вторник, 30 юни 2009 г.

Interview in Fine Wine Magazine


June 2009
My long-lasting vision is to establish the ultimate Bulgarian wines in one of the finest wine regions in the world, capable of producing Grand Cru quality wines.

I strongly believe in organic and biodynamic farming, and we are the first producer in Bulgaria to apply those methods from the very first day we planted our vines. Our project is a challenge and a dream at the same time. The challenge is to be able to produce wines of the highest quality in a specific area of Bulgaria: South Sakar, which, we believe, has great potential and a unique terroir. Our dream is to see a Bulgarian wine on a par with wines from the best sites in the world.

Our first harvest in 2008 produced a small portfolio of wines. We produced 150 cases of Rosé and 150 cases of Syrah.

The recent trend of hot summers continued in 2008. In July and August we had sixty-three days of extremely hot weather with no rain. We reduced the yield per vine and picked earlier in order to ensure freshness and concentration of the fruit at the same time. The wines display classic elegance combined with the strength and exuberance typical of southern climates.
Many artisan wines can touch our soul in a profoundly similar way to the art of great composers, musical masterpieces, and musical heroes. All our wines will bear a musical subtitle, changing every vintage. Nature doesn't repeat itself, and we feel this is our way to celebrate the beauty of music and nature. The name of each wine is inspired by the spiritual and emotional power of a musical work.

ROSÉ En Blanc et Noir 2008 is a blend of Marselan (72%) and Merlot (28%). We picked on the 20th of September. Destemming, soft pressing of the whole berries, minimal contact with the skins and vinification of the free-run juice were the simple techniques we applied. We did not separate the two varietals but blended them from the very first moment. We used red wine cultivated yeasts. The wine was aged for 6 months in new French and Bulgarian oak 225 l. barrels and had minimal fining and filtration. No acidification, no added enzymes and minimal presence of sulphate are part of our philosophy. We like to think that this wine defies the category of rosé wines not only for our unorthodox approach, but also for the hedonistic and intellectual pleasure that also a rosé has the right to give.
The name En Blanc et Noir (In White and Black) is the title of a composition by Claude Debussy for two pianos composed in 1915. Being with my wife Fiamma classical concert pianists, we were rehearsing recently this beautiful piece and we found it particularly suitable to the wine we were making. I like also the unusual idea of a white (blanc) and red (noir) wine disguised as a rosé. 1893 bottles produced. Release Date: 1 June 2009

Ivo Varbanov, 65 Bollo Lane, London W4 5LU, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 7956 377 705, Email: ivarbanov@dsl.pipex.com
Web: www.ivovarbanov.com

петък, 26 юни 2009 г.

Environmentalists call for Boycott of South African wine

June 25, 2009
Sophie Kevany

A US-based conservation organisation has called for a Boycott of South African wine, following the shooting of over 40 beached whales near Cape Town.

Paul Watson, head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Captain of its eponymous 'eco-warrior' ship, has posted a demand on the Society's website exhorting the global public not to buy wine from South Africa.

He further demands that winemakers step in and force the departure of Mike Meyer, director of South Africa's Marine Coastal Management (MCM), who reportedly authorised the shooting.

South African wine producers have expressed outrage at the ban and questioned what it has to do with the shooting.

'I suppose it shows we are one of the most visible South African exports,' said winemaker Ross Sleet of Kleine Zalze winery in Stellenbosch.

'Touch wood it hasn't hurt sales; conservation is a priority for us.'

He added it was a warning to the industry that it could be at risk from unrelated events.

South African wine writer Michael Fridjhon called Watson's remarks outrageous.

MCM said its rationale for shooting the whales was that efforts to return the whales to the sea were unsuccessful.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, based in Friday Harbor, Washington, has made it a mission to stop illegal whaling off the southern coast of Antarctica, and is best known for targeting Japanese whalers.

Watson, whom critics have likened to a terrorist, features prominently on the Animal Planet television series Whale Wars.

вторник, 23 юни 2009 г.


and next to it, in Mill Valley again


cool cafe in Mill Valley

понеделник, 22 юни 2009 г.

