This region, also known as the Black Sea Coastal, is one of the five officially recognized Bulgarian wine regions. It produces nearly one third of all Bulgarian wine. It extends east and southeast of Ruse to Shumen, Khan Krum and Veliki Preslav, east to Varna and down the Black Sea coast to Burges and Rezovo. It is divided into three sub-regions: the Black Sea Coastal region, Drobuja and Ludogorie (“a region of wild forests”) in the northeast. A mild climate and long, warm autumns favour the cultivation of a great variety of (mainly) white grapes, as they accumulate the perfect amount of sugar. These grapes include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, the fruity, semi-sweet Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc), Muscat Ottonel, Dimyat, Rkazitelli, Traminer, Alogoté and Riesling. These grapes give high-quality, semi-dry white or naturally sparkling white wines. The microclimate is good for red grapes too, especially Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc. The biggest and best known wineries are around Burges, Khan Krum, Preslav, Pomorie, Shumen, Targovishte, and Varna.
The Black Sea region is known for its typical white grape varieties Muscat Varna and Dimyat. Dimyat is particularly good around Varna, and it is mostly used in the production of dry, aromatic white wines and brandies. It has a particular peach aroma. Also worth mentioning are the Dimyat wines from Shumen and Stara Zagora.
Every year in August, the seaside resort Pomorie organises the Sea of Wine festival, with wine tastings, never-ending entertainment and prestigious wine award ceremonies. Pomorie also proves that wine and wellness make a good match. Even Roman Emperors used to relax with good food and wine in Aquae Calidae (“warm water”), also known as Thermopolis (10 kilometres from the modern-day Burges). It was built on a holy Thracian sanctuary around 1000 BC.
Visit the Rousse Wine House and its gourmet restaurant (7 dining halls, 150 seats; open daily 11.00–24.00) at Levent Tabia Fort, built in 1828–1829 near Ruse. Taste the Khan Krum Mavrud 2011 from Khan Krum Winery or Muscat, Traminer, Chardonnay and Riesling from Targovishte Winery LVK Vinprom. Check out the Veni, Vidi, Vici wines produced by the VINI Wines in the nearby Thracian Valley wine region, the highest-ranking wines in Bulgaria in 2012. Visit Mirocellars, owned by one of the most reknowned young Bulgarian viticulture experts, wine makers and oenologists, Miroslav Tcholakov. He is one of the best promoters of Bulgarian wines, very successful in California too (www.mirocellars.com).