A bit of RandR in rural Bulgaria 

What could be better, a trip into the Melnik region of Bulgaria and the chance to do a bit of wine tasting, a few hundred meters away from where we are staying is the fabulous Orbelus organic winery.

As you climb into foothills of the mountain towards the winery, this amazing space appears, the architecturel perfections of a wine barrel for a winery !

ORBELUS, as it was called by the Thracians who inhabited the region in the past.- hence giving the winery a name. 

Gradually the company acquired more than 20 separate plots in the villages of Kromidovo, Kapatovo, Marikostinovo and Harsovo, each of them with its specific terroir characteristics, thus contributing to the richness of the  wines. 

We learned that The grape varieties cultivated – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache Noir, Primitivo, Petit Verdot, Marselan, Mourvedre, Viognier, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris – are chosen with a view to the climate and the soil type . 

Special attention is given to the cultivation of the traditional for the region grape variety – Early Melnik.

A tasting of 6 fabulous wines from the range….

After meandering around the village, just soaking up village life, 

with its three thermal springs providing luxury healing waters from the road side fountains 

We retired back to our temporary home Kamping Kromidovo, which is set in the foothills of the Pirin Mountain range, a protected area of outstanding natural beauty. A perfect spot for a bit of R and R. 

The site itself is a joy to behold, run by an English couple John and Sara, who play the perfect hosts even letting us raid the garden for our tea and then sharing his homemade beer – a flat, warm English ale ……..

With yet more sunny days we didn’t turn down the chance to swim in the wonderful hot mineral pool, a great way to cool down and refresh.

A walk up into the hill side, provides the perfect vista 

and more superisingly a tank hole – a line of 5 sunken concrete bunkers so that they  could get the perfect aim into the Greek mountains……

It does serve as a reminder that we are so close to the boarder, that back in 1980 this whole area was behind the iron curtain and you would have needed approval to either enter or leave this village, and nowadays most people just wiz on by.


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