The Black Sea Coast wine-making region of Bulgaria extends all along the coast from Romania to Turkey. The region is home to approximately 30% of all of the vineyards in Bulgaria. The location of the Black Sea Coast means that it has long and hot summers with mild autumn months – conditions that are perfect for the growth and development of white grapes. The most popular white grapes that are grown in the region are Dumyat, Traminer, Riesling, Muscat, Ottonel, Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc. With its breath-taking and dramatic natural environment and its excellent wines, the Black Sea Coast is the perfect wine tourism destination to visit.
The Dramatic Black Sea Coast and Its Winemaking Areas
The Black Sea Coast is located all along the coast that stretches from Romania to Turkey. This wine making region houses around 30% of all of Bulgaria’s vineyards. The history of wine along the Black Sea Coast dates extremely far back. There is a well known and internationally acclaimed painting that was done in 811 AD that shows the Bulgarian monarch of the time, Khan Krum, drinking wine from the skulls of the Byzantine emperor Nicephorus. Today, one of the most popular wineries of the Black Sea Coast, Khan Krum, is named after him.
The climate along the Black Sea coasts consists of long and hot summers followed by mild autumns. These conditions are perfect for the growth of high-quality white grapes. The white grapes that are most commonly grown along the Black Sea Coast are Dimyat, Traminer, Riseling, Muscat, Ottonel, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc.The soil of the Black Sea Coast is a mix of fine white sand that comes from the former seabed of the Fossil Forest rugged black earth soil that comes from the Danubian plain.
The natural landscape of the Black Sea Coast is extremely diverse and includes imposing mountain peaks, crystal blue lakes, alpine glaciers, lush valleys, rivers, coastline, and more. This environment makes the region a very popular tourist destination for both domestic and international tourists.
The Black Sea Coast is divided into the subregions of Pomorie, Euxinograd, Novi Pazar, Han Krum and Varbitsa.
Coastal Wines from the Rugged Coastline of Bulgaria
The Black Sea Coast wine region produces a range of red, white, rose and fortified wines under the PDO South Black Sea Coast and the PDO Black Sea Region. Despite the range of wines produced in the region, it is best known for producing the best white wines in Bulgaria.
The most famous white varietal along the Black Sea Coast is Dimyat which is one of the oldest varietals in Bulgaria. Dimyat is cultivated predominantly along the Black Sea Coast and is used to produce dry white wines that have nuances of vanilla. Dimyat grapes are also used to make wine distillate, sparkling wines and liqueurs.
The most commonly produced white wine on the Black Sea Coast is young Sauvignon Blanc. These wines have a herbal character with mature and ripe impressions along with flavours of yellow tropical fruits. These characteristics are present in the wine as a result of the warm climate of the region and the high levels of sunshine.
Wineries to Visit in Black Sea Coast Wine Region
The Prisoe Winery is a family cellar located near to Varna on the Black Sea Coast. The vineyards and the cellar are located alongside the magnificent Stone Forest, making it one of the most beautiful wineries in Bulgaria. The wines of the Prisoe Winery are produced using mainly the classic grape varietals of Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines are some of the highest quality in Bulgaria and are available for tasting at the farm daily from 08:00 – 20:00.
The Queen’s Winery House was established in 2005 to bring people together who share a common passion for local Bulgarian wine. The winery house provides wines that suit a wide range of tastes and preferences. Inside the showroom, there is a unique collection of wines and liqueurs made by winemakers across Bulgaria. There are also a number of boutique wines and limited addition bottles available for purchase at the Queen’s Winery House store and on their online shop.
The Must-see Places to Visit along the Black Sea Coast
Varna – Where the Ancient and Modern Worlds Meet
Varna is a coastal city along the Black Sea Coast that dates back to 4600 BC. This city is known for being the place where the ancient and modern Bulgarian worlds meet and provide a living museum for all who visit. The blend of old and new in Varna is best experienced at the Dormition of Mother of God Cathedral that was built in 1886. The cathedral was built using stones from the ancient Varna city walls and contains awe-inspiring paintings of Jesus Christ and the saints that were painted in the 1960s. Another popular site in Varna is the ruins of the 2nd century Varna Roman Baths. These baths are the largest preserved baths in the Balkans. No visit to Varna would be complete without a trip to the Varna Necropolis. The necropolis is the site of 300 graves that date back to the 45th century BC. The location of Varna makes it the perfect holiday destination along the Black Sea Coast for natural beauty and endless historical attractions.
Nessabar – The Pearl of the Black Sea
Nessabar is a relaxing and laid-back town along the Black Sea Coast. Although the town is much like other coastal towns with bustling restaurants and shops, centuries of history are evident wherever you go. Nessa bar is located on the northern edge of the Bourgas Bay, perched on a small and rocky sandstone peninsula. The town has a remarkable number of attractions including fifteen churches, each with its own unique architecture and history. The entire peninsula of Nessabar is 840 meters long and 350 meters wide, making is a narrow region packed with history and culture. Attractions which can be enjoyed in the town include the Ancient City, the various wine tasting sites, St. Stephen’s Church, the Church of Christ Pantocrator, the Byzantine Baths and the various vibrant cafes, bars and restaurants serving the best in local foods.
