This week we would like to present you the passionate and enthusiastic wine guide Northeastern Bulgaria – Aneliya Hristova!
Hello Aneliya! Would you present your wine business card? How did you end up in the world of wine?
Hello, my name is Anelia Hristova and I live and work in Ruse. By education I am an economist with many years of experience in the field of trade of fast moving consumer goods in international companies. I have been more actively involved with wine since 3 years, and my first serious step was in February 2017, when I took a basic course at the Bulgarian Association of Sommeliers and Winelovers.
This made stronger my interest and desire to enrich myself in this field and to taste new wines.
I began to educate myself by reading articles and tasting. After three months I took a course at Wine and Spirit Academy Bulgaria Level 2. There I learned from Dimitar Nikolov, Alexander Skorchev and Eduard Kurian how professional the attitude towards wine can be and I decided for myself that this is the field in which I want to keep developing. There was a desire to see and understand how wine is made and every process related to it. Pursuing this goal in the fall of 2017 I started working at Winery Seven Generations as a Sales Manager, with the clear awareness that selling wine is difficult and specific, but I love challenges. I didn’t just sell wine, but with passion and enthusiasm I discovered and absorbed everything related to it every day – from growing the vines, to reaching the bottle to the people’s table, the ritual of serving and tasting.
I held my first tastings with tourists, I communicated daily with many customers and wine lovers. I tried many new things, even at the risk of making a mistake, but the experience I gained was invaluable. And the more I learned, the more I realized how little I knew. So after a year of working in the cellar, I decided to “dive” to the next level in Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 3, again in WSAB. I am currently preparing to take the theoretical part of the exam and I study the extensive but interesting material every day.
After June 2019 I am no longer part of the Seven Generations team, and I continued to look for my way in the wine field. I sincerely thank Boyka Stoyanova and Ekaterina Gargova, as well as the team of young enologists of Levent Winery, for their unconditional support and for sharing their practical experience with me, right at this transitional moment for me. Gradually studying Bulgarian wines I saw that there is a lot of potential in their promotion and I realized that this is what I want to do.
Tasting wine for me is like discovering a new universe every time – the story of where it was made, the technology and mastery to be made, how nature has affected, the taste and aroma sensations, the good food that accompanies it, and share it all with nice company.
I am a representative of the Sagittarius zodiac sign and for me monotony is the worst thing that can happen to me – but every wine is so different and such a set of diversity that is endless, and I could not help but fall in love with it.
Wine tourism for me is the thing that best describes my character – my passion to travel, to try different things (wines), to meet different people, in different places, to study constantly, to make people around me happy, to share with them what I feel and know. And as it’s said, if success lies in working what you like, then this is my profession.
Tell us more about the wine tourism in the region you live in?
I love the area where I live and I often travel to enjoy its beauty, always looking for a combination with my passion for wine. I think that the potential for development of wine tourism in the region is extremely great. Over time, the wine cellars in the area become more and more developed. I must admit that not a small part of them are still difficult to find, but there are also many that have advanced a lot in recent years and already offer great tourist opportunities. Many times I have been pleasantly surprised when I visit a wine cellar, and what they offer exceeds my expectations.
Seeing all this, somehow I wanted to show it to everyone, to appear on the map of Bulgaria, to appear on the map of the world. There for as a completely natural process came the creation of the Map of Wine Tour Northeast Bulgaria, which includes 10 participants at the moment ( Varna Winery, Wine Bar Wineground Bottle & Beans, Tsarev Brod winery, Salla Estate, Chateau De Berger, Maryan Winery, Yalovo Winery, Wine Tasting Center Veliko Tarnovo, Seven Generations Winery, Opreff Winery) @winetourbulgarianortheast. I am very happy that I am the coordinator of the project and actively participated in its creation. With the joint efforts of all participants, the map has already been printed and will soon reach all tourists wine lovers, who will be happy to welcome.
Northeastern Bulgaria is a fairly large area, which can be considered a disadvantage, as you can not visit several wineries or landmarks in a short period of time. On the other hand, the diversity is very large and every time you travel to this area you can visit different places and come back again and again. The wines that can be tasted have a very different character, from fresh white to solid red, local Bulgarian varieties and exclusive representatives of world varieties. I will not describe them in detail now so that you can come and taste them together.
Here you can combine wine tasting with a walk along the beach, beautiful sunsets by the river, hiking in the woods and at the foot of Stara Planina, adventure tourism – horseback riding, fishing, rock climbing, observation of rare species of birds and plants, folklore events and festivals.
The region of Northeastern Bulgaria has an extremely rich history – here are the old Bulgarian capitals – Pliska, Veliki Preslav, Tsarevets, many Revival sites – Dryanovo Monastery, Elena, Veliko Tarnovo. Also the sea capital Varna with its charm and the Danube gate to Europe Ruse. In our region there are four of the nine sites recognized by UNESCO in Bulgaria – Srebarna Nature Reserve, Madara Horseman, Thracian Tomb in Sveshtari, Ivanovo Rock Churches – and in the routes we offer, you will be able to visit each of them in combination with tasting of authentic Bulgarian wines and visiting boutique wineries. On the other hand, each winery has its own story that will transfer you to a unique world.
On one hand, wine cellars are aware of the need of someone to help them with tourist services, but they do not always have the opportunity to invest in such a specialist only for their winery. When there is a person who is the link, he can help mostly for communication and exchange of good practices between wineries and other parts related to the wine industry in the area. We work more purposefully, and the cost is justified. On the other hand, travel agencies and tour operators do not have trained staff with specific knowledge of wine production and tasting, and therefore to some extent avoid making such tours – here again is the place of the wine guide.
The event companies that decide to offer this type of event will surely win many satisfied customers – satisfied with the different experience and the professional service of the wine guide.
Thus, the wine guide is a collective person who, with his experience and knowledge in the field of wine, can be useful to various segments of the wine and tourism industry. I imagine it as the missing piece of the puzzle to make the picture complete.