Did you know that already since V-VI century B.C. the ancient Thracians were making and drinking wine? Did you know that various wine utensils and appliances were found in the area of Starosel in Bulgaria during the archaeology research?
Are you looking for an enjoyable and affordable wine destination to spend a day or two or simply sip a glass of wine in a peaceful atmosphere?
Take a deeper look at Starosel and maybe it will become your next destination to explore.
The village of Starosel and brief description of the complex “Starosel”
Starosel is located in the central part of Hisarya Municipality, Plovdiv region, beyond the southern slopes of Real Sredna gora, 180 km distance from Sofia to Starosel. Less than 2 hours drive from Sofia, 45 minutes drive from Plovdiv, the complex offers its guests spectacular views, delicious cuisine, remarkable and award-winning wines and a unique sense of peace, comfort and relaxation.
Wine & Spa complex Starosel is situated at the foot of the Thracian cult center, famous Thracian Valley and it has been mentioned in 100 National Tourist Sites of Bulgaria.
Unique Location of the Winery “Starosel”
Winery "Starosel" was built in 2005. The manufacturing plant has an annual processing capacity of 1000 tons of grapes and has a unique for Bulgaria manufacturing technology, as well as modern equipment for fermentation and selection of grapes.
Technologists and winemakers from cellar "Starosel" carry through the centuries the tradition of the ancient Thracians, who have left a gift in the art to make and drink wine. Did you know that the Starosel winery has a unique location? It was found by the ancient Thracians, who had the following method of choosing the place to live:
Before setting down in a particular place, the Thracians observed the nature: the trees, the birds, and the animals. If everything was fine, they made the shelter and stayed 40 days there. The Thracians believed in gods and their power and will. They thought that if gods want them to stay, they will give them sign in the form of a dream. Every morning they discussed their dreams and the thoughts. Only after 40 days, they made decisions whether the place is suitable for living.
“Bulgarian Wine’s” Travel & Wine Experience in Starosel
The complex “Starosel” is situated in 15 minutes from the village Starosel, which is a friendly, peaceful and green village. The 45 minutes’ drive from Plovdiv was a pleasant experience due to good roads and lovely summer weather.
At first glance, the complex “Starosel” seemed to be different from what we’ve expected it to be (in a positive meaning of this phrase). It is a huge place, which has a lot to offer.
We were lucky to visit the place on a surprisingly pleasant summer day, which (as it has turned out) was a right weather for spa & wine. Thus, it allowed us to explore all the beauties and peculiarities of the complex till the moment we got to the heart of Starosel – the winery.
The complex is full of positive energy that’s why it is suitable for different animals and birds to feel home there, such as barn swallows. In Bulgarian and other Slavic cultures, the barn swallow is a very welcomed bird by people. It was a symbol of the spring awakening and revival of life. The barn swallow nesting in buildings meant the well-being and good fortune for its owners. Therefore people were happy because of the company of swallows.
There are plenty of them. There is also a lovely zoo, which is part of the complex. If you want you can have a walk there and even feed the animals, you are welcomed. Though the big attraction of the complex are pheasants, which not just only feel like the owners of the place, but also meet and entertain the guest of the restaurant “Starosel.” They are very active in the night and even fly over the roofs. Even if you don't notice them from the very beginning of your stay, you will hear them – they are the local singers.
Spa, Relaxation and More
The complex offers indoor as well as outdoor activities: swimming pools, saunas, Jacuzzi.
The special services of the wine spa “Starosel” are various wine therapies to satisfy even demanding clients:
Instead of regular parasols – the natural shadow from the vine,
Instead of standard furniture – the hand-made furniture from wood
Instead of ordinary wine – the heaven-sent drink of the Gods.
Instead of common tasting room – the authentic Thracian ritual temple.
Wine Tour and Wine Tasting
“A tour of Wine Cellar “Starosel” that reveals some of their secrets of wine in the magic atmosphere of the dungeons”. – The title of the tour is stated…
We decided to jump at a chance to get to know the secrets of the place.
We began our journey starting with the history of the complex. As it turned out, the Winery "Starosel" is already more than 10 years old! The manufacturing plant has an annual processing capacity of 1000 tons of grapes and has an unique for Bulgaria manufacturing technology, as well as special Italian equipment for fermentation and selection of grapes. Except for wine, the winery produces grozdova and muscatova rakia (a traditional Bulgarian drink).
The climate of the region is continental. It is characterized by:
- Hot, dry summers with enough of rainfall throughout the growing season.
- Soft and warm winter without spring frosts.
The soils are red clay and maroon, which are rich in active carbonates with excellent mechanical structure, extremely suitable for growing red grapes such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
The Treasure of Starosel - “The new temple of god Dionysus.”
