Making wine is a fickle business. It is so vulnerable to the elements that it should not really be considered a business. To an extent the vine-grower is left to the mercy of the weather and the winemaker has to wait a whole year before amending a mistake made in the winery.  And with the Global Warming and its devastating effects on the climate, vine-growing and wine-making should really be left to witches and wizards. One year could be great for red grapes and not so good for whites. Another autumn can bring rain at harvest and ruin the crop altogether. In Bordeaux it has been calculated that a really good vintage comes every 3-4 years, if we only knew which!

This uncertainty brings a dose of mystery and excitement to many wine connoisseurs but fills the hearts of the humble winemakers with dread.

        In Bulgaria this year the vintage started a bit early as a result of the drought conditions in August. September saw some rain in the first ten days but as a whole it was also dry.  As a result the grapes ripened really fast reaching 21-23 sugar levels really quick but containing far less juice. According to Violeta Dimitrova,director of the Institute of Viticulturte and Enology (IVE) in Pleven, whose cellars date back to 1892, the cold winter and the August drought will reduce the size of the harvest.

         A month later one of the biggest wineries Vinprom (aka winery) Peshtera reported harvests of up to 10 tonnes/ha from its 2000 ha of vineyards situated in the heart of  the Thracian Lowlands going east towards the towns of Yambol and the port of Burgas .

         At the beginning of October the CEO of the National Vine and Wine Chamber, Krasimir Koev, expected that the bumper harvest will produce up to 200 million liters of wine in 2013 compared to 127 million liters in 2012. He was confident that the wine will be sold successfully with half of it destined for the home market. This year is going to see the wineries in Bulgaria increase by another 12 and reach the whopping number of 246 producing in total 200 million litres of wine with most of it split between the home market, Poland and Russia. The UK has long seized to be a coveted destination and only 6.2% of the production finds its way here. Bulgarian wine has made its entry in China, Japan and from this year Vietnam and its future looks bright. 



Written by Vassil Rachkov — September 20, 2013


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