Kukeri Wines has been launched as a new wine brand by Petar Kirilov. A carnival called Kukeri, an old Bulgarian tradition lives through handcrafted Kukeri Wines from Napa Valley. One of the greatest Bulgarian poets once wrote “Bulgaria, a land like a single human palm". With a total area of 110,000 square km, situated at the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, this land inherited the cultural and historical values of many and varied ancient cultures: the Ancient Thrace, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire. According to historic and archeological researches the territory presently occupied by Bulgaria may well be one of the first geographical regions where vines were planted and wine produced.
Each year, soon after New Year’s, a carnival called Kukeri is celebrated in Bulgaria as a remnant of a tradition that date back as far as 8,000 years to the ancient Thracians and to Dionysus, the Thracian and Greek god associated with wine, fertility and rebirth. The festival is replete with mystical symbolism, steeped as it is in a tradition representing the cycle of life, death and rebirth. The costumes are elaborate and the fearsome wooden masks worn by the Kukeri have two sides - one representing good and the other evil, reflecting the balance of these forces in nature and symbolizing the good and the bad which co-exist in the world. Kukeri dance around and the masks are believed to drive away the evil spirits, and to celebrate the beginning of the spring and hopes for a good harvest, health, land fertility and happiness. These days, various versions of the Kukeri festival exist in Italy, Romania, Serbia and Spain. This ancient 8,000 years old tradition is now included in the UNESCO list of protected cultural heritage.
In November 2013, a new wine brand that combines an old tradition with mystical symbolism called Kukeri Wines has been launched in California. Its first release is a Mt. Veeder Napa Valley 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon . The brands concept, which has directed its striking label design, is to highlight ancient tradition using an original Kukeri artwork, crafted by a well-known Bulgarian artist Anatoly Stankulov. The Kukeri Brand is a brainchild of the founder and winemaker Petar Kirilov, also founder of VinoEnology.com, who wanted to create a label to tell the story of an old Thracian tradition. In a true tradition, the Kukeri wine label explodes with rich and vibrant colors, each with a symbolic meaning. The red color symbolizes the sun and the fertility of nature. The black color is the color of the Mother Earth and the white color is the symbol of water and light. “By developing a brand with a name that combines both old tradition and mystical symbolism, we created a unique wine which represents all the good things happening to us every day” Petar Kirilov emphasizes. His vision for Kukeri Wines is to become a boutique brand, with small production of high-quality wines from Napa and Sonoma County.
The unique terroir of Mount Veeder produces wines that are typically powerful in structure. Resembling a giant staircase, Mount Veeder vines are planted on wide terraces of earth, cut into steep slopes. At elevations of 1,000 to 1,600 feet, above the fog bank, exposed to the gentle morning sun and protected from the afternoon heat by the surrounding mountains, grapes of vines ripen slowly and evenly. Rugged mountain condition produces grapes with intensively concentrated fruit, and big, rich tannins. Taming these tannins and preserving flavor are the high-altitude winemaker’s biggest challenge. Because Mount Veeder’s growing season starts late and often stretches well into November, harvest is a waiting game. But patience is rewarded with fully developed flavors and ripe rich tannins in the skins and seeds.
As Janet Myers, Director of Winemaking at Constellation brands says “A sip of a Mount Veeder wine transports you to the mountain. The wine is dense and concentrated, which is indicative of the small vines, low yields, and tiny berries of the mountainside locale. The dark, brambly fruit and sweet herbal notes evoke the forest and bay trees adjacent to the vineyards”.
“At Kukeri Wines we believe in quality!” Petar Kirilov, Winemaker of Kukeri Wines says! We look forward to continue producing small lots of boutique wines that display the complexity, finesse and especially the unique Napa Valley terroir. And as we say in Bulgaria Na Zdrave “For Health!”.
The press release is written by: Danyelle Blue, wine business and marketing specialist.
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