Family-owned Villa Melnik Winery gives you a perfect way to combine all of these. The winery and its friendly owners invite you to celebrate the Day of Lazarus, or Lazarovden, 20 April, among the marvellous landscape of Bulgaria's southwest. Lazarovden has a special importance in the Bulgarian traditional calendar: it is a holiday dedicated to spring and love! On this day, young girls called Lazarki pick flowers at sunrise, weave flower crowns, and then in small groups visit each house in the village, dancing and singing for the health and wealth of its inhabitants. On this day young unmarried women and bachelors celebrate the coming of spring and love with rituals of courtship. It is said that a young lady who has not participated in the Lazarki ritual is not ready to get married. Legend also has it that the most desirable bachelors are the ones that can appreciate good Melnik wines! There are few places where this rural is still alive, and Villa Melnik allows you to experience it personally.
Visit Villa Melnik Winery near the village of Harsovo, Melnik Region on Saturday, 20 April and join the Lazarovden celebrations. Walk in the vineyards, weave flower wreaths, sing and dance. Take part in planting new trees and flowers in our gardens! Join our arts and crafts market and workshops. You will of course have the chance to tour the winery’s modern production facilities, enter the underground cellar where the wines age, and enjoy a wine degustation in a tasting room with spectacular views.
The event will also include the planting of 30 blackberries in the gardens of Villa Melnik, art workshop for handmade jewellery from natural materials with the help of a specialised atelier in Sandanski.
Here are two of Villa Melnik’s favourite spring wines
Orange Wine 2017, Villa Melnik
This wine is for brave winelovers who want to taste something new and exciting! The Orange wine is made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc (a white grape), but using the red wine technology – it ferments with the grape skins for several weeks. The skin contact gives the wine its unique light orange colour, as well as the impressive depth and richness of the aromas with accents of quince, citrus, peach. Fresh, slightly salty taste with expressed tannins, characteristic slight tartness and a finish that leaves a lasting impression of flowers and lemon. Goes best with salads with caramelised fruit, nuts and goats cheese; chicken or tender meats with fruit confit or rich cream-based sauces, fatty fish, sushi, and spicy dishes. Serve chilled!
AplauZ Sandanski Misket 2018, Villa Melnik
Sandanski Misket is an indigenous grape, unique to the Melnik region. This dry white wine has a pale, golden and sparkling colour and an enchanting, gentle aroma of white flowers and citrus fruit. The taste is balanced with good acidity and freshness, with a long and refreshing aftertaste.
Don't miss also the Aplauz Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 that was included in in the prestigious Bulgaria's Best 50 Wines list of DiVino magazine.