History of winemaking

As in all countries, in which viticulture is developed on a wide rock, so also in Bulgaria, early autumn begins a great grape harvest campaign that mobilizes not only agricultural service workers. Workplaces will help, schools, youth organizations. Grapes must be harvested efficiently and sorted quickly, and there is quite a lot of it. Bulgarian vineyards occupy the area 4% all the arable land,, which gives approx. 800 thousand. tons of fruit. More or less 1/3 The grapes grown here are intended for consumption fresh in the country and abroad, others 2/ 3 takes the wine-processing industry.
In Bulgaria it is said: „kakwa e łozata, so are the grapes” ("What a vineyard, such grapes”), and because the soil of this country and favorable climatic conditions favor the development of vineyards, Viticulture has flourished here for centuries, and with each passing year, more beautiful grape varieties are born.
However, to get to know the history of winemaking in this land, we must refer to the legend, which says, that when, after the creation of the world, the Good God gave the earth to people, the last one to come was the Bulgarian. Then it turned out, that God has already separated everything - even the steppes and the marshes. This made the Bulgarian very angry, who stopped working hard. Good God, overwhelmed by his despair and touched by his diligence, then offered him a piece of paradise - the land between the great river, sea ​​and mountains, which he left in the vineyards for himself. 0 this, that the Bulgarians did not waste the paradise vineyards by the numerous medals awarded to Bulgarian wines and cognacs at the International Wine Competitions.
The land of this country, especially the area of ​​former Thrace, The Danubian Plain and the Black Sea coast with plenty of sunshine and a mild microclimate have long favored the cultivation of vines. Pliny already mentions the harvest of grapes in these parts, and the wine from Thrace came, as Homer wants, all the way to Troy, where the besieging Achaeans took it. Thus, the tradition of viticulture in these lands dates back 4 thousand years BC. This is also evidenced by:. in. unique, a priceless treasure, called "Panagyurian."”, from the name of the town, wherein, has been found. Excavated go w 1949 r. in agricultural work, of course completely by accident, like most of the archaeological finds in this country, where testimonies of ancient cultures can be found literally at every step.
Today, therefore, visitors to the Plovdiv Archaeological Museum have the opportunity to admire a set of golden vessels from the 4th century. p.n.e. and constituting an archaeological sensation on a global scale. Amphorae and nine cups with a total weight 6169 g delight with a beautiful sculpture and sophisticated form. The interesting shape of the wine cups speaks volumes, Not the ancient inhabitants of these lands highly valued "divine” liquor. The chalices are made in the form of animals or only their heads, ni«. they have a saucer, and there is a small hole in the bottom of each, so if the revelers did not want to spare a drop of precious nectar, they were forced to drink quickly, without putting the pan down.
Ovidius probably thought about the guilt of these parts when he wrote: "Wine makes the heart tender”… The Roman poet got to know this land,’ when, on Caesar's orders, he went into exile to Tomia (Constancy),
The use of wine by the inhabitants of this country had to turn into a dangerous abuse quite quickly, since at the beginning of the 9th century. the Bulgarian Khan Krum resorted to such a drastic measure, like ordering all the vineyards to be grubbed up. The legend does, that the chan later reversed his decision, but maybe it was only the insubordination of the Bulgarians that saved the wonderful grape plantations. It is said that the wine-growing ban caused riots, in response to which the khan introduced a curfew. Every day at dusk, the menacing Iwo was released into the streets, who circled the city until dawn. One morning, Iwo was found dead with a torn mouth. It was not difficult to find the perpetrator., who confessed, that he loves his girlfriend very much and he could not give up the evenings despite the danger’ meetings with her. Khan Krum, delighted with the courage and strength of the young Bulgarian, wanted to meet the woman, who raised one; mocarza. The terrified mother pleaded guilty: contrary to the order, she kept a grapevine in the corner of her garden. She watered her son with the juice of the harvested grapes during hunger, and out of gratitude for his health and strength, she named the boy after this particular grape variety - Mavrud. So, thanks to brave Bulgaria, the ban on growing grapes was lifted, a „Mavrud” today it is one of the most valued Bulgarian export wines.
Under Khan Krum's successors, wine once again took its rightful place on Bulgarian tables. During the Turkish captivity (1393—1878) vineyards and winemaking were not supported by the authorities in accordance with the prohibitions of the Koran, prohibiting the consumption of alcohol. However, already in the second half of the nineteenth century, grape plantations occupied a large part of the arable land. Unfortunately, the first phylloxera epidemic (wreath) caused a sharp regression in winemaking, which started in the year 1883 and lasted several dozen years. Only the import of new and resistant strains, mostly American, and replacing traditional varieties with them, saved the situation. In the post-war period, the cultivation of table varieties was particularly developed in connection with the needs of foreign tourism.