The approach and philosophy of Neragora is based on an understanding of the uniqueness of the terroir and the climatic conditions of the area. Most important for us is to preserve the connection between soil, vines and environment. The lighter the human hand in guiding natural processes, the higher the quality achieved. Our aim is to preserve the natural balance of the vine within its environment. Yields per plant are kept low – this way the vines are not stressed and can face challenging situations such as summer droughts. Our choice of organic viticulture is based firstly on the characteristics of the area – the climate is excellent for viticulture: it is dry and ventilated and allows us to minimise the applicantion of invasive treatments. The soils benefit from natural drainage, there are no pockets of humidity, the climate is dry with no fog formation and there is a pronounced difference between day and night temperatures. The grapes are naturally healthy without need of special care. We have the same “hands-off” approach in the winery as well. With such high quality grapes, organic vinification is a natural choice – there is no reason to manipulate or modify the process by applying biotechnologies or using excessive sulphur or other fermentation additives that can alter the characteristics of the grapes. In order to maintain the integrity of the soil, we keep the natural grass cover in all our vineyards. In this way the richness and vitality of the first few centimetres of surface soil is preserved, which is very important for the vines. We also encourage natural shrub vegetation around the vineyards and the rain water channel. This is very important for preserving the natural balance of the environment – water insects are a natural control against the insects in the vineyards. So we don’t need to use anti-insect treatments.
The characteristics of the terroir – the hills, the well-drained, almost lime-free soils conferring freshness and aromaticity to the grapes – are the basis of our decision to plant vineyards here. We have applied Italian know-how in agronomic practices (vines are planted at high density per hectare to stimulate competition among plants) and in cellar practices also. The winemaking culture and approach are certainly Italian, but the soul of the wine remains Bulgarian because of the people that make it and the land that gives birth to it. A Bulgarian heart beats in every bottle. We believe that only by following Nature can high results be achieved. This idea is not improvisation, but a conclusion we have reached after many years of experience in Italy. The combination of the richness of the Bulgarian land and traditions and the Italian winemaking expertise are the “twin souls” of our craft, allowing us to make wines with a strong identity and a sense of a place.
Highest quality grapes, highest standards of selection
The terroir and the human factor determine the character of the wine: the lower the human intervention in vinification, the higher the expression of terroir. We simply follow Nature. Nature impels the grapes to be turned into must, and the must to be turned into wine. After this non-intervention approach, our main goal is to get grapes of the highest possible quality. Our focus is on grape quality. We apply meticulous selection criteria in the vineyards and during harvest. This is followed by a very simple vinification process, leaving space for the terroir to express itself. In this way, with respect for tradition, we aim to give a new face to Bulgarian wine.
Local varieties. Mavrud
Our agronomic approach is experimental, in that we are applying specific pruning and cultivation techniques in the vineyards. At the same time we respect local traditions and try to preserve them – our estate is based in a region with thousands of years of winemaking culture. Mavrud, the noble indigenous local variety, has been cultivated here since the time of the ancient Thracians, for more than 4000 years. We have chosen it as the emblem of our winery. We also cultivate other varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel and Pinot Noir.