For thousands of years wine has had a special place in the Bulgarian lands. And even though the vogue of so-called garage wines from small wineries and limited lots comes from France, Bulgaria too has good reason to be proud of its wines. Many boutique wine cellars have been set up with consideration and respect of tradition. Nikolay Dalakov has a small winery in Zmeevo village near Stara Zagora (Southern Bulgaria). He established it after gaining an impressive amount of international experience in the industry.
In Bulgarian tradition February is the month of vine-growers and wine-makers. With the start of the month of February the pruning of the vines begins. Once the ritual pruning of the first vine twig was done on 14 February, the day of St. Trifon, old style. This day came to be known as Trifon Zarezan (Pruner) – a tradition that is still popular to this day. After the calendar reform the church started celebrating the day of St. Trifon on 1 February or 13 days earlier.