In May this year the world of wine turned its attention to Bulgaria with astonishment and surprise at the news of the achievement of the Bulgarian winery Villa Yambol at the prestigious Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB). The 30th edition of the competition took place in Istria from May 12th to 14th. Competing with over 4,800 exceptional red wines from around the world, Vineyards Selection Tenevo 2017, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, was awarded the International Revelation Red Wine, capturing the attention of the global wine community. Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is known for its strict selection of judges and high standards, guaranteeing the awarding of a limited number of medals only to exceptional high-quality wines.
Krasimir Avramov, the CEO and chief winemaker at Villa Yambol, shared his excitement and joy about this distinction in an interview with CMB. He noted that recognition of this magnitude is not only a great honor but also proves the high quality of Bulgarian wines and their potential to compete successfully on the global wine stage. He said, “This is not just an award for our winery but for our country as a whole. I hope this is another bold step towards establishing Bulgaria as a small but high-quality wine producer.” He claims that while wines from major producers in Bulgaria are often underestimated by critics, the ratings from the global wine elite at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles shed light on them and showcase the quality and incredible potential of the native terroir.
Vineyards Selection Tenevo 2017 is produced with exceptional care and attention to every detail. The wine not only demonstrates Bulgaria’s magnificent winemaking potential but also reflects the innovative and creative approach of the team behind Villa Yambol. The idea of creating the Vineyards Selection series was born over 15 years ago when Krasimir Avramov and his “small army,” as he calls the all-female technical team at the winery, decided to produce a limited collection that showcases the most captivating characteristics of Bulgarian terroir. “During the selection of the vineyards, in addition to analyzing soil, sunlight, and slope, we also used the maritime landmark ‘The Rose of the Winds,’ which indicates the strength and intensity of the air currents,” explained the chief winemaker at the winery. According to him, “great wines are born in the vineyard,” and that is why one of the things Villa Yambol is most proud of is its own vineyards, which allow control at every stage of production. One of the most valuable among them is the micro-region of Tenevo, located on 142 hectares of land, with its 18-year-old vineyards and soils rich in carbonates and easily absorbable iron, which are a prerequisite for harvesting grapes of excellent quality.
In the Vineyards Selection Tenevo 2017 blend, the grapes are hand-picked, and the vinification process takes place in special small vessels, with 65% of the wine aging for 16 months in French oak barrels. The result is a wine with a beautiful ruby color, a delicate fruity bouquet with elegant barrel aging, notes of blue plum, dark chocolate, and spices. The taste is smooth and velvety, with substantial length and a spicy finish.
“Vineyards Selection” is an extremely successful wine series, awarded with numerous medals. Recently, the debut rosé from the Tenevo micro-region, a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot, won a gold medal at the Rosé Session of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and the white wine from the same brand was awarded a silver medal. The series also includes two natural sparkling wines, which the chief winemaker atVilla Yambol describes as the “jewels in the crown” of the winery, recommending them to all wine enthusiasts. “I would encourage people to try and give Bulgarian wines a greater chance – they have the potential to excite you,” Krasimir Avramov emphasized. The goal of Villa Yambol is to continue developing the potential of its terroir wines and offer consumers high quality at a fair price.
When asked if Vineyards Selection Tenevo 2017 is the highest achievement in the winery’s history so far, Krasimir Avramov responded that the highest achievement of the winery is yet to come and added, “For us, the greatest success is being a beloved and recognized producer who has the freedom to create limited editions and make wines that are leaders in their category.”
To continue creating exceptional products and properly assess their position against global standards, the chief winemaker at Villa Yambol relies on prestigious international competitions such as the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. He emphasizes that the objective evaluation by the international jury provides valuable information to producers about their position in the global wine industry. It allows them to compare themselves with the competition and understand whether their wines meet global norms and trends.
Regarding the significance of medals from international competitions in terms of marketing, Krasimir Avramov highlights that they are crucial for export markets and have the potential to uncover new development opportunities. In terms of exports, these medals serve as important business cards for producers and demonstrate the high quality of Bulgarian wine to the international community.
In addition to the prestigious Grand Gold medal awarded to Vineyards Selection Tenevo 2017 this year, Villa Yambol was honored by the CMB with six more gold medals and one silver medal for its rosés, reds and white wines. This exceptional success is not accidental – for almost a decade, the winery’s products have consistently received awards from the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, confirming the exquisite quality of the wines that never fail to impress and leave a lasting impression on wine enthusiasts.
To winemakers hoping to achieve similar recognition in international competitions, Krasimir Avramov advises them to “be bold and believe that Bulgarian wines are of a global standard because they truly are!”