Starosel Winery Complex & Spa
Starosel Winery was built in 2005 as a complex for wine & spa tourism and is situated at the foot of a historic hill near the village of Starosel. At Starosel Winery a centuries-old winemaking tradition lives in its modern home, where the Sredna Gora Mountains meet the Thracian Lowlands. Underneath the biggest Thracian sanctuary ever found in the Balkans, in a cozy monastery-like necklace of buildings lies the Starosel Winery Complex, logically named by its fascinated visitors “The Temple of Wine”.
Inspired by the ancient history and the great wine traditions in the region around the village of Starosel, the owner Mr. Angel Angelov decided to invest money, a lot of time and efforts to start this successful business venture. “Apart from money, we have put in a lot of emotions and prepared ourselves for the big challenge”, Angelov explains. From the very birth of his idea Angel Angelov imaged Starosel as much more than just another good winery. The project was large scale and apart from making wine, it is also focused on cultural and wine tourism. The buildings are made entirely of stone and wood, and provide all the necessary comfort to those looking for an excellent place to relax surrounded by the beauty and tranquility of the rural idyll. Apart from the convenient hotel and the restaurant with superb local cuisine, the complex has a spa center, large outdoor and indoor swimming pools, piano-bar, and an attractive mini zoo.
Wine is, of course, the foundation of everything in Starosel Winery Complex. In order to continue the glorious Thracian Traditions in winemaking, Mr. Angelov gave his trust to the proven Bulgarian oenologists – the brothers Valentin and Krasimir Bambalov. The winery has all the necessary modern equipment for high quality vinification and capacity of 1,000 tons of grapes annually.
Starosel Winery Complex has 70 ha of vineyards, 8 ha of which are in the area around the village, while the rest are close to the town of Pazardzhik. The varieties grown are Mavrud, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah – of the reds, Chardonnay, Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc – of the whites. By balancing modern with traditional winemaking techniques Starosel’s team tries to get the most out of the local soil and climate conditions and express the terroir into memorable wines.
One of their best results is the Terroir brand. This wine – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, truly tells a lot about the land of Sitalces and their heritage. The wine surprises with its harmony between fruit flavors and tangible oak nuance due to the 12-month aging in barriques. The different vintages bear the same style and quality, and have won numerous awards in Bulgaria and abroad.
The Starosel premium wine, named Millesime deserves special attention too. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, matured for 14 to 16 months in new oak barrels. Oenologists around the world call “millesime” those vintages to which the climate was most favorable and allowed the grapes to reach their best physiological ripeness and balanced structure.
The winery’s young wines carry the name “Starosel”. They impress with fresh fruity flavors and good intensity. The most worthy to mention are probably the Mavrud one, as well as the Chardonnay & Muscat blend.
The complex has also a modern distillery for high alcohol content drinks. Traditional Bulgarian grape and plum rakia of excellent quality is made here and can be tasted in the restaurant or bought at the wine shop.
The homage to the Thracian traditions can be seen everywhere in Starosel Winery Complex, but is most notable in the unique wine tasting hall which lies deep underground. It’s a truly special place – a replica of the Thracian Sanctuary at the Chetiniova Mound. The cupola architecture creates an astonishing acoustic effect – the sound of a person or an instrument played right in the center of the hall can be heard as an echo throughout the building. The wine-tasting hall is often used for special events and for reproduction of the Orphic rituals of the Thracians in an authentic setting. The hall also houses the oak barrels for maturation of the highest class wines along with an extensive oenotheque collection.
The Thracians used to drink wine in sacred rituals before entering battles and to connect with their gods. In the Starosel Winery Complex the spirit of this ancient civilization is alive more than ever and the wine made here – divinely exciting.