic – butter, cream, hazelnut
• brief contact with oak – vanilla, liquorice, coconut
• longer contact with oak – wood, smoke, toasty undertones, sediment, yeast


Gewürztraminer is a white wine grape variety. It originates from the Italian region of Tramin (Termeno), where its ancestor, the Traminer variety, is also widespread.

Similarly to Pinot Noir, Traminer vines can mutate. The result of one of those mutations is a vine whose fruit is covered with dark, pinkish brown dots and which produces quite remarkable and peculiar wines. When it appeared, this variety came to be called Traminer Musque, Perfumed Traminer, or Pink Traminer. In late 19th century, the name Gewürztraminer emerged in Alsace. The German word “Gewürz” means “spice”, and is related to the variety’s aromatic characteristics.

Gewürztraminer is particularly fussy about soil and climate. Growing it involves a number of difficulties. The vines do not thrive on limestone soil, they prefer cooler climate but need dry and warm summers. They bud in early spring, which make them susceptible to frost. In addition, they are not resistant to diseases. Even when they are healthy, the vines are not highly productive, and are characterised by small clusters. The grapes ripen erratically and late. Excessive numbers of fruit buds result in watery, mediocre wines.

The grapes have a very thick and hard skin and can reach a high sugar levels. In hot climate, the natural sweetness and the lack of acids make the wines unbalanced and unattractive. On the other hand, if harvested early, the grapes retain their acids but do not develop the variety’s characteristic aromas.

Due to their dark pink colour and depending on how ripe they are, the Gewürztraminer grapes produce wines whose colour is light golden to dark golden, with slight pink to copper hues. Their aromas have an expressive floral character dominated by roses and exotic fruits such as lychee and passion fruit, as well as aromatic spices such as cloves and nutmeg. The wines’ body is quite full compared to that of other white wines. The combination of these potent, exciting and fragrant aromas with a full body makes a strong impression.

These unique aromas of Gewürztraminer make it an excellent accompaniment to Asian dishes, piquant fish and chicken courses with spices such as chilli pepper, the five oriental spices and even curry, fat game meat, fresh fruit and cheese.

Most typical aromas:

• floral – rose flowers, gardenia, honeysuckle, geranium
• fruity – lychee, peach, mango, passion fruit
• aggressive – spices (cloves, nutmeg), perfume
• petrol – terpin, diesel
• wood – oak (rarely)
• late harvesting – noble rot, honey, sweet cabbage


Merlot is a red wine grape variety. Its name is derived from the French “merle”, which means “young blackbird”. The name is due both to the beautiful dark blue colour of the grapes and to blackbirds’ affinity to them. Merlot is thought to be an offspring of Cabernet Franc and a sibling of Carménère.

Merlot thrives on rocky and dry soils. It is adaptable to both humid and dry climate. It usually becomes ripe up to 2 weeks earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon. Since it buds early, it is vulnerable to cold and could wither due to frosts, rain and early heat waves in spring.

Merlot vines are too prolific, which requires the number of fruit buds to be controlled for high-quality wine to be produced. As compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, the Merlot grapes have fainter bluish-black hues and thinner skin. The tannin levels are lower, while the sugar ones are higher. One of the main characteristic features of Merlot is that it can quickly grow overripe – sometimes it reaches its ripeness level in just a few days.

Although the aroma profile of Merlot is similar to that of Cabernet Sauvignon, its aromas and flavours are not that marked, and feature more grassy undertones. This variety has somewhat lower levels of natural acids than Cabernet Sauvignon and generally lower tannins, but on the other hand the wine's body is juicier and milder. Because of these characteristics, it is featured not only in varietal wines but also – quite often – in blends. Merlot contributes to a better body and milder taste of wines.

Merlot-based wines have a medium body and aromas of wild berries, plums and blackcurrants. More often than not the variety’s aroma profile features floral accents. Old bottled Merlot sometimes reveals truffle nuances. Mild and juicy, it combines well with the late ripener Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as with Carménère in Chile or Sangiovese in Italy.

Since Merlot develops in a bottle faster than Cabernet Sauvignon does, it is held in higher respect among winemakers than among collectors.
The medium structure of Merlot combines well with moderately heavy food, such as lunch salads with dressing, beef, lamb, pork and fish dishes prepared with spicy red, fried or wine sauces, ducks, game, stews, cheese, pasta with butter or olive oil and mild spices, dark chocolate desserts, home-made bread. Rosemary, tarragon, oregano, basil, sage, thyme, pepper and mushrooms are suitable spices.

