Located south of the Balkan Mountains, bound by the Black Sea to the East and Greece to the south, Bulgaria’s Thracian Valley is considered by many historians to be one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world. Recently unearthed archaeological evidence suggests that wine was made 7,000 years ago by members of the cult of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. The lowlands have a mild climate, rolling hills and a maritime influence that provide a perfect environment for growing grapes. Mavrud is a red grape indigenous to Thrace, and one of the country’s oldest varieties. It’s name comes from the Greek word “mavro” for black, an apt name for a thick skinned grape that yields deeply colored, robust wine with deep notes of dark berries and chocolate. This bottling is fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak barrels for a year before bottling. Try this red with steak, lamb, or a rustic dish like sausage and white beans.