20km west of the Black Sea, on a hill enclosed by vast, well-kept vineyards is the winery of the Minkov Brothers. Its architecture is in old urban, retrostyle. It is situated at the location where the family’s old vineyards used to be and revives the fame of the renowned winemakers, who in late 19th century brought to Bulgaria the first international award, which was the most prestigious in those times.
Back in the now remote 1875 Ivan, Vasil, and Nikifor, known as the Minkov Brothers, started a winery in the commercial and crafts center of their hometown. They hailed from a family of aristocratic origins and were progressive, enlightened, as well as fairly eccentric people.
All three had graduated from esteemed European universities but nevertheless returned to their birth place to devote themselves to their biggest passion – winemaking. Their return caused a stir among their fellow citizens. The spirit of then Europe started to be sensed in the small town’s streets. They would often pass through showing their overseas friends the region’s landmark locations, on other occasions they would see Nikifor with his strange photo camera taking pictures of the vineyards and the beautiful landscape in the vicinity. Vassil, on the other hand, returned from France and brought with him his favorite bicycle. People would remember him cycling around seemingly talking to himself, seeking inspiration in nature for the new wines.
Nineteen years on, in 1894 the harvest was very good and the brothers made excellent wine. One evening, while they were having dinner with yet another group of friends, who had paid them a visit and were sipping from the nice wine, the conversations made them send a few bottles to the competition held at the International Exhibitionin Brussels. The selection panel awarded a gold medal making it the first Bulgarian wine to receive the most prestigious European award at the time.
Proximity & Vineyards
The proximity of the Black Sea to the east, and the Mediterranean and the Aegeanto the south are a contributing factors to the favorable climate in the area. The day time and night time breezes collide with two local winds resulting in a milder winter in the basin, a lengthier and warmer autumn, cool spring,and not too hot summer. The weather conditions under which grapes grow give excellent aroma and flavor profile to our wines. The varieties grown here display great potential to create high-grade wines with distinctive style.
Today the company has more than 15000 decares of vineyards. These feature both wine grapes traditional for Bulgaria, such as chardonnay, muscat ottonel, red muscat, mavrud, ruby, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, as well as globally renowned varieties such as syrah, pinot noir,cabernet franc, sauvignon blanc, small-berry white muscat, gewürztraminer, GamaydeBouze, AlicanteBouschet, ugniblanc, viognier, and Riesling weiss. The elite vineyards are cared for by highly qualified agronomists, and the harvest from own vineyards isa guarantee for continuously high quality of the drinks.
Nowadays, a century and a half later, seeking to balance between tradition and modern technology, the oenologists of the Minkov Brothers Winery combine many years of experience, fertile soils, suitable climate, and a passion for winemaking to go the way bequeathed to them by the Minkov Brothers.
The wines are made using traditional winemaking practices in combination with new ideas and technologies. The equipment complies with all European and global standards. More than EUR 17 million has been invested in it, part of them subsidized with funding from European programs. The production compound has the capacity to process 15million kg.of grapes p.a. and produce 11 million liters of high- grade wine. The equipment was delivered by leading European companies– the Swedish Аlfa Laval and the Italian Vello and Diemme.
The red wines mature in 225 liter barrels or in 228 liter barrels made of fine, small- pore oak from the Bordeaux area in France. The chardonnay matures in new American oak barrels with 200 liter capacity. The barrels are renewed annually with 200 newones.
The first Medal
The history, tradition, and innovative spirit of time !
MINKOV BROTHERS are complex wines. They are made from classic varieties, fermenting and maturing in oak barrels. They have the potential to mature in bottles. The Minkov Brothers winery was established in 1875 by the three brothers Ivan, Vasil, and Nikifor. As soon as 1894, the winery was awarded a gold medal at the International Wine Exhibitionin Brussels to become the first Bulgarian wine to be awarded the most prestigious European award in those times.
Even today the Minkov Brothers winery remains loyal to the tradition of making high-grade wines.
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