The aromas most typical to Merlot are:

• fruity – blackcurrant, cherry, plum
• floral – violets, roses
• spicy – caramel, sage, pepper
• vegetal – green pepper, green olives
• brief contact with oak – vanilla, coconut
• long contact with oak – wood, smoke, toasty undertones, tar
• bottle maturation – truffles, mushrooms, humus, coffee, cedar, cigar box, musk, leather


Muscat is an ancient white wine grape variety. The numerous types of Muscat and their global popularity give us reasons to believe that this is the oldest variety ever cultivated. It originates from the Mediterranean region. Since the grapes’ powerful aroma attracts bees and midges, the variety was named Muscat – the Latin “musca” means “small winged insects”.

The varieties of the Muscat family are widely grown to produce wine, raisins and table grapes. The wines produced are quite diverse – from mild and dry, semi-dry and sparkling, to strong, rich and full-bodied fortified wines reminiscent of honey, all of them of different colours – from golden to pink and even dark red; with remarkable, intensive, fragrant, flowery and easily recognisable aromas.

Muscat vines can grow on most soil types. Yet they prefer wet and deep soils. They bud early and are therefore susceptible to spring frosts. It is a curious fact that Muscat contains high concentrations of antioxidants, which makes them similar to many of the red wine grape varieties.

The most famous and widespread varieties of the Muscat family are Muscat Petits Grains, Black Muscat, Muscat of Alexandria and Muscat Ottonel.

Muscat Petits Grains is believed to be one of the most ancient varieties, grown by ancient Greeks and Romans. It is also called Muscat Blanc, i.e. White Muscat or Small-Grain Muscat. Its name is derived from its typical small, round grapes and tight clusters. Although it is technically a white wine grape variety, its grapes are not always white. Their colour varies from pale green, light yellow, golden, pink, reddish or brownish to almost black. Some vines yield grapes of different colours every year. The variety needs a long growth period – it buds early and ripens late. Its qualities are generally better than those of Muscat Ottonel and Muscat of Alexandria.

Muscat Ottonel emerged as a cross between the varieties Muscat Saumur and Chasselas. This is the most cold-resistant member of the family. It ripens earlier and has finer aromas than most of the other sub-varieties. Because of that it has gained wide popularity and even taken the place of Muscat Blanc in many regions all over the world. Wonderful wines are produced from it through the so-called reductive vinification style – they are aromatic and fresh, semi-dry or dessert, and have a botrytis character. The Ottonel vine, despite its good resilience and ripening, is characterised by low or medium productivity. The grapes are medium in size, of a moderate green colour with subtle yellowish nuances.

Black Muscat is also called Golden Hamburg, Black Hamburg or Muscat Hamburg. It originates from Germany. It emerged as a cross between Schiava Grossa and Muscat of Alexandria. Mild dry red table wines, as well as intensely aromatic dessert wines rich in colour are produced from it. Black Muscat and Muscat of Alexandria are rather cultivated for table grapes and raisins. They are also used for the production of special wines – Sherry, Muscatelle, and liqueurs.

Depending on their style, Muscat wines combine well with various dishes. Dry and elegant wines are a good accompaniment to salads with dressing, vegetable appetisers, white meat dishes, fruit desserts, chocolate or coffee cakes. Semi-dry and fortified wines combine excellently with baklava, syrup desserts with nuts and caramel, pumpkin pie, ginger cookies. Dry or sweet, these wines can also be consumed on their own as an aperitif, or used to make sauces for seafood.

Main aromas:

• floral – acacia, rose flowers, orange blossoms, honeysuckle, geranium
• fruity – peach, orange, lychee, apricot
• perfume – terpin
• spices – coriander
• It is not recommended for the wine to age in wood


Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety. Its name is derived from the French for “pine-tree” and for “black” and refers to the tight dark crimson clusters whose shape resembles that of pine-cones.

Pinot Noir is among the oldest grape varieties, acknowledged worldwide as a unique wine variety. It is often described as a difficult grape to grow and to deal with in the winery. Yet this variety has its passionate fans. Its character and aromas are strongly influenced by the soil type, unlike the rest of the red wine grape varieties. The choice of location for the vineyards is therefore a key factor. Limestone soil provides good drainage, maintains temperatures higher than average and fosters the ripening of the fruit.