The winery “Starosel” is proud to have a really unique of its kind temple, which used to serve as a spiritual place for performing wedding ceremonies and magical rituals.
Nowadays the temple is a tasting room, which gives every visitor of the winery the opportunity to taste the wine from the land of the Thracians as well as to plunge into the atmosphere of Ancient Times. The new shining authentic ritual temple allows you to revive the ancient tradition and attitude to the wine of the Thracians. The unique atmosphere and acoustics along with the delicious wines evoke a spiritual state of mind. The winery offers a service: you can store your wine there.
There is one more thing that makes the temple immensely special. It is almost impossible to describe it in words; it is something that you need to experience. When you stand in the middle of the temple and make a sound, it will give you a resonance, which no one except you will able to hear.
Our guide was quite knowledgeable about the winery as well as the wines of Starosel and friendly agreed to make a wine tasting according to our wishes. There were 5 samples of red wine along with a plate of bread, apple, meat, and cheese.
1. Starosel Syrah, 2015
An ideally bright wine with saturated solid color marked by ruby and violet nuances. It’s powerful and expressive aroma characterized by its fruit nature (cherry and forest fruits) combined with light and fragrant violet shades. Its taste is rich, soft and harmonious with excellent volume and fruit structure.
2. Starosel Mavrud, 2015
Fresh and intense wine with fruit character (raspberry, blackberry, wild strawberry). Freshness and fruitiness on the palate with notes of oak.
3. Starosel Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015
The wine is praised for its perfect clarity and a sparkling, radiant, ruby color. Its aroma is dominated a variety of fruits (cherry, raspberry, blueberry)
4. Starosel Starosel “Terroir.”
The wine has a distinctive saturated crimson color mesmerizing with its lustrous brilliance. The complex and fascinating bouquet finds the balance between the inherent for high-quality oak nuances of vanilla, chocolate, and flavorings along with the aroma of overripe grape with red stone fruit.
5. Starosel “Millesime.”
The wine has a distinctive intensive ruby color with lustrous brilliance. Its aroma is complex, massive and in the end – delicate and fascinating. The well marked fruity character is complementary to the vanilla and cocoa nuances. Smooth and balanced taste of the wine created long-lasting aftertaste.
The treasure of the winery is called “Wine Treasure.” The wine is with distinctive intense, warm garnet color. Complex on the nose with black fruits concrete from the blended grapes. Smooth, elegant and round taste.
The one tiny detail that all the wines (we tried) had in common was distinguishable though unobtrusive sweetness.
What about Food? Welcome the Restaurants of Starosel
Speaking of the food, Starosel gives you two options: restaurant “Starosel” and “Terroir.” We chose both.
Restaurant “Starosel” has nearly 200 seats, with a garden, small fountain next to it, great view, and friendly staff. The restaurant offers typical Bulgarian cuisine prepared exclusively using bio-products. The guests can enjoy the wines of Winery "Starosel," try the famous "salad" Merakliyka "for Staroselska brandy" and many other delicious surprises that the chef has prepared for them.
We had our lunch there: typical chicken soup and Starosel’s kyufteta (Bulgarian roasted meatballs) accompanied with homemade berry drink.
Restaurant “Terroir” is a little hidden behind the vine and it makes it less noticeable when you enter the complex. The main grape varieties of Starosel are Mavrud, Merlot, Syrah, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay.
Except for the wine list with a detailed description of the Starosels wines, you are recommended to try “The Wines of the Cellar” (draft wines /wines on tap), which are exclusive wines made by the winemakers of Starosel. You can enjoy them ONLY in the restaurants of Starosel. It is incredibly delicious. We even wanted to buy a bottle or two, but they don’t sell it in bottles. It is a unique wine in the restaurant “Terroir.” Apart from wine, they have a rich cuisine, impressive view, well-briefed professional staff, who knows how to deal with incidents and make their customers feel pleased.
The stay in Wine & Spa “Starosel” was an enjoyable wine adventure, pleasant hotel experiences, full of happy spa emotions and lasting memories.
If you are looking for a place to relax, take your mind off, taste good wine and eat delicious food, Starosel is the right place to do it. If you wish to experience the unique history and the terroir of the Thracian Valley, go to Starosel. Winery “Starosel” is open daily for a wine tour and tasting accommodations to savor and enjoy their wines.
Complex Starosel annually celebrates Trifon’s Day, Midsummer Day and Queen of wine. If you want to stay up-to-date with the various events and celebrations in Starosel Complex check out their official facebook page.
Have you ever been to Starosel? What did you enjoy most of all?
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