Miro Cellars (Miro Tcholakov) 2006 Petite Sirah won Gold

Miro Cellars (Miro Tcholakov) 2006 Petite Sirah won Gold and Best of Class at the California State Fair 2009 Commercial Wine Competition (and no, Miro was not a judge in this category :)

За тези които не знаят, Миро Чолаков от Троян е в листата на 20 най-добри винари в Калифорния

събота, 20 юни 2009 г.

World refugee day

World refugee day

понеделник, 15 юни 2009 г.

4.5 liters for every liter of beer it made.


Water is becoming scarcer, raising a fear that so-far manageable price increases could spike and leading drink companies to take action to maintain access to water and fight their image as water hogs.

"Water is the new oil," said Steve Dixon, who manages the Global Beverage Fund at Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder, repeating what has become a mantra as climate change and population growth tax water supplies.

"As an investor, I'm not concerned about the reality," Dixon said, guessing there will always be enough water overall. "But I'm aware of the perceptions ... and you can't totally shrug it off because perceptions are important."

About a third of the world's people now live in areas of water stress, said Brooke Barton, manager of corporate accountability for Ceres, a network of environmental groups and investors seeking to address sustainability challenges. By 2025, she said it will be more like two-thirds.


Water is still cheap, but that is changing.

"(Water) is currently not a very big cost. The issue is where it will it go in the future," said Andy Wales, head of sustainable development for brewer SABMiller, which used 94.5 billion liters of water in its latest fiscal year. That works out to 4.5 liters for every liter of beer it made.

петък, 12 юни 2009 г.

Wine marketers try to get men's attention

Cal Dennison likes a nice cold glass of Chardonnay. And he's man enough to admit it.

That's hardly surprising since Dennison is winemaker at Modesto's Redwood Creek winery, but is he an exception?

Judging by some marketing campaigns, you might think so. Take the Super Bowl ad that ran a couple years back in which men invited to a wine and cheese party sneaked into the kitchen to unpack beer hidden in a fake wheel of cheese.

It was a stereotype played for laughs - in real life, lots of men like wine - but maybe one with a crumb of cultural truth. The designator for "average dude" in political campaigning last fall was Joe Six-Pack, not Peter Pinot Noir.

It's hard to say for sure exactly who's drinking what, but a Gallup Poll from July found that among women who drink, 43 percent say wine is what they drink most often and 28 percent say beer. Among men who drink, 58 percent say beer is what they drink most often and 17 percent say wine.

"As a general rule, guys get together, they don't want to be seen with a glass of wine," says Nelson Barber, an associate professor of hospitality management at Texas Tech University who has studied gender differences in marketing wine.

Wine companies would like to change that. In recent years, some have adopted guy-friendly marketing with tie-ins to such red-blooded pastimes as camping and racing.

Take Maximus, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot introduced by the Bennett Lane Winery in Calistoga a few years back. Bennett Lane, which owns a NASCAR team, is sponsoring a NASCAR West event at Infineon Raceway this Father's Day weekend.

Then there's "The Slammer," a Syrah from Big House Wines (their Soledad winery is near a California state prison), that features a label showing a tough-looking guy with pants slung at plumber level.

Redwood Creek doesn't define itself by gender - the outdoors isn't solely a male preserve - but it is sold under a campaign strong on muscular pursuits; corks are emblazoned with GPS coordinates leading to various hiking spots.

"Without a doubt, we start with the great outdoors," says Dennison, a horseman and fisherman. "If you decide to bring a little wine on an outdoor adventure, by golly, Redwood Creek is the wine of choice."

When selling wine, one thing you don't want to do is walk up to a guy in a wine shop and ask "Can I help you?" says Barber. He theorizes this may have something to do with that elusive asking-for-directions gene.

An opener like "What kind of occasion are you thinking of buying a wine for?" is a better bet, Barber says.


събота, 6 юни 2009 г.

Troy's Graduation

My oldest son, Troyan, named after my Dad, graduated Justin Siena High School in Napa. I am so happy and he is such a nice boy, so I am sharing this with you. After all Troy had packed so many boxes of fine Bulgarian wines and he is the one that did most of the Internet orders in the last 1-2 years. I am so proud of you Troy, go have fun and be happy and prosper. He is going to Sacramento State University.