1. Alicante Bouschet is a hybrid wine grape variety, created in France. It is cultivated mostly in South France. It occupies a limited area in Bulgaria. Varietal wines are full-bodied, rough, with dark red colour, high extraction and acidity. It is used for improving the colour in wines from other varieties.
2. Cabernet Franc is a red wine grape variety originating from France. It ripens relatively late. Varietal wines have a light red colour and aromas of raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrant, blueberries; after aging they acquire a spicy-musky hint. It is also used for wine blends.
3. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular red wine grape variety in the world, originating from the Bordeaux region, France. It is cultivated in all wine producing countries and accounts for about 10% of the area under vines in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon is number one wine in Bulgaria among the red wine grape varieties. It ripens early in the first half of September. It is used for the production of high quality red wine blends and varietal wines. Varietal wines have a distinctive intense dark red colour; good density, with an intensive aroma of wild berries - blackcurrant, blackberry and mulberry. After oak aging it develops a rich, complex aroma with nuances of spices, oak, smoke, chocolate and cinnamon. Wines reveal usually their best quality after 3 to 10 years of ageing.
4. Carmenere is a red wine grape variety originating from France. It is cultivated mainly in Chile. The variety is used for the production of rich, dark red, tannic wines with aromas of blueberry, black plum and savory spices. It blends well with other varieties. Recently, it was also introduced into Bulgaria, in the region of Targovishte.
5. Gamay Noir is a wine grape variety originating from France. It still occupies small, insignificant areas in Bulgaria. It ripens in the first half of September. The variety is used for the production of high quality red wines with intense red colour, full-bodied, with a well-balanced flavour and a distinctive bouquet.
6. Malbec is a red wine grape variety originating from the South-West of France. It originates from Cahors where it is still the most widespread variety. It is the main variety in Argentina. The variety is used for the production of high quality red wines known for their intense purple colour, rich flavour and aroma and their soft, pleasant tannin structure.
7. Merlot is a high quality red wine grape variety originating from France. It is a main variety for the region of Bordeaux, France. It is cultivated in many other wine-producing countries including Bulgaria, where it is planted mainly in the Southern wine region. Varietal wines are characterised by an intense red colour, full-bodied, well-balanced flavour and a rich bouquet. When aged they acquire a powerful complex aroma with hints of oak, candied fruit, smoke and truffles.
9. Pinot Noir is an old red wine grape variety originating from the regions of Burgundy and Champagne-Ardenne, France. It ripens early - in the end of August. Pinot Noir is among the few red varieties which ripen early enough to be produced in the colder regions in Germany and in Switzerland. Depending on the region, the variety can be used for the production of high quality red wines and as champagne component. Varietal wines are characterised by a medium intense colour and aromas of red and black wild berries, mushrooms and dry leaves.
10. Syrah, also known as Shiraz in Australia and the New World countries, is a red wine grape variety originating from France. Worldwide it is the seventh most common variety. In 2001 it was also introduced in small areas in Bulgaria, in the regions of Lyubimets and Sakar. It ripens relatively early in Bulgaria - mid-August. The variety is used for the production of high quality red varietal wines, wine blends and roses. Young wines have a distinctive hint of violet, exotic flowers, smoke, rosemary, thyme, raspberry and blackcurrant. They have an intense garnet colour with purple nuances and a full body. The varietal wines have good ageing potential. In the course of aging the wines acquire new aromas with hints of chocolate, tobacco and leather.