the wine of northwest

04/ 2017

FOR SECOND TIME we visit Belogradchik and Serbia. The trip was managed and guided again by exclusive tour guide and professional Valia Jordanova from ABTG. In focus are the wine and wine makers in Belogradchik, Vidin and Negotin (Serbia). Just like a year ago we have a task to create a photo collection for the needs of tour operators and our sponsors. This time we decided to publish our collections online accompanying announces for two events – the Day of wine in Vidin and The day of open wineries in Negotinska  Krajna.

This project tells the story of my own experience and is a way to share another stack more personal pictures we made during the trip. At the end of the page there arelisted archives with images free for download.

The rocks above Belogradchick

borovitza winery

The little winery with all their vineyard – less than 10 hectares are nested somewhere in the folds of Belogradchik rock valley. The name origins from the even smaller village nearby. And those are all small things one could tell about them.

The founder and the star of the winery is Ms. Adriana Srebrinova. I meet her for a second time and already know how impressive is she. There is no greater pleasure than to listen to someone with the talent and devotion as big as hers.

She speaks about wine and shines. Looking at the fluid gold in my glass I understand she somehow manage to lock there the last year sun. Scents of summer, dust and bliss are filling my mind. I sip and barelly hear her talk. For complete experience we clink the glasses so to include the only sence wine can’t touch. “There is no need” I think. Millions of orange bees are already buzzing in our heads.

Every empty bottle is filled with stories”

northicum alliance

Northwest region of Bulgaria is unique. It’s clear, because from years there is no industry, soil compets those in Tuscany and micro climat there is exellent for grape. People in Serbia know this is the sunniest region in their country.

All this helps and harms. Helps, because their production is great. Harms because it’s hard to work in atmosphere full of poverty and scepticism. Seven of wineries found the alliance to help and celebrate their terroire.

I never heard of so poetic and symbolic way of founding an allience. Every winery gave their own white and red wine. Who else if not the wizard of Borovitza could do the match? White and red cuvée labeled Northicum are their first big success – the harmony is natural with attitude and vision. Presentation of the wine makers is impressive. And we are still to see how big are their potential and their dreams.

It is no coincidence that, on all four sides, in all four corners, the borders of the Roman Empire stopped where wine could no longer be made.”
— Neel Burton

Wine collection from Nortwest Bulgaria

Trust me you must dance tonight!”
— Northicum White Cuvée

Trust me you look awesome!”
— Northicum red Cuvé

Wine makes all things possible.”
— George R.R. Martinн

Dancing waltz Beautiful Blue danube…

Vidin meet us in mood of spring. In the Baba Vida Castle wine makers present their own wines. Personally I feel myself kind of skeptic. Still remember the those dusty rows of Gamza (local variety) bottles only filling the shops in Bulgaria – ugly and ubiquitous. Anxieusly I sip. Wow, this Gamza is light, playful and one to remember! Almost in shock I instantly buy 2 bottles to share with friends the discovery.

We taste soft liquors with stunning fragrances. Then meet another producer who tells us how he succeed to bring back home vine varieties lived here millenniums ago. Wine with taste that ancient Thracs had been known is waiting us. Ellegant bottles are decorated with nice and stylish labels. The little son of the owner proudly pour as dark as pitch wine.

All over people talk and share with joy and proud. What a wonderful day!


Our Serbian hosts wait us right on the border and wormly greet us. Just like rain drops sporadic Slavic words are knocking swiftly on my mind. I know the talk is interesting but fail to understand a thing. So to keep my temper, decisivly I turn my head and watch the flying landscape outside the bus.

I don’t feel I travel in another country. The hills, the earth and people are the same. Wonder who needs these boundaries and who took us apart. The Sun is shining for all of us in promise. It’s getting hot. Looks like the spring starts from North.

serbian wine makers

Deep down I (pre) judice there is no better than Bulgarian wine. Here is why I am not prepared for what is waiting us ahead. We meet earthy, hardworking and dilligent people. They love their land and craft and pass the knowledge from generations. I see how much they have achieved and how high aims their ambition.

This journey is an initiative of teirs. In Negotin area wine is a way of living and belief. All the year round many “manifestations” go there and always there is connection with either food or wine… and always music too. The way Italian winemakers celebrate The day of open cellaries influences our hosts to make a similar event in Serbia. It takes place once in a year every last weekend in May. Connoisseurs and tourists could travel, taste and buy wines freely right in the cellaries. This year people hope to attract guests from Roumania and Bulgaria too.

Our first stop is the winery of Mr. Radoulovich. During degoustation our Adriana impoulsively declare “For quite some time had not been drinking so vibrant chardonnay!”. During the happy meeting I look at Bulgarian and Serbian wine makers and kind of envy them. They have no need of translators because they all speak their common language – the language of the wine.

the place where wine sleep alone

I think villages like these exist only in Serbia. Beautiful stone homes 200 year old are built entirely for wine. We wander down the empty streets pretending we search for Saint Trifon – not the patron of the wine but a pub where is our second stop. The village is so beautiful that quietly I promise to myself one day to get back here again.

…wine (is) a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.
— Benjamin Franklin

By now I appreciate Serbian wine in quite a different light but still the next day presentations in Bukovo Monastery and famous Matalj winery succeed go beyond my expectations.

Men are like wine-some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”
— Pope John Paul II

Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”
— Paulo Coelho

Wine tasting at Matalj Winery

All is beautifull, all is tasty, not to mention their wines. That is to say you understand why one could come up with a name like Doushica (means Soul) for a wine…

The best wines are the ones we drink with friends!”


Bellow are listed the images arranged in archives in chronological order. Pictures longer side is always 1600 px what makes some of archives a tad bigger in volume. You could freely download, share and post whatever you want.

Borovitza Winery – #34, 21Mb
Belogradchick – #28, 18Mb
Dinner with Northicum at Magura Hotel – #97, 60Mb
Wine tasting in Baba Vida Castle – #84, 70Mb
Radoulovitch Winery – #48, 37Mb
Rajacke Pimnice – #53, 48Mb
Dinner at Sveti Trifun – #35, 26Mb
Negotin – #55, 43Mb
Bukovo Monastery – #46, 36Mb
Matalj Winery – #16, 11Mb
Vidin Downtown – #39, 30Mb