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Bulgarian Topwines describe Tsarev Brod Winery as different, quirky and consequent.
Different - because they consciously seek the distinction with the existing. For example, their cone-shaped, closed stainless-steel barrels, designed for balanced fermentation and evenly distributed contact with the shell in the whole vessel. As a result, the wines are fresh, create a sparkling feeling and develop a complexity.
Different when making their blends. For Sepage wine, they bring together the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Traminer and Riesling immediately after harvesting at the same day, rather than assembling them after fermentation. Nikolay convincingly describes this vision: "if you bring children together from the start, they will match better." Blending the grapes on this early stage is of course risky. It needs courage and knowledge.
Tsarev Brod Winery is quirky. They dare to go against the current. When, after the Communist era, all vineyards with great yield were removed, in order to create greater diversity, Tsarev Brod stuck to a local vineyard with the white Gergana grape. They succeeded in 'saving' this grape and today produce a tasty Gergana wine, nowhere else to be found.
Tsarev Brod is consequent because of their focus on making wines that they are good in. No more and no less. One single red variety, the Pinot Noir, which in fact feels very good in this cool climate conditions. They could also make others, but resolutely choose not to do so. One line also in the style of the bottle and the label. Recognizable as' this is us, different, quirky, consequent.
The region and the vineyards:
The wine region of Northeast Bulgaria is certified under Appellation PGI Danube Plain. The vineyards are located in small compact areas near the village of Tsarev Brod, in the Shumen municipality. This area belongs to the climate region of Middle Danube plain, with a middle sea-level of 250 m. Cool continental climate thanks to the Danube river and the Black Sea influents. This determines the winemaker’s choice of varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer, Chardonnay, Riesling and the crossing local variety called Gergana, which is a crossing of Muscat Ottonel and Dimiat. Gergana is not found elsewhere, Tsarev Brod being the only one working with it. The wine of Gergana grape is big success on the domestic market and more recently internationally. Therefore, the family of agronomist’s planted another 18 ha with the Gergana variety as well as with some other Bulgarian varieties. The only one blue variety is Pinot Noir. The vineyard in total is 27 ha. at this moment.
Vine plants are produced in Bulgaria. This is a very important message from Tsarev Brod to all vinegrowers and winemakers: gain knowledge and contribute to the practical usage of the vine science in Bulgaria.
Work in the winery:
Winemaker, Nikolay Krastev keeps his facility extremely organized. All of the tanks used are identical sets of two, ranging in size so that they’re always completely full, without oxygen. The must ferments in small vessels and barrels, made individually for each variety with a capacity of 225 l up to 5200l. Nikolay is also partial to neutral oak: only 10% of their barrels is new.
The winery is located next to the vineyard with the purpose of processing freshly harvested grapes. Harvesting the grapes starts early in the morning and stops when the temperature outside raises to 16 degrees. This allows cold maceration process at 13-14 degrees temperature, which guarantees a maximum preserving of the aroma.
White and rose wines mature for at least five months over fine lees. The red Pinot Noir is made in unoaked version, which is the case for all Tsarev Brod Pinot noir, except the Reserve which matures in 225 l barrels, next for 12 months in inox vessels and before going to the market finally in bottles for 6 months. The new brand of Amber Harvest is meant to be made in only exceptional good years, where for red as well for whites is used oak and about 10% of it new French oak barrels.