Back in the 1970s, Bulgaria was the second largest producer of wine in the world but this changed after the collapse of communism. Although the country does not produce wine on such a massive scale nowadays, wine making, a thousand year old tradition in Bulgaria, is still a big part of their culture.
The ancient Thracians who inhabited the land we know as Bulgaria, consumed wine by the gallon from elaborate gold vessels. On 13 July 1960, the government decreed that Bulgaria should be officially divided into five distinct viticultural regions (i.e. divided in terms of grape vineyards). This means that wines from each region are distinct from each other.
Rakia or Rakija is a fruit brandy popular in the Balkans and a national drink in Bulgaria. It’s typically a strong drink (and even stronger is home brewed) and it is the perfect accompaniment to Bulgarian cuisine in the summer months.