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The vineyards in Levunovo, Struma River Valley, Bulgaria

Striving for harmony, freedom of expression, nature, romance, beauty… This list goes on, but these are the main elements that the wines of Via Verde embody. Everything starts with the name Via Verde – translated from Latin “Green Road”. As we all look for a green path in our lives, Via Verde is looking for the same in its wines.

The idea of ​​Via Verde was born in 2013, not long ago, the first vintage was harvested. The villages Ilindentsi and Levunovo are not only located near the town of Sandanski, and are a home to the vineyards of the Via Verde project – a source of sun, light, nature, and warmth. The warmth, which embodies every single grape berry of Struma River valley.

Grapes from Struma Valley

The Mediterranean climate of the region, the large number of sunshine hours and Ilindentsi’s vineyards altitude of 400 to 600 m contribute to the unique combination of fresh, abundantly ripe fruit, supplemented by a minerality that cannot be missed. In turn, this adds acidity, elegance, structure, and freshness to the overall finish.

The dragonfly – a symbol of Via Verde

The team of Via Verde believes that when you meet a dragonfly, it is a sign that you have to change your life – look at yourself and give freedom to your will. That is why the dragonfly is the blessed symbol of the winery. This transformation, the quest for the new and mysterious, creativity and naturality, stands out in each of the four limited series of wines – Debut, Expressions, Motif, Nomad Spirit. Knowing such harmony and vibrancy can hardly be achieved the first time, Via Verde continues to experiment tirelessly, looking for completeness and sending many messages to the wine lover.

Expressions Sandanski Misket Single Vineyard

I have specifically chosen to review the Expressions wine series. Here again is found the main concept of the winery – a search for a balance between fruit that is left to freely express itself without the influence of oak barrels and feminine freshness, rising from acidity and salineness.The result? The white wine Sandanski Misket made entirely from the local grape variety of the same name, gathered from a single vineyard. Consequently, this wine is a true triumph, a victory of freshness and the feminine elegance that slips into each drop. A Mediterranean breeze of fine grapefruit flavors, citrus fruits, supplemented by light tones of peach and tropical fruit, with a smoothly carved and unobtrusive body. A delight for the palate, both on its own and in the company of fresh salads, seafood, and summer meals, also bringing a sense of lightness.

And after the summer calmness comes the time of awareness. Our attention is drawn by the motive for marriage, expressed in the Early Melnik and Cabernet Franc blend, which is one of the red wine offerings in the Via Verde Expressions series. When a local grape variety such as Early Melnik is combined with a traveler from another land such as Cabernet Franc, still rarely used and mystical to Bulgarian winemaking, everyone is impatiently thirsty waiting for the result. It is a robust nuance of fine spices, red pepper, added by the guest Cabernet Franc, welcomed by the abundant and aromatic red fruit, succulence of ripe cherries, skillfully contributed by the host Early Melnik.And in the end, the two partners leave a mysterious dry finish, firm tannin, inviting the explorer for more and more. The result of this magnificent marriage, featuring an endless feast on the palate, would be perfectly combined with fresh red meats such as lamb, beef, duck, cooked medium rare to maintain juice and seasoned with pepper sauce or slightly sweet coulis.

Maria and Veronika, part of the Via Verde team

By tasting these pleasant surprises described above, it is inevitably to ask: “Who is behind this project? Who is the culprit to have this grace? “

The answer is the tireless, extremely hard work of three ladies, a small family – Mariana, Veronica, and Maria. Mother, daughter, and niece, who do not accept the grayness of everyday life but seek the magic of grace and uniqueness in the wine, sometimes wandering between the challenges the wine business often forces them face. But their thirst for harmony and completeness drives them towards more experiments and many new wine adventures. 

And the first successful results are in our hands.

Author Pavlin Ivanov