The newest wine jewel – the wine bar of restaurant “Atlas” – opened on 24th October in the heart of the centre of Plovdiv. It has the catchy name Cork.Fork and over 300 Bulgarian wines from over 100 wineries from all over Bulgaria can be found inside. The serious representativeness of wineries, varieties and styles is a good reason why the location in the centre of Plovdiv has become an indispensable stop for every visitor of the city.
Cork.Fork presents the five wine regions of Bulgaria with the most characteristic wine varieties and styles. Emphasis is also placed on the local varieties, which have their own separate section.
The history of the Atlas building
In addition to its wine list, Cork.Fork is also impressive with its unique and authentic atmosphere. The wine bar is in the very heart of the city of Plovdiv in a remarkable building, known among Plovdiv residents and guests of the city as the building with the Atlas, built in 1923 by architect Stoyko Stoychev. The facade’s design is inspired by the Art Deco style that was popular in Europe during that time. The figure of Atlas perched on the roof, supporting the celestial sphere is considered the work of Emilia Favretto-Sabeva. She is the Italian who arrived in Bulgaria with her husband Atanas Sabev – creator of the first school of trade and finance in southern Bulgaria.
The wine thread
Undoubtedly, the building and its history are extraordinary. The curious thing is that its connection with wine was discovered in the Plovdiv archives. With it, we will take you back 100 years, when the “Grand Hotel Molle” was opened in the adjacent building with a lavish celebration in 1911. “Grand Hotel Molle” was one of the most expensive and sophisticated hotels in Plovdiv at that time. The owner of the building was Dimitar Molle, a Bosnian who attracted aristocratic guests from Bulgaria and abroad not only with comfort and luxury but also with fresh food and first-class wine.
In proximity to the building was also the Grozdov Pazar (The grape market), on the site of the square of the same name today. In addition to selling grapes, the producers also displayed their best wine from their own vineyards. The market turned into an improvised competition for the best wine. During this period hotel and restaurant owners were able to purchase large quantities of wine. Its storage turned out to be a challenge for Dimitar Molle, who decided to rent the basement area of the Atlas building for this purpose. He stored there barrels of Stanimashka Malaga, Brezovsky Misket and other popular wines of the period. This was made possible by the fact that at that time the basements under all buildings were connected by doors for easier evacuation or to jointly use the necessary raw materials. This allowed the wine from the dozens of barrels in the basement of the Atlas building to be served in the building next door.
Opening and triple festivities
The opening of the new enoteca was also tied to the 100th anniversary of the building, as well as the 7th anniversary of the Atlas restaurant and showed the strong connection of wine with the culture and history of the city beneath the hills. The festive day was celebrated with a regional sparkling wine brunch, a mini exhibition of photos of the building from 1955, a tango performance and a presentation of the wine bar menu. The festive dinner was accompanied by a jazz performance of the incredible Vasil Petrov.
So much more than a wine bar
The team over at Cork.Fork aims to show the wealth of Bulgarian wine to Plovdiv residents and guests of the city by offering visitors individual and group tastings, themed wine dinners, a variety of wines by the glass, a selected selection of farm dairy and meat products and premium tapas and nibbles. Here you can realise an original wine team building or give a wine experience to your loved ones.
The variety of wines, the cosy atmosphere in the historic building in the city centre offers room for numerous wine tastings and other cultural events to take place. Our team (Gergana Todorova dipWSET and Krasimira Kodukova – oenologist and licensed guide) had the great pleasure of being part of the realisation of this project from the selection of wines to the concept of their offering.
But our joint work effort does not stop there. Coming up we have wine dinners, the first of which will be on November 16 with a Pinot Noir theme. Details will soon be announced on our Facebook pages
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Cork.Fork’s opening hours are daily from 12:00pm to 11:00pm.
Address: 41 Alexander Battenberg St