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Dear friends and partners,

For the past ten years, we at Villa Melnik Winery have been lovingly and patiently creating authentic, honest wines with a sense of mission.

We have worked hard to gain the recognition and respect of the wine market locally and abroad. We have established ourselves as the winery that offers the richest diversity of Melnik varieties and as an initiator for the development of the wine tourism in the Melnik region.

During this decade we have won many national and international awards –such as a place in the “World’s Best Vineyards” 2020, 2021, 2022, the prize “Favorite wine brand of the Bulgarian consumer 2021”, a permanent presence in the “Top 50 Bulgarian wines” according to DiVino, medals from world wine competitions, as well as a central role in the sensational series of Bulgarian National Television: “Wines”.

These successes would not have been possible without your trust and support over the years, for which we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

 

With warm feelings,
Milica, Lyubka and Nikola Zikatanov
and the team of Villa Melnik

Dear friends and partners,

For the past ten years, we at Villa Melnik Winery have been lovingly and patiently creating authentic, honest wines with a sense of mission.

We have worked hard to gain the recognition and respect of the wine market locally and abroad. We have established ourselves as the winery that offers the richest diversity of Melnik varieties and as an initiator for the development of the wine tourism in the Melnik region.

During this decade we have won many national and international awards –such as a place in the “World’s Best Vineyards” 2020, 2021, 2022, the prize “Favorite wine brand of the Bulgarian consumer 2021”, a permanent presence in the “Top 50 Bulgarian wines” according to DiVino, medals from world wine competitions, as well as a central role in the sensational series of Bulgarian National Television: “Wines”.

These successes would not have been possible without your trust and support over the years, for which we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

 

With warm feelings,
Milica, Lyubka and Nikola Zikatanov
and the team of Villa Melnik

200 years ago

Line

The Zikatanov family originated from the village of. Kapatovo, municipality of Petrich. In the family archives are found documents and deeds from Ottoman times, which certify that our great-grandfather had vineyards and fields in the locality. Thus, the historical evidence about the vine-growing and winemaking roots of the family. Zikatanovs date back to nearly 200 years.

 

Notarial acts from Ottoman times – our great-grandfathers cultivated vineyards in the region already 200 years ago.

Nikola and Lyubka Zikatanovi at the opening of the winery in 2013.

In 2015, Milica joined to the family business and heads the Marketing and Sales departments.

200 years ago

Line

The Zikatanov family originated from the village of. Kapatovo, municipality of Petrich. In the family archives are found documents and deeds from Ottoman times, which certify that our great-grandfather had vineyards and fields in the locality. Thus, the historical evidence about the vine-growing and winemaking roots of the family. Zