Wine merchants La Boisseraie have been distributing Enira since La Bessa Valley Winery, located 150 kilometres south-east of Bulgaria’s capital Sofia, was founded
There were no vines when renowned winemaker Stephan Von Neipperg and Dr Karl-Heinz Hauptmann purchased the land in 2001 from around 800 residents near the village of Ognianovo.
It now boasts 140 hectares of vines and produces hundreds of thousands of bottles every year which are sold around the world. Marc Dworkin, who manages the winemaking process, said: “We are producing around 600,000 bottles, including around 460,000 from barrels and the rest in tanks. Our harvests start at the end of august for the whites and finish between the second and third week of October.” Bulgaria’s Bessa Valley has been a wine producing region for thousands of years and is becoming increasingly popular on the international stage. This is made clear by the fact La Bessa Valley now exports the majority of its crop to ‘overseas’ markets including the United States, UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, Russia, and more recently China, Japan and Hong Kong. Mr Dworkin said: “We are exporting to 26 countries, with one third of our sales in Bulgaria and two thirds abroad. Obviously Covid has made things difficult, but it’s good because things are now starting to reopen. The only worry I have is Japan, which represents a big share of my market.” The domaine manually picks around 650 000 kg of grapes every year, which are aged exclusively aged French oak barrels. These are kept in the winery’s specially designed stone cellar, which has been partly carved out of the rock to maintain a constant temperature and level of humidity.
La Boisseraie’s sales manager Navarre Louis explained how the Bordeaux wine merchant stumbled upon Enira. He said: “La Boisseraie was founded in 1999 and we’ve been distributing Enira for around 20 years. We chose this wine because of its quality. We were mainly distributing Bordeaux wines when the owner asked if we would like to try his Bulgarian wine. They had to replant all the vines so the first real cuvées of reds came out in 2004 and the white in 2019. Sales were difficult for the first few years, but now – seven or eight years later – we are selling between 35 and 45,000 bottles a year in France.” Bulgaria is not the only country on La Boisseraie’s wine list, which also features bottles from Hungary and Romania.