In the foothills of Stara Planina, just 15 km from Veliko Turnovo, where the northern starting point of the Pass of the Republic is, you’ll find he village of Natsovtsi. It originated in the first half of the 19th century along with the construction of the new church in the Kilifarevo Monastery “Nativity of the Virgin” and still preserves the memory of its founders to this very day. The monastery is the key tourist attraction in the village with its unusual location next to the bank of Belitza river and the church which has an exquisite stone façade, the work of the most prominent Bulgarian Rennaissance craftsman Kolyu Ficheto.
The first harvest of Dragoshinov winery was in 2019. Despite the short history of the cellar, its creation is based on the knowledge and many years of experience of the oenologist and owner Daniel Dragoshinov. The winery does not have its own vineyards and for the creation of the wines the purposeful and long-term cooperation with experienced winegrowers who grow excellent wine grapes is important. Most of the wines produced by the Dragoshinov winery are of the classic varieties Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah. In recent years, Daniel Dragoshinov has also been working with Aligote grown in old vineyards near the town of Lyaskovets. Its purpose is to revive interest in this forgotten in Bulgaria but otherwise popular classic white variety.
At the moment the winery only produces about 8,000 bottles per year, and the number of bottles per label varies between 250 and 1,400.
It is unlikely that there is another small winery with such a strong professional image in Bulgaria. Here everything is subordinated to the wine and done in the best way in regards to technology. At the same time, the cellar is located among the idyllic greenery of the southern side of Stara Planina. There is no better place to taste the excellent wines of Dragoshinov Cellar than from the comfort of the country yard under the big walnut tree where you can hear the story of each wine told by the source – its creator. Daniel sees winemaking as a complex process in which the most important thing is to take into account how the land has contributed to the grapes, listen to yourself and follow the character of the variety.
The cellar’s trademark is the Pelin they make using a traditional Kilifarevo recipe which Daniel Dragoshinov has perfected over two decades. The recipe calls for 28 different herbs many of which are picked by the Dragoshinov family during the summer, while the actual making of the Pelin happens around Dimitrovden (a patron holiday celebrating those with the name Dimitar and similar on October 26th) and it takes craft work but with the help of close friends and family it truly becomes a wonderful autumnal celebration.
Wine cellar Dragoshinovo along with Natsovtsi village is a wonderful stop for those traveling from the north down south or from the west going east, for those visiting Veliko Turnovo and mostly to those who wholeheartedly enjoy excellent wine.
Tsarevets is a hill in Veliko Tarnovo, as well as a fortress of the same name in mediaeval Tarnovgrad. It was the main Bulgarian fortress during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185 – 1396) when Tarnovo was the capital of the kingdom. The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of the Lord, one of the sites of the 800-year anniversary of the uprising of Asenovtsi, the liberation from Roman rule and the restoration of the Bulgarian state, was opened for visits in November 1985.
The Dryanovo Monastery “St. Archangel Michael” is an active Bulgarian men’s monastery, 5 kilometres southwest of the town of Dryanovo and 15 kilometres from the town of Gabrovo. The mediaeval monastery “St. Archangel Michael” was founded during the time of Tsar Kaloyan after the relics of Saint Michael the Warrior were transferred from Potuka (an unknown settlement in Thrace) to Tarnovgrad around 1206.
Regional open-air ethnographic museum “Etar” is an open-air museum located in Etara district, 8 km south of the central part of Gabrovo. It is a reconstruction of the traditional Bulgarian way of life, culture and craftsmanship. It is the first museum of its kind in Bulgaria. An artisan bazaar presents 16 examples of Balkan architecture, revealing the original talent of the Renaissance builders.