Chateau Copsa Winery and Hotel in the Rose Valley: Wineries of Bulgaria (2 of 7)

You are in the Rose Valley, where roses grow for the production of Bulgaria's world-famous rose oil and where native grape variety Karlovo Misket Cherven (Red Misket) come from. You are in Chateau Copsa surrounded with the outstanding views of the vineyards, sunset and the Balkan Mountains and with a glass of wine in hand. What else is there to do?

At Chateau Copsa Winery and Hotel, you will most likely forget about time because staying in the midst of 60 hectares of vineyards and the Balkan and Srednagora Mountains playing with the lights of the sky give you 360 degrees of natural beauty. It is located in one of the 5 wine regions of Bulgaria, the Rose Valley (Sub Balkan). The country was officially divided into 5 distinct viticultural regions in 1960 and these are: Danubian Plain (North Bulgarian); Black Seas (East Bulgarian); Rose Valley (Sub Balkan); Thracian Lowland (South Bulgarian); and Struma Valley River (Southwest Bulgarian).

Chateau Copsa Winery was established in 1998 by the Minkov Family while the hotel was built in 2008. It has 4 unique boutique rooms and a suite in the chateau while the other 10 standard rooms are located in a separate building. Also housed in the chateau is the Relax Lounge that's positioned on the topmost floor with sofas, jacuzzi, massage areas and panoramic terraces. On the ground floor, there is the restaurant where you can dine in an elegant Bulgarian atmosphere with a centrally-positioned round fireplace warming you up and the wine cellar at the basement where the winery keeps its wines and where you can taste them.

At the grounds, you can also find a big swimming pool and a pool bar that work in the warmer months. Just outside the restaurant, on one side of the chateau, there is a terrace where you can enjoy a meal or just a drink (when it is warm enough) and watch how the Bulgarian sunset and sky change colors in front of you.

Among the 60 hectares of vineyards, 50% is allocated to the Karlovo Red Misket, 25% to Muskat, 12% to Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Chardonnay and 5% Merlot. Red Misket is a peculiar kind of old local white wine grape variety and got its name because the skin has pinkish-red to violet color. Aside from making wines, it is also used as table grapes in Bulgaria.

The winery produces 5 lines of wine labels. 

Zeyla is the basic single varietal wine line that can be distinguished with their freshness and easiness to drink. They represent each of the varieties that the winery produces. 

Chateau Copsa Cuvèe is the fine blend line of different grape varieties and they come in two kinds of labels which are Cuvèe Blanc, a blend of Chardonnay, Red Misket and Muskat while the Cuvèe Rouge is a blend of equal parts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that are aged in barrels for at least 8 months.

The A brand, is the winery's line of jolly, lovely and summery wines. The single varietal white of Sauvignon Blanc is called Arlecchino, the rosè from Cabernet Sauvignon is called Angelica and the young red wine from Merlot is called Alegria. 

Stradivarius, the 4th line, is composed of different grape varieties. Stradivarius Selection Blanc is a blend of Muskat and Misket in different proportions while the Stradivarius Selection Rouge is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 

Their 5th and best line is the Limited Edition. This is the line where a chosen number of best barrels of wines are put in a limited number of bottles. They are aged for at least 14 months in American and French oak barrels. The wines are labeled according to the number of barrels chosen for that blend or single variety. In 2012, 6IX was the label of the 6 chosen barrels of Chardonnay while 8TH was the label of the 8 barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

The town of Karlovo
For a first-timer like me in the Rose Valley, Chateau Copsa had been a excellent choice for getting to know the wines and the land. After the Digital Wine Communications Conference 2015 in Plovdiv (#dwcc15), our Rose and Struma Valley Press Trip group departed for a 2-hour drive to the charming town of Karlovo then to the first winery in our itinerary, Chateau Copsa Winery and Hotel.

Dinner at Chateau Copsa was accompanied with a selection of their wines from each of the brands that they produce. The straw-colored Zeyla Karlovo Misket 2014 was a very pleasant and refreshing dry white wine to start the dinner with. Accompanying our appetizer of roasted pepper, sirene cheese and tomatoes was a bottle of fruity and lightly smoky 1NE Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2014, a single barrel fermented Chardonnay in new American oak with further bottle aging of 5 months. 

The salmon-colored Angelica Rosè Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 was very refreshing with hints of fruity berry sweetness and it was paired with Balkan trout encrusted with shaved almonds and black rice with raisins (not in picture). Full-bodied with dark ruby color, the Stradivarius Rouge Selection 2012 is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot which has hints of spices and berries. It went perfectly with the meat dish cooked with stone fruit.

With such a superb dinner of great food and wine, our concluding dish made quite a delicious impression too. A semifreddo with nuts and candied fruits topped with grape compote was served with a glass of Rosalza Barrel-Aged Grape Brandy, aged in oak for 5 years.

A more profound experience of Bulgaria can be found outside the main cities of Plovdiv and Sofia. Chateau Copsa is located outside Plovdiv with a traveling time of about 2 hours and just a stone's throw away from the lovely town of Karlovo. If you are in town, it can be an ideal place to spend a night or two and pamper yourself to wining and dining in such a relaxing ambiance. 

Following the general rule that good wine comes from good breeding vineyard, we further developed the tradition handed down from generations and created our remarkable wines.
- Chateau Copsa Winery

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