Edoardo Miroglio’s Bulgarian Wines Impress Italian Journalists

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Exhausted but extremely enthusiastic“,

said a group of Italian journalists who, from June 6-9, took part in a press tour devoted to one of the least known and most mysterious appellations in Eastern Europe: The Thracian Valley, a wine region located in the heart of Bulgaria. The writers spent four intense days among the endless sunflower fields and picturesque vineyards as they toured the Edoardo Miroglio Winery in Elenovo.

The group landed at the Sofia airport where they were then transported to the city of Sliven. Here, they checked in for three nights at the Park Central Hotel in the city’s central square across from City Hall. And that’s when things really got started! They spent an entire day touring vineyards, vinification tanks, and aging casks. It was a full-immersion into the world of one of the country’s leading wine producers: The Edoardo Miroglio Winery.

The Thracian Valley is home to the estate, one of Terre Miroglio’s three properties: 1,500 hectares in total, with 150 planted to vine, including 16 different grape varieties. Of these, the indigenous Bulgarian variety Mavrud stands apart for his unique character and identity. It makes for surprisingly delicious and structured wines, renowned and coveted since the times of the Ancient Trojan War.

In the morning, the thing that most greatly impressed the editors was the opportunity to watch the final phase in the production of the estate’s classic method sparkling wine, its signature EM Winery label: the dégorgement or disgorgement. Bottle after bottle, the winery workers meticulously inspect each bottle before inserting it in the neck freezer, which has been chilled to -25° C.

Then as the bottle heads down the disgorgement line, the crown caps fly off and the little frozen cylinders are removed. The bottles are then topped off with the so-called dosage or liqueur d’expédition and the bottle is sealed with a classic mushroom cork and its cage to keep it secure.

In the afternoon, after meeting with winery owner Edoardo Miroglio, it was time to taste a vertical flight of wines made from Mavrud. It was both a technical and convivial gathering that showcased this ancient wine’s quality, breadth, and potential. In the range of wines served, from 2009 to 2013, the color and flavor in each glass were testament to the strength and nuance of this late-ripening variety. Its characteristics make it perfectly suited for the production of fine wine: Thick, resilient skin; sweet and fresh-tasting berries; rich color; soft tannin; and healthy acidity.

After returning to Sliven, the writers visited the city of Plovdiv, which, together with the Italian village of Matera, has been named one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2019. In the morning, they attended an interesting talk on viticulture and Bulgarian winemaking with Professor Ivanov from the Department of Agriculture at the University of Plovdiv. The afternoon was devoted instead to a lovely walk among the ruins of what is considered to be the most ancient city in Europe. It was once known as Philippopolis because it was founded by Philip II of Macedon, Alexander the Great’s father.

© Photo by Canio Romaniello, Olycom

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