Nestled along the banks of the Danube River, Bononia Estate is named for the ancient Roman Fortress that occupied the spot now known as the town of Vidin, where Roman armies brought vines for the cultivation of wine grapes. After careful soil analysis, the area was re-planted to grape in 2013 and the first vintage was produced in 2016. The Danube River appellation of Bulgaria is a moderate to cool region, with warm, dry days and cold evenings during the growing season. This large diurnal shift, coupled with breezes from the Danube, allows for ecological viticulture. Utilizing organic practices in tandem with technological advances and a keen eye for sustainability, Bononia Estate crafts nervy, fruit-forward and balanced wines, focusing on Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and the exciting, vibrant, autochthonous local varietal, Gamza. Bulgarian wine has long been eschewed by “serious” wine drinkers as cheap, cheerful and forgettable. However, Bononia Estate is part of the modern landscape of Bulgarian winemaking, with a focus on fine wines as opposed to bulk production. The wine world is beginning to take notice!
There are only two wine growing regions in Bulgaria: the Thracian Lowlands and the Danubian Plain. The latter lies south of the iconic Danube River, with the Black Sea to the East and Serbia and Macedonia to the West. The region enjoys as many sunlight hours during the growing season as Northern Italy and Portugal, allowing for full ripening of both international and indigenous varieties. The movement of the Danube River, as well as the influence of the Black Sea, moderate heat during the day and keep the evenings cool, ensuring brilliant acid levels in the wines. The yields are remarkably small in Bulgaria, with an average of only 4.3 tons/ha. By comparison, the US averages 18 tons/ha. Jancis Robinson has noted the exceptional potential of this northwestern part of Bulgaria and the wine world is starting to pay attention.
Planted in 2013 utilizing the Guyot training system, these vineyards are strategically placed just south of the Danube, along its banks. The fast flowing water and accompanying breezes keep the grapes cool and dry during the growing season. The soil has great drainage and is composed of dark loam created by the ancient forests surrounding the region. These are true cool climate vineyards, so canopy management is key to ensuring the grapes get enough sunlight.
Sauvignon Blanc originates from the French regions of Loire Valley and Bordeaux. The grape most likely gets its name from the French words sauvage (“wild”) and blanc (“white”) due to its early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France. Sauvignon Blanc often buds late but ripens early, which allows it to perform well in sunny climates when not exposed to overwhelming heat. Sauvignon Blanc grows in nearly every winemaking region on earth and is produced using a variety of methods, resulting in a wide spectrum of styles that range from lean to bountiful. It is a popular and unmistakable white that is loved for its “green” herbal flavors and inherently high acidity.
Hand-harvested from selected bunches and sorted for any berries affected by Botrytis or mildew. The grapes are gently pressed into stainless steel for fermentation with selected yeasts. Some short term lees contact is used for mouth-feel and texture. Bottled youthful and vibrant.
Fresh and clean, with characteristic tropical fruits, canned peas, pink grapefruit and minerality. On the palate, there is a hint of sweetness on entry, with flavours of quince, grapefruit, ginger and lime, all with lip-smacking acidity. Serve chilled with baked brie, Spring Mix salads or roast chicken.