Wines of the Balkans
The wines of the Balkans differ greatly. Many of these wines do not play a major role in the international wine market, yet they are worth noting.
The Former Yugoslavia: The wines of this region seem to be an acquired taste to many. Many wine drinkers believe that their most famous wine, Zilvaka, tastes like bruised apples. The most well known wines of this area are very earthy, dark reds.
Bulgaria: Bulgaria exports about 80% of its wines due to the heavy Muslim population there. Bulgarian red wines are usually pale and high in quality. Two of the more famous Bulgarian wines are Pamid and Gamza.
Hungary: While many other nations attempt to follow the French method of wine production, Hungary holds onto her traditional methods. This country produces fiery red wines and strong white wines that can accompany spicy foods. Hungary also produces Tokay, the famous sweet wine produced from grapes with noble rot.
Greece: Many individuals believe that the Ancient Greeks were the first to study wine production. The prototype for wine cultivation that the Greeks provided us with has been modified and improved over centuries. Today, the Greeks make excellent table wines of both the red and white varieties. Although Greece is not a major exporter of its wines, her large tourism industry helps promote them. Note: Another page is focused exclusively on the wines of Greece
Romania:Although Moldavian wines were greatly sought after in 19th century Paris, they do not have the same level of international fame today. The best export wines of Romania are the rich honeyed wines Traminer and Pinot Gris.
Turkey: Even though Turkey’s vineyard land is the fifth largest in the world, she produces little wine. When Phylloxera struck Europe, Turkey began to make wine for exportation. Today, however, these wines are not well known globally, since many do not appeal to western tastes.