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Wine tasting in Melnik, Bulgaria

During a hot Staurday in September I decided to head with some friends to Melink, the smallest town of Bulgaria. The town is an architectural reserve and has a population of less than 400. It retains the city status because of historical reasons.

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Melnik is situated 22 kms away from the Greek border. This also explains the Greek influence in the region. The town is famous for its wine making and for that reason we decided to give it a try.

After a bus ride of about 1 ½ hours we arrived in Melnik at noon. We walked up the main road and stopped about 10 minutes later at the first restaurant where we were offered some free wine to taste. We liked it and decided to have lunch. Of course a bottle of homemade wine accompanied the lunch.

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Later we kept walking up the hill and decided to go and see the fortress, a local who tried to impose some rooms to us, told us how to get there. After a hike of 30 minutes we arrived at the ruins of a church. After taking some pictures and rest a little we continued to the fortress. Unfortunately, the fortress is very demolished and only some walls are left but you can clearly see how big it used to be. From up there you have a great view over the wine country of Melnik, the valley and the surrounding sand stone formations.

We stayed up there for quite a while and walked back down. Molly, who was in Melnik before told us of a wine cellar which was built into the mountain a little bit higher. We hiked up there and enjoyed some wine in a cave. There was a sign which said that entrance was 2 leva but we didn’t had to pay anything. The temperature was very nice in the cave and the wine had the perfect temperature. We each had one glass of wine and were surprised when the total cost of 4 glasses of wine was 6 leva (approx. 3 €).

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Unfortunately, the bus schedule wasn’t very clearly and therefore we decided to leave at 4 pm again.

Melnik is definitely worth a visit. Go there early and stop at some restaurants and wine cellars. Every wine tastes different and delicious.

 Have you been there? What was your impression? Leave a comment!

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20 comments on “Wine tasting in Melnik, Bulgaria

  1. The Travel Chica on

    I never would have thought Bulgaria would have good wine. I am definitely learning a lot from your exploration of Bulgaria.

    Reply
    • seba on

      Thank you Diana! I hope you keep enjoying them in the future!! I’ll try to travel as much as possible so that I can write about many places of this great country!

      Reply
  2. ayngelina on

    Oddly enough I have had Bulgarian wine. In Ontario there is a section for smaller wine countries and I always like to try them, an added bonus is that they are usually cheaper so it’s not a huge risk.

    Reply
  3. Heather on

    Trips like this end up usually being my favorite, who would have ever thought you could get 4 glasses of wine, a gorgeous hike, history and a good story for ~5 US dollars. What an authentic experience!

    Reply
  4. Josie on

    I have always wanted to go to Bulgaria — and your story confirms why. I love trudging over the land, either with public transportation or on foot, to explore all the lesser known yet wonderful places. Bulgaria seems humble and real. Thanks for the story and pics. Nice!
    ~Josie

    Reply
    • Nikola on

      Bulgaria is a region of wine making for more than 5000 years. Almost everybody in the country has a small piece of land with vines and makes his own wine and distills “rakia”as well, usually for his own use and for friends.

      wines from what is now Bulgaria were renowned as some of the best in the roman Empire, in Bizantium, in Europe of the 18th-19th-20th centuries. Until recently Bulgaria was among the top 10 countries for wine exports. lately many new, modern wineries have been established, high quality wines and wine tourism are becoming the new image of this old wine country.

      For those who would like to check, and for those who would like to enjoy fantastic wines, good food, beautiful scenery, nice music, and smiling people – Villa Melnik (www.villamelnik.com) will be happy to welcome you.
      Nikola

      Reply
  5. Sharon on

    I’ve never been to Bulgaria, and I’ve honestly never thought of it as a wine tasting place. Generally, European countries like Italy and France come to mind for wine tasting experiences–but now I’m eager to try Bulgarian wine! Thanks for the insight 🙂
    Sharon – theworldwider.net

    Reply
  6. Gary Bromley on

    We have visited Melnik on at least 2 separate occasions (May and August) and each time have been impressed with the place. We were expecting it to be hot in August but it was equally as hot in May. The drive from Bansko took about 90 minutes and gives up some spectacular views of villages, towns and valleys. The drive along the river was glorious and during May you could stop at various points to either watch or have a go at the challenging white water rafting.
    Melnik its self is like a artisan village that has been lost in time. It has many visitors but still retains plenty of character and doesn’t appear to have sold out to tourism. Any visit would be well advised to include a meal at one of the many Mehena’s food is freshly cooked and great value.
    A trip around both the wine cellar and museum is well worth it even if its only just to get out of the heat.
    If you are making the trip its worth visiting the Rozhen monastery, passing strange pyramid shaped rock formations reminiscent of Brice Canyon.
    All in all a great day out, which can be prolonged with an overnight stay at one of the reasonably priced 3 star hotels or one of the many b&b’s

    Gary Bromley

    Reply