During the Rotaract Europe Meeting in Sofia at the end of January in 2024 3 of our members of our eclub were present.

As Bulgaria is a wine country our subgroup Rotaract&Wine organised another wine tasting. Bulgaria has several wine areas in the south in the middle and near the east coast.

None of them are close to Sofia, but as it was affordable to rent a bus in a country like Bulgaria, we could pick any winery up to 2h ride from Sofia.

Language barriers and very small business made it hard to get in contact with local winemakers.

Up to 2 weeks before the event we had chosen a large modern winery to visit, but it was a bit pricey and not very local.

As we always want the best offer, because we plan to support charity with every event, we contacted some other wineries to get a better deal.

By coincidence one winemaker we contacted was a former Interactor and Rotaractor!

Dimitar Kyuchukov owner of Winery VillaVinavera hosted our group of 18 wine lovers from the USA, Europa from Denmark up to Armenia.

We got a tour through the winery and explanations about the winemaking process. After a long trip we were hungry and thirsty and we were not disappointed.

We could try 10 different wines from local varieties. For beginners and experts the flavours and sensoring experiences were beyond the standard wines we know from conventional wine countries. A wine with an added grapefruit taste, 4 different wines from one kind of grape Mavrud, Icewine from red wine with a slight bitter side taste. And so on. We were astonished that the winery exports most to Vietnam, as Bulgaria is part of old Europe and a former communist country.

During the tasting we were offered local cuisine with Traditional “Kapama”, baked in clay pot overnight, with pickled cabbage, poultry, pork, sausages, garlic, bay leafs, pimento and red wine. I can assure you we had a great experience.

After that we continued our trip to the old town of Plovdiv. This town is one of the oldest still existing towns in Bulgaria. It even has a Roman amphitheater.

By the end of the day we drove back to Sofia with a full stomach, liver and plenty of memories.

Due to some last minute participants we could raise over 357 Euro for the local charity DETEBG.org: For Our Children Foundation is a Bulgarian non-governmental organization that has been supporting vulnerable Bulgarian children and their families since 1992. “For Our Children” is the successor of the British human rights organizations “European Children’s Trust”, “Christian Children’s Fund” and “Every Child”

Thank you to all the participants and especially Dimitar Kyuchukov who made this possible.

 

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