Due to these vines’ genetic instability, about 11,000 sub-varieties of Pinot Noir exist globally (in comparison, Cabernet Sauvignon has only 12 sub-varieties). The Pinot Gris variety is a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir, and Pinot Blanc is a genetic mutation of Pinot Gris. Gamay Beaujolais is a sub-variety of Pinot Noir which ripens early.

The leaves of Pinot Noir are smaller than those of Cabernet Sauvignon and larger than those of Syrah. The vines do not have many branches and the foliage is often insufficient. Although it is quite tolerant to cooler climate, it is sensitive to spring frosts, being one of the earliest varieties to ripen.

The exceptional Pinot Noir creates lasting sensations and memories in wine tasters. Its aroma is complex and intense. It could be dominated by nuances reminiscent of ripe grapes or ripe cherries, which are often combined with piquant accents such as cinnamon, saffron or Mentha spicata. Ripe tomato, mushroom and farmyard aromas are also typical of this variety. The wine’s body is quite round but not heavy, with well-balanced acids and tannins, and its taste is juicy despite its inherent delicacy. Pinot Noir is most intriguing for its mild and velvety structure, gently caressing the palate like silk. Unlike the other types of dark red wine, Pinot Noir cannot mature long in a bottle. It reaches its best in 5 to 8 years.

Although Pinot Noir is a harmonious accompaniment to many kinds of food, there are some combinations that particularly emphasise its delicate structure: grilled salmon, roast beef; dishes with mushrooms. The classic French sommelier suggestions are prepared with the wine itself – roast or stewed lamb, pheasant or duck, as well as grilled fish such as salmon, shark or swordfish. The best combinations are with light and piquant dishes. To preserve the wine’s delicate aromas, however, they should not be overspiced.

Typical aromas:

• fruity – cherry, strawberry, raspberry, ripe tomato
• terroir-related – mushrooms, humus, farmyard, truffle, leather, raw meet
• floral – violets, rose flowers
• brief contact with oak – vanilla, coconut
• longer contact with oak – wood, smoke, toasty undertones, tar
• vegetal – rhubarb, beet, oregano, green tomatoes, green tea, black olives
• spicy – saffron, rosemary, cinnamon, cumin, Mentha spicata
• bottle maturation – cedar, cigar box


Riesling is a white wine grape variety. It is believed to have originated from the Rhine region in Germany, which is why it is also called Rhine Riesling or Johannisberg Riesling. Although it is widely believed to have originated from the Rhine region, where, according to some evidence, it was cultivated in the 14th century, DNA studies show that one of its parent varieties (called the Huns’ grapes) was brought from the Balkans into France by the Romans, and the other one was a cross between the Virginia creeper and Traminer.

Riesling is an aromatic variety with a vegetal character. It is high in acids. It is used to make elegant dry and sparkling wines, as well as semi-dry and sweet, oily and complex wines. Riesling is one of the world’s top three white wines, along with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

It is strongly influenced by the terroir. It thrives particularly well on slate and sand-and-clay soils. The conditions suitable for making Riesling wines include the hill-sides of a rolling landscape, cool climate but enough sunshine, and wind protection. Such wines are unique for their low alcohol content, potent aroma and high extract.

Riesling vines are hard and tolerate cold climate. They bud late, which makes them good to grow in the coldest winemaking regions. They become ripe later than the rest of the varieties – usually in late September, to the last days of October. In cooler years the grapes can even be harvested in November, so that they can ripen better. The most expensive Riesling wines are late-vintage dessert wines. Late harvesting is possible even in the end of January.

Riesling wines are often consumed young, while their aromas are still fruity and intense, reminiscent of green apple, grapefruit, peach, honey, rose flowers, herbs or freshly mown grass, and their taste is fresh due to a high acidity. The naturally high acidity and the kaleidoscope of aromas make Riesling wines also suitable for long ageing. In most cases dry wines are kept to mature for 5 to 15 years, semi-dry ones – for 10 to 20 years, and sweet ones – for 10 to over 30 years.

As time goes by, Riesling wines develop a petrol undertone, sometimes described as reminiscent of kerosene, lubricating oil or rubber. This is a major part of aged Riesling’s aroma profile and is highly valued by connoisseurs. The petrol undertones develop as the wine ages. The factors contributing to the high quality of Riesling wines and affecting its potential to develop petrol undertones as time goes by are: well ripened grapes, especially provided the number of fruit buds per vine is low and the grapes are harvested late; a lot of sunshine; water stress in hot and dry years; high acidity.

