Winery BRATANOV is a typical family venture – a dream come true of a dad and his two sons, to restore the genetically inherited wine-growing tradition after a 50 year break… In 2015 they were joined by oenologist Maria Stoeva who graduated from Dijon, France.
The 44 hectares of own vineyards were planted in the period 2006-2018 with the classic noble varieties Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Viognier, as well as with the local Mavrud, Rubin, Gamza and Tamyanka. Their terrains are situated atop the sunny hillsides of they mystical Sakar mountain in two seperate areas near the village of Shishmanovo near Harmanli. The Maritsa river passing nearby and the winds from the Aegean Sea penetrating along its course create an almost Mediterranean climate. As a result of the variety of soils, the specific microclimate and the ancient winemaking traditions that the locals carry in their blood since the time of the Thracians, South Sakar produces some of the most terroir and authentic wines of Bulgaria. In order to ensure complete independence in the autumn of 2010 the Bratanovi family opened their own winery where modern technologies are combined with artisanal approaches. They work skilfully with a variety of oak barrels and experiment boldly an example of which are their spontaneous “wild” fermentations. The strong symbiotic relationship between the earth and the vineyards, between the varieties in the coupage and between the different generations is what inspires the name of their first wine series “Symbiose”. The series “Shishmanovo Vineyards” presents wine from local varieties made using only the best grapes from particular alotments – for now Tamyanka and Mavrud. The first vintage Tamianka Single Vineyard 2013 is the wine which manages to revive this variety in Bulgaria and its populatiry goes beyond the borders of Bulgaria. Subsequently, more and more wineries from different regions of Bulgaria began to work with this aromatic Balkan variety…. In recent years the wines from the series “South Sakar Selection” have become emblematic, using only international varieties – Chardonnay Sur Lie, red Merlot and Syrah blend, the varietal Syrah Sans Barrique and the rose blend Rosé Pamplemousse from vintage 2019. In their latest 3-BLEND series, they have created three wines that are unique in their kind in the whole world, triple blends between local and international varieties: 3-Blend Red (Cabernet Franc & Merlot & Rubin), 3-Blend Rosé (Mavrud & Gamza & Rubin) and 3-Blend White (Chardonnay & Viognier & Tamyanka). The highest class are the Private Reserve varietal wines from selected barrels, with the wine aging in them for a minimum of 24 months. Ever since 2013 the young Merlot from Shishmanovo is among the crowd’s favorites which in 2017 won the audience award from the Young Wine Show in Plovdiv. For several years now the wine has also carries a noble cause – its sales support the activities of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds and in particular their project for the protection of the population of the Imperial Eagle in Sakar. The philosophy that the Bratanov Winery team follows steadfastly is that their wines should reflect the experimental spirit of their creators and their origins in South Sakar, leaving a sense of authenticity, warmth and distinctive individuality. The Bratanovi family or their oenologist Maria Stoeva will greet you personally and accompany you in a tasting session or a tour of the vineyards. A booking in advance is required. The wines of winery Bratanov can be tasted and purchased in the regional Enoteca in Harmanli Sakar wine shop & tasting room.
Perperikon is the largest ancient and sacred city in the Balkans. It is carved from stone, hence its name, which is associated with the Thracian stone god Per. It is located on the Perperikon hill of the same name in the Eastern Rhodopes, 15 km northeast of Kardzhali. In the eternal city are the remains of the sanctuary of the god Dionysius with the famous altar of predictions. It has often been compared to the magnificent Temple of Apollo at Delphi. In the past, the area was a rich source of gold, from which the Perpera gold coins were minted.
The stone mushrooms are rock formations located right by the village of Beli Plast on the side of the road connecting Kardzhali with Haskovo. The protected area is around 3 hectares. They have been declared a natural landmark since 1974. The rock formations have the shape of natural mushrooms – their stumps are pink and their caps are greenish.
The museum centre “Thracian Art in the Eastern Rhodopes” is located in the immediate vicinity of the Alexandrov Tomb. A highlight of the exhibition hall of the museum centre is the exact copy of the original tomb of Alexander. Through the replica, visitors are given the opportunity to get acquainted with a truly unique monument of ancient art in Thrace. The rich exposition also shows numerous artefacts from the Thracian period in the region of the city of Haskovo, a large part of which can be seen in the frescoes of the Alexander Tomb – weapons, jewellery, dishes, etc.