International Mavrud Day Date in the current year: October 26, 2024

International Mavrud Day International Mavrud Day is a wine-related holiday celebrated annually on October 26. It was created to raise awareness of one of the oldest Bulgarian grape varieties and to promote Bulgarian wines and wine tourism.

The history of grape growing and winemaking in Bulgaria dates back to 4000 B.C. One of the oldest and most distinctive indigenous grape varieties grown in the country is Mavrud. It accounts for about 2% of total plantings in Bulgaria.

Mavrud is a late ripening grape variety that produces red wines with a great aging potential. It is used both in blends and for varietal wines; Mavrud is considered one of the best local grape varieties for producing high-quality red wines. The grape is almost exclusively used to produce dry red wines, but some wineries also produce exceptional dessert wines, rosés, and even sparkling wines from Mavrud.

Mavrud wines are intensely colored and tannic, with medium alcohol, moderately high acidity, and harmonious taste. Notes typical for Mavrud wines include black pepper, blackberry, blue plum, blueberry, mint, mulberry, red berries, rose hip, and thyme. Aged Mavrud wines acquire notes of dry leaves, leather, and tobacco.

Like most red wines, Mavrud pairs well with meat dishes due to its high tannins. You can try pairing Mavrud with roast lamb, pork belly, BBQ meats, sausages, grilled game, and cured meats. Mavrud also pairs well with certain vegetable dishes (rosemary potatoes, baked or grilled eggplants), mushroom dishes, savory pies, casseroles, stews, and pasta with tomato-based sauces. If you like the combo of wine and cheese, try pairing Mavrud with soft yellow cheeses, or mature goat and sheep cheeses.

International Mavrud Day was launched by the Bulgarian Association of Wine Professionals (BAWP), an expert organization that unites winemakers, oenologists, sommeliers, restaurateurs, traders, exporters, wine guides, educators, marketing specialists, and other professionals across the wine industry. Its main goals are to raise awareness of Mavrud and other native Bulgarian grape varieties and to popularize Bulgarian wines both nationally and internationally.

International Mavrud Day is celebrated on October 26 because on this day the Bulgarian Orthodox Church observes Saint Dimitar’s Day in honor of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki. It is believed that Aristi Chorbadzhakov, the creator of the famous Stanimashka Malaga dessert wine made from Mavrud, began harvesting his vineyard on Saint Dimitar’s Day about a century ago. According to the folk calendar, the feast day of Saint Demetrius marks the beginning of winter, which makes it perfect for sharing a bottle of red wine with your loved ones.

Although the date of International Mavrud Day is October 26, the BAWP organizes celebratory events and activities in Bulgaria and abroad throughout the entire month of October. They include an international conference for wine professionals, winery tours, workshops, wine tastings, webinars, urban wine fests in major Bulgarian cities, and more. Some of these events are targeted at wine professionals, while others are open to everyone.

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