>Riesling is usually made into varietal wines, oak being used seldom. It almost never ferments or ages in oak, though large old barriques are used to store and stabilise the wine.

Riesling is a versatile wine when it comes to combinations with food because of its full body when dry and its balanced content of sugars and acids when semi-dry. The wine’s strong freshness and sweetness contribute to its good balance when consumed with salty dishes. Riesling can be combined with both whitefish and read meat. This variety also makes a good accompaniment to pan-fried trout with butter, or sautéed or grilled sausage with mild to piquant spices. Riesling is one of the few wines that goes well with the stronger aromas and spices of Thai and Chinese cuisine.

Typical aromas:

• floral – fragrant bedstraw, rose flowers, violets
• grassy – fresh herbs, mown hay
• temperate fruits – apple, quince, pear, peach, apricot
• tropical fruits – usually not present
• petrol – terpin, diesel, kerosene
• mineral – stone, steel, bronze


Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine grape variety. It is a local French variety originally popular in West France – in the Loire Valley and the Bordeaux region. Its name is derived from the French “sauvage”, which means “wild”, and “blanc”, which means “white”. In the 18th century in Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc crossed with Cabernet Franc and thus the Cabernet Sauvignon vine was born. This variety is nowadays grown in many regions all over the world and is used to produce crisp, dry and fresh wines.

Winemakers pay special attention to the characteristics of the terroir and its influence on the qualities of Sauvignon Blanc wines. When the soil is more compact, Sauvignon Blanc vines ripen later, and the wines produced have grassier aromas and are finer and more delicate. Vines on gravel and marl (white) soils ripen earlier, the aromas they produce are juicier and more tropical, and the wines produced are rich and complex, with spicy, floral and mineral nuances.

The climate in France is marine in Bordeaux and continental in the Loire Valley. The Karnobat valley has the same latitude and the same climate characteristics. In these particularly favourable conditions, Sauvignon Blanc grapes ripen slowly and thus have more time to develop a balance between acids and sugars. That balance, in turn, is important for the development of the wine aroma intensity.

Sauvignon Blanc vines are quite vigorous. Foliage is controlled through pruning, which concentrates the plant’s energy onto the ripening of the fruit. The grapes are sometimes harvested at different times. Depending on their degree of ripeness, the grapes develop various characteristics, which enrich the wine and make it complex.

Sauvignon Blanc wines are quite distinctive and easily recognisable. The variety identity is characterised by a peculiar colour – quite often it is light, even watery, with beautiful, smoky or greyish metallic glimmers. Grassy, green pepper, grapefruit or physalis accents are found in the aroma. In cooler climate the grapes develop boxwood aromas, while sunnier vineyards produce wines with melon aromas.

Sauvignon Blanc wines appear in diverse styles. They can be dry – in the Old World style – or sweet, dessert wines. Due to its high acidity, Sauvignon Blanc is always peculiar, intense, astringent and piquant. This individuality can be recognised even in the sweet versions of the wines. Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Sémillon and the wine thus becomes richer, the sometimes abrasive character of Sauvignon Blanc is softened, and the aroma acquires fig undertones.

Dry Sauvignon Blanc is quite versatile as an accompaniment to food. It can be combined with asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, coriander, spring garlic, smoked cheese or other piquant aromas which would otherwise contradict or dim almost any dry white wine. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the few wines good as an accompaniment to sushi. Experts describe their favourite Sauvignon Blanc as lively, elegant and fresh. If slightly chilled, it is preferred in combinations with fresh salads, asparagus, vegetable appetisers, fish soups and other fish dishes, seafood and goat’s cheese.

Main aromas:

• grassy – grass, herbs, lemongrass, physalis
• vegetal – green pepper, green olive, asparagus, chilly red bell pepper / paprika
• fruity – grapefruit, lime, melon
• aggressive – minerals, boxwood
• malolactic – butter, cream
• brief contact with oak – vanilla, liquorice
• longer contact with oak – wood, smoke, toasty undertones
• terroir-related – flint (cold nose)


Syrah or Shiraz is a red wine grape variety. Its name is derived from the Iranian city of Shiraz, where, as evidence shows, wine was produced as early as 7,000 years ago. The variety is said to have been brought to Southern France by a crusader who, after coming back home, became a hermit and started cultivating vineyards on hillsides in the Rhone Valley. Shiraz was taken to Australia from Europe in 1832 and is nowadays the most popular red wine grape variety on the Australian continent.

Winemakers choose one name or the other to diversify the styles of wine being produced. Syrah is associated with more elegant, simpler Old World wines, while Shiraz is used to denote more aggressive, fruitier New World wines.

Syrah vines bud fairly late and reach their ripeness in the middle of the harvesting season. To ripen, the grapes need hot climate, but they can easily lose their character if they become even slightly overripe. The fruit is dark, almost black, with thick skin.

Syrah wines are intense, with a deep, violet colour, juicy and oily structure, even high in alcohol, with a fruity and piquant aroma. The diversity of aromas depends both on the climate and soil where the vineyards are located and on the winemaking practices. Syrah’s aromatic profile could feature nuances of violets or black wild berries, chocolate, coffee, and pepper. None of the aromas could be called typical, although blackberry and pepper aromas are quite often found in Syrah. As the wine matures in bottles, these main aromas fade and are joined by earthy or piquant terroir-related ones such as leather or truffle.

Due to its juicy, fruity character, Syrah often appears as a varietal wine. It is also made into quite attractive Rosé wines. In many countries, Syrah is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier to make up for their weaknesses or to improve the wine’s body.
New World winemakers add up to 4 % of Viognier to the wine to introduce a fruity, apricot accent into the wine’s aroma and flavour.

Syrah wines can age for up to 10 or 15 years. Those lower in extract are consumed young due to their lively red colour, blueberry character and mild tannin structure.

A curious sommelier detail regarding Syrah wines is that unlike other red wines, these are served at a fairly high temperature – 18˚С. They are a good accompaniment to meat dishes with tomato-based sauces; ducks and game such as elk, deer, wild boar; piquant barbecue; meat pies, semi-hard and hard mature fragrant cheese such as parmesan or cheddar. Pepper, chilli, cumin, tarragon, turmeric, rosemary and coriander are suitable spices. 

 Main aromas:

• fruity – sour cherries, blackcurrants, blackberries
• floral – violet
• spicy – pepper, liquorice, cloves, thyme, sage
• vegetal – sandalwood, cedar
• terroir-related – musk, zibet, truffle
• brief contact with oak – vanilla, coconut
• longer contact with oak – wood, smoke, toasty undertones, tar
• bottle maturation – cedar, cigar box, humus, leather


Viognier is a white wine grape variety. It originated in ancient times. According to most experts, it originally emerged from Dalmatia and was brought to France by the Romans in the 3rd century AD. It is not clear how the name Viognier was derived. The most popular belief is that it came from the name of the French city of Vienne, which was then a major Roman military base. Another legend has it that it came from the Roman pronunciation of via Gehennae, meaning “the road to hell” – an allusion to the difficulties winemakers face when they grow this variety.

Viognier prefers warmer climate but can grow in cooler regions too. It is quite sensitive to fog and damp climate. If harvested too early, the grapes cannot fully develop their aromas and tastes. And if the harvesting is late, the wines are full-bodied but lacking in attractive aromas. When the grapes are ripe, they are of a deep yellow colour, high in sugars and low in acids, and the wines are potently aromatic and high in alcohol. The age of the vines affects the quality of wine too. Viognier vines reach their best at the age of 15 to 20. In France, some vines are 70-year-old.

Viognier enchants wine lovers mostly with its potent, rich and complex aroma of overripe apricots, orange blossoms and acacia. Despite the markedly sweetish profile of its aromas, it is used to make dry wines. Its unique aromas remain clearly recognisable even when it is blended with other varieties. Winemakers’ experiments in blending Viognier include Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard and even Syrah, to make aromas more attractive and the wine’s body milder and lighter.

Viognier, like Chardonnay, has tropical aromas and causes a creamy sensation. Even without wood, Viognier can become as full-bodied as barrique-aged Chardonnay, but with a more pronounced fruit character. The wine’s colour is typically golden, and its aroma is rich and intense.
Due to its freshness and expressive aroma, Viognier is good to consume young. It combines well with grilled fish and chicken, goose livers, curry, sushi, piquant Oriental and Thai dishes with coconut milk, fruit salads and French cheese.

Main aromas:

• floral – orange blossoms, acacia, violets, honey
• fruity – apricot, mango, pineapple, guava, kiwi, tangerine
• spices – anise, peppermint
• grassy – mown hay, tobacco
• malolactic – butter, cream
• brief contact with oak – liquorice
• longer contact with oak – wood, smoke, toasty undertones