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The vineyard

Abdyika vineyard was founded in 2005 by the Ganev family with the ambition to create unique quality wines from Bulgaria. The property is situated in the south-west corner of the country where the four mountains Pirin, Belasica, Alibotush and Ograzden form the Strimona valley, origin of the Melnik grape.

Abdyika is also the ancient name of the slope where the farm is situated. It originates from the Persian word ab meaning and the Latin word di meaning God.  Abdyika is used today freely translated as Fruit of the Gods which is a suitable indication of the micro-climate of the region which is ideal for viticulture.  “… The soil is rich in minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium both at the surface and deeper levels. Light and mineral-rich soil with good mechanical and physical properties is essential for the cultivation of grapes in order to produce wines with unique qualities. Considering the excellent climate as well as the content and properties of the soil the examined terrain can be classified as highly suitable for the cultivation of special quality grape varieties…” This was the conclusion made by Professor M. Penkov having conducted extensive analyses of the soil on the property. He also participated actively in the planning and building of the vineyard.  Professor Penkov is a recognized expert who has won many national and international awards, among others from Oxford University where he has held the position of Visiting Professor since 1992.

The building of the farm was started during the autumn of 2005, when the vegetation was cleared and the soil was ploughed to a depth of 70 cm. The selection of grape varieties, the planting and binding formations as well as harvest amount were optimized with the sole purpose of obtaining maximum quality grapes. Despite low rainfall of around 550 mm yearly, the Abdyika wine fields are not artificially watered. This means an increased need for manual labour, especially during the first few years, but is deemed necessary for the vines to survive and be rooted at a depth of 5-6 meters where the calcium and mineral concentration is high, and for the roots to reach groundwater.

The vineyard’s terroir, the vines’ deep root system and a low harvest amount are prerequisites for a high concentration of phenols (aromatic flavour, tannins, colour…) and acidity.

Abdyika’s main grape variety is Melnik and its clone variants Ruin and Melnik -55, with the addition of the Bordeaux varieties Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This makes it possible to create interesting blends which are optimized in accordance with the weather conditions of a particular year.

Today Abdyika vineyard is run as a commercial enterprise together with 30 co-owners, all taking a great interest in wine production. It employs around 20 people whose intensive manual labour makes it possible to produce Abdyika’s high quality ecological wines. The total yearly production is presently 50–60 tons of grapes, or just above one kilo per vine, yielding approximately 45–50 000 bottles of wine.

Cultivation area: 12 ha

Planting density: 4200 plants per ha

Varieties/number of plants:
– Melnik -55 (25 000 plants)
– Ruen (5 000 plants)
– Bred Melnik (7 000 plants)
– Cabernet Sauvignon (7 500 plants)­
– Merlot (7 500 plants)

 Formation: Double Guyot
Harvest amount:  About 1 kg per plant

Wine production (yield) per hectare: 2 500–3000 liters