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Garafa: Eco-Home of Bulgarian Wine

Garafa is the Portugues word for a bottle – and indeed, there are many Garafas in the wine shop in central Sofia! We paid them a short visit with the Balkan Bites Free Food Tour, but then we returned for a glass or two more. It features domestic Bulgarian wines, but primarily stands for the Tipchenitza Winery of Northwest Bulgaria. Tipchenitza Winery is a small boutique winery in the picturesque village of Tipchenitsa, located in the hilly Northwest of Bulgaria. The region boasts centuries-old traditions in quality wine production as well as some of the best grape varieties.

The place is not too big, but cozy atmosphere is guaranteed over a massive table where wine tasting is done. All around us are bottles with many unknown names, inviting us for a Bulgarian wine adventure. The young owner is not so comfortable speaking English, but our Balkan language proximities solves many issues, and wine starts to pour in our glasses.

Garafa is an eco-friendly place. Tap wine is sold for a good price but not in any package. Garafa offers reusable glass bottles which became almost a symbol of this wine shop. “We are completely environmental-friendly, because the zero-waste concept means not only recycling, but also reducing your waste to a minimum by shopping responsibly and consciously, replacing disposable products with reusable ones”, says the manager.

From the professional tap wine system comes our red wine favourite. It is Tochka Rubin, a wine of intensive ruby colour, aromas of red fruits, tobacco and dark chocolate, and with fruity and berry taste. Very drinkable wine goes great with grilled meats, baked pork, and grilled vegetables. Otherwise, Tochka line of wines is produced from different grape varieties selected by technologists from vineyards all over Bulgaria. You will find a great choice of varietal wines and blends such as Vrachanski Misket, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Rosé, Rubin, Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot.

In the Oak Barrel series you will find wine aged in oak barrels made from organically grown grapes in our own vineyards on the hills above the village of Tipchenisa. The first one from the series are from vintage 2018. Winemaker Nadya Mineva particularly recommends the Orange Vrachanski Misket, a wine of ethereal amber colour and intensive aromas of dried herbs, dried apricot, quince and caramel.

In the Vratitza and TI-RE series the winery produces wines for trade partners. The grapes for these wines are from our own vineyards just a few kilometers from the cellar. You will find wines from the unique local varieties Vrachanski Misket and Rubin, as well as their blends with the popular grape varieties Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The producing company is proud of progressive wine making: “Tipchenitza Winery is dedicated to preserving the environment and merging it with the art of winemaking. Our mission is to create exquisite wines while simultaneously caring for nature, leaving a better place for future generations. The vineyard cultivation process is entirely organic. We proudly say that the majority of our vineyards are certified as organic. This means that we employ natural methods and do not use pesticides or chemicals that could harm the environment. Committed to ecology and believers in sustainable farming, we create wines that embody the purity and natural essence of nature.”

And not only that. For every bottle sold from the Oak Barrel series, they donate two leva to the Mayor’s office in Tipchenitsa or to the "Consciousness 1899" Community Center in the village, as a commitment to the community. It is a sheer pleasure to drink a wine from such socially aware company!

Garafa Wine Shop

Tsar Ivan Shishman Street 18, Sofia


Photos by Taste of Adriatic & Tipchenitza Winery

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