What’s the best thing to do on a snowy Saturday? – Have some really good wine in a nice atmosphere of course! We got lucky this Saturday as there was a wine festival in Plovdiv. Vinaria is a festival of vine growing and wine producing and is actually the largest wine festival on the Balkans. It is held every year at the International Fair in Plovdiv. This year, 2015, the fair was open from 1st to 8th of March.
I guess if you haven’t experienced a wine festival in Bulgaria you may imagine a bunch of wineries that have got together to simply sell wine to the visitors. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the event was more focussed on wine tasting! There was also some interesting machinery on display and you can learn about how wine is produced.
The entrance ticket for the exhibition is 3 leva (€1.50) per person. Once inside you can visit the many stalls to try a small glass from each. This means you can actually spend the afternoon getting tipsy with some amazing Bulgarian wine for just €1.50. How amazing is that?!? Of course, if you are a true wine lover you can try all the various wines and also learn about the regions and conditions in which they are produced.
There’s also a shop where you can buy a bottle of the wine that you’ve fallen in love with at the festival. But let me warn you, choosing your favourite one isn’t going to be easy at all. They are so many and all of them are so good (and I’m not even much of a wine lover myself). You may also be surprised about the price of a bottle, especially when usually it’s thought that good quality wine should cost a lot. This is not the case with Bulgarian wine. A bottle of a really good wine at the exhibition was between 5 and 25 leva (2.5 – 12.50 euros). I don’t know about you, but I find this pretty amazing!
If you are close to Plovdiv and have a spare couple of hours you really should visit the next wine festival. There are many varieties of Bulgarian wine available in the supermarkets here so it’s helpful just to go along to the event and find out which is your favourite!