zelanos2Sungurlare is synonymous with grapes and wine. The valley is a little piece of paradise nestled in the southern foothills of the Balkan Mountains. The traditions in growing wine grapes are old, and most important trade roads pass by Sungurlare and commerce has always flourished. The town is located an hour’s drive from Burgas. It can be reached from Karnobat, or the Petolchkata.
Typical for this region is the variety of Sungurlarska Muscat, which recently reminded of itself. You should familiarize yourself with the ethnographic collection dedicated to grapes. Besides antiques and wonderful collection of icons, you will encounterb interesting facts about local varieties that have been created in the middle of the XX century on the basis of the red Muscat. They have already been replaced by imported modern varieties, but still local people nostalgically remember Ticha, Sredets and Bulgarian Riesling. You could even see how they looked, stored in jars.

A local leader in the “valley of wine” is “Vineks Slavyantsi.” The company processes over 600 hectares of vineyards, which produce wines, sparkling wines, spirits and liqueurs. Like any large company, it relies on mass production and sales at international markets.
If you want to taste the wine boutique in the area, you should head to small wineries such as :

“Chateau Zelanos” , which is located along the road between Slavyantsi and Sungurlare. It is a modernist building, which can accommodate visiting tourists. The winery is named after the Thracian god of wine and his name literally translates as “daydreaming desire.” “Zelanos” produce mostly white wines from 70 hectares of own land, and advance bookings are organized for tours and wine tastings. Call at least one day in advance. The “chateau” is open every day. The first vintage was in 2014, and the winery’s potential is yet to grow.

“Chateau Sungurlare” is situated on the road from Sungurlare to Lozarevo. Created in 2012, it mainly produces white wines from muscadine variety of Sungurlarska from 30 hectares of owned vineyards. The building of the winery is in a typical Renaissance style and must be examined from the inside. The site offers tastings and wine can be purchased from the company store.

Most of the interesting things in the region happen about the wine. The celebration of the municipality is on 14 February, when ritually the vines are cut and a cheerful procession is held to the place called Ichmyata. St. Trifon is among the most revered saints by local people. Many of the old traditions are reimbursed because of tourist interest. Week before Easter the ritual Lazaruvane takes place, and in the first days of summer the Butterfly ritual is held, when prays for rain are offered during a drought period. The best preserved traditions are in the Podvis village where local women are involved in folk groups. At that place there are finely preserved traditionally typical clothes for Balkan people.
When you reach the “valley of wine” you must combine grape elixir with adequate food. During the summer, eat more lean, and a very interesting delicacy named “Yarmya” - freshly sliced cucumbers in brine. You can try some specialties such as chicken with bulgur. There are wonderful fruit trees and you can feel the prunes or apples in your pork kebab. The qualities of white wine of the sort Sungurlarska Muscat complement perfectly with typical local dishes, prepared as if in a hurry, but always very healthy and delicious.

If you decide to stay for a few days, it is possible to stay in rural guest houses in Beronovo, or Sungurlare. The conditions there are great. The village Skalsko has a karst lake where trout thrives. Half an hour towards Kotel are the villages of Zheravna and Medven,which are architectural reserves and must be visited. On August in Zheravna the largest folklore festival in the country is organized. To participate, you must wear the traditional Bulgarian costume and do not carry a cell phone, or objects that have not been part of life in the XIX century. The memory of such an event is unforgettable.