The wine and gourmet tourism is a way to extend the tourist season – in the winter and in the summer in Bulgaria.
This is a potential opportunity to attract additional income for the people from the branch, and respectively in the budget of the country.
Wine tourism in Bulgaria is expanding because enterprising winemakers and hoteliers begin to appreciate the potential in this business. Bulgarian wine tourism goes both ways – winemakers who build special places for tastings, for rest, for entertainment near their wineries and hoteliers who plant vines and build vineyards near their hotel’s establishments.
Zaara Estate is located at the foot of Sakar mountain, near the Galubovo village of Glavan, Stara Zagora. The name of the establishment comes respectively from the old name of city Stara Zagora, where the owners come from, or with other words – the town of linden.
For the team management the visions and the goals in the coming years are to expand the vineyards. From the very beginning, the strategy strongly supports the concept of ecotourism. The team cleans and develops several eco-trails in the area of Glavan, which are suitable for both hiking and cycling.
Zaara Estate combines viticulture, winemaking and tourism at the foot of Sakar. Mountain. the project started from the autumn of 2015, which has the ambition to combine the old wine-growing traditions in the region with the modern eco, wine and spa tourism. the ambitious project started with planting of 150 acres of vineyards in the village. the varietal diversity is accordingly to the terror- the local soil and the climatic features, and this choice is made by the Bulgarian-Italian team. the vineyards and winemaking are taken care by oenologists Slavey Paunov, Giovanni Kolugnati and agronomist Karamfil Dulev. mean while the construction of a winery and the hotel part, restaurant and the spa center just begin.
The small winery vinifies its first wine in 2017, and since July 1, 2018, welcomes its first tourists. The project is financed entirely with own funds. It includes a wine cellar, small hotel complex for 39 guests, restaurant and seating area. The wine estate is family owned, but the most active person running the business is Krassimira Nedeva, along with her father. The project manager of Zaara Estate winery, Glavan village in Sakar is Viktor Tsvetanov.
2018 is the third year of the vineyards, and 2019 is entering a period of full fruiting. A team of about 10 people takes care of the vineyard. Most of the activities are mechanized, but there are things that need to be done by hand. Every year Trifon Zarezan is honored – a holiday of the wine grower, on February 14, in the old style, with a lot of music, wine and local delicacies. On this day, an “Open Day” is organized, and each visitor can taste the wines and meet in person the people behind them.
The restaurant of the complex offers dishes from the region, vegetables are their own production, milk and meatas well, which are supplemented by products from local producers in high quality.
The capacity of the winery is 65,000 bottles per year, currently the sale is at the national level, and very soon the first batches for export will be ready. The pilot vintage is called Dogma. In the vines are grown the following varieties: redS – Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenner and whiteS – Tamianka (Bulgarian white grape variety), Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The winery produces red and white and rose wines. The equipment for the vineyards and in the winery is of the latest generation.
The hotel has an indoor pool and jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and salt room. The complex combines wine tourism with a tour of local historical sites of South Sakar.
Dairy products are made in their own creamery using an old home recipes. Vegetables are self-sustaining, supplemented by local producers. Zaara Estate produces spices and herbs as well. It has its own raspberry plantations from which they prepare desserts and sweets.
For the activity lovers, the winery offers bicycles, scenic hiking trails and other activities.
Zaara Estate restaurant is transformed into a unique conference room equipped with a screen and projector.