Bulgarians celebrate feast of winegrowers, vintners


Bulgaria, Feb. 14, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) — People working for the Castra Rubra winery at village Kolarovo, some 270 kilometers southeast of capital Sofia, celebrated on Sunday the traditional feast of Bulgarian winegrowers and vintners called “Tryphon Zarezan.”

This feast is among the most vital ones in Bulgaria and is observed throughout the country. It marks the dividing line between the ending winter and the coming spring. It comes from ancient Thracians living in the region who were known as one of the first European wine producers.

Following the tradition, ritual breads decorated with a vine- leaf were baked early Sunday morning. Later on the festive activities started on the vineyards owned by the Castra Rubra winery. Vines were pruned and sprinkled with holy water and wine, and were blessed with words like “The more wine drops, the more grapes. ”

This ritual was followed by songs, dances and rich table, involving many wishes for a plentiful harvest as well. The Castra Rubra winery, which keeps this ancient Tryphon Zarezan tradition, is one of the youngest and most modern wineries in Bulgaria and aims to renew the Bulgarian glory as one of the world’s best wine producers.

The enterprise is based in Southern Sakar mountain, near the ancient Roman town Castra Rubra situated on the very old and important trade route Via Diagonalis connecting Europe and the Orient. The winery has 200 hectares of own vineyards located in stony terrain with constant wind. According to its manager Tsvetan Georgiev, these conditions are optimal for growing of vineyards — the wind keeps diseases away, while the stones sustain equal heat and humidity for the plants. In addition, each vine has an individual irrigation system.

The exclusive consultant of Castra Rubra is Michel Rolland — the most significant representative of the contemporary wine world. Based on the experts’ advices the winery, launched in 2007, uses a French technology and is equipped with the best world achievements of this industry. Georgiev and his colleagues are extremely proud with their facilities where the wine not only settles but also ferments in oak barrels.

These people’s hard work and involvement has been recognized in October 2009 when Castra Rubra won the first Oscar for Bulgarian red wine awarded by the Belgian Guide to the Best 300 Wines under 10 Euros. (Source: iStockAnalyst )