Ravadinovo Castle – The Fairy Tale Wind Castle of Bulgaria
The Ravadinovo Castle in Bulgaria is also known as the castle that is ‘in love with the wind’. The castle was built in 1956 as a childhood dream of Georgi Kostadinov Tumpalov who is the castle’s architect, designer and developer. The style of the castle is that of one from an enchanting fairytale. The building was constructed using 20 000 tones of stone taken from the Strandzha Mountains. Making the castle even more magical, this stone contains tiny traces of diamonds which cause the castle to change colour. During the morning it has pink hues, during the day it becomes white, and at night it glows under the moonlight. The Ravadinovo Castle provides visitors with a uniquely Bulgarian experiences and has a number of things to do and see including the park, wishing well, summer house, sculpture garden, chapel and wine cellar. There is also the castle aquapark called Neptun that has various water slides, bars, restaurants, open green spaces and exciting attractions for the whole family.
Explore the Resort town of Balchik
The coastal town of Balchik is located only 42 kms from the city of Varna. This resort town is a must see for all who visit the Black Sea Coast, especially because of the Balchik palace which is also known as the Quiet Nest Palace. The palace is located near to the cliffs on the coast, two kilometers south of the town. Balchik Palace was built in 1926 and was once the residence of Queen Marie of Romania. It is made up of a complex of beautiful villas, a botanical garden, a monastery, a wine cellar, a holy spring and a small chapel. When exploring the palace grounds be sure to enjoy some of the best views of the Black Sea Coast below.
The Natural Attractions of the Black Sea Coast
The Black Sea Coast is extremely popular amongst local and international visitors for its excellent beaches. This stretch of coast is known as the Bulgarian Riviera thanks to its range of wonderful resorts and coastal attractions. The coast offers stretches of white, sandy beaches and a warm climate that make is perfect for an escape from the busy city environment.
Kavatsite Beach – The Beach of Sozopol
Kavatsite Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in Sozopol along the Black Sea Coast. The beach is 2km long with shallow waters that are perfect for swimming. The golden sand of the beach is both warm and clean which makes it ideal for long hours of relaxation and sunbathing. Kavatsite Beach is the perfect beach for families thanks to its wooden pathways, shoreline showers, changing rooms, toilets, safe parking areas, massage parlous and its water park. There is also a rental store offering visitors umbrellas and other beach equipment. For those who want to bring their dogs to the beach, there is a designated dog area. Visitors should not be shocked seeing nudists on the beach too! The best time to visit Kavatsite Beach is in May when the weather is warm and the water is wonderful and cooling.
Saxa Beach – The Best Beach Vibes on the Black Sea Coast
Saxa Beach is located in Burgas, which is one of the most important cities of the Black Sea Coast and the largest loading port of Bulgaria. Saxa is considered as one of the best beaches in Burgas and it occupies most of the city’s coastline. The beach stretches over 5km and is dotted with vibrant bars and restaurants. For lovers of nightlife and socializing, Saxa Beach is considered one of the most affordable beach areas along the Black Sea Coast with a wonderful atmosphere.
Bolata Beach – The Best-kept Secret on the Black Sea Coast
Bolata Beach is located in Bolata bay and is a small enclave surrounded by red bridges. The beach is a perfect semi-circle of sand that is protected by breakwaters. It is unique as it is one of the very few beaches in this particular area of the Black Sea Coast. Although many of Bulgaria’s beaches have become overcrowded with visitors, Bolata Beach has remained a hidden gem amongst the local residents of the area. The beach sits within the Kaliakra Nature Reserve which makes it a wonderful place to visit for nature lovers and birdwatchers. If you are looking for a quiet escape into nature that is not too far to travel from the city, Bolata Beach is the perfect spot to visit.
What to Eat along the Black Sea Coast
The Black Sea Coast is the ultimate food destination for lovers of fresh seafood. Restaurants, cafes and bars along the coast are known for serving the freshest local seafood feasts straight from the Black Sea. The cuisine of this coastline has something to satisfy everyone and is best enjoyed when paired with one of the excellent local wines on offer.
Black Mediterranean Mussels – The Black Pearls of the Sea
Mediterranean Mussels from the Black Sea are also known as black mussels because of the colour of their shells. The shells of these mussels range from dark brown and dark blue to completely black and they are relatively smooth to touch. These delicious mussels are native to the Mediterranean coast and are served in a number of different ways including steamed or with garlic and white wine. Black Mediterranean mussels can be found on the menus of most restaurants across the Black Sea Coast and are the perfect appetizer or main dish to enjoy on a warm summer night when paired with a crisp glass of local white wine.
Deep Fried Sprats – The Fish and Chips of Bulgaria
When visiting the Black Sea Coast during the summer, there is no way of missing the delicious wafting smell of fresh fried spats. Sprats are known to the locals as Tsatsa and they are a crispy snack taken straight from the Mediterranean Sea. The dish is made using small fish that are similar to herring that are salted, coated in flour and deep fried with the heads left on. The small fish are then served with slices of lemon, French fries and an ice-cold beer or glass of wine. This delicious meal is a staple along the Black Sea Coast and is the perfect meal for a warm summer’s day spent at the beach.
Tarama Hayver – The Roe Dip of the Balkans
Tarama Hayver is a delicious local dish of the Black Sea Coast that is also enjoyed across the Balkans. This dish is a creamy dip with a mild flavour that is served as an appetizer. Although the recipe varies in different towns, the dip is most commonly made with cured and salted carp or goby fish roe that is blended with sunflower oil, lemon juice, onions, and bread. Tarama Hayver is delicious when served on toast as a quick and easy snack while exploring the wonderful Black Sea Coast.
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Climate: Fine white sand and rugged black earth soil
Struma Valley wine region is a great destination with a broad offering of wineries with wine tasting and tours. On our website you can book your visits in order to be prepared for your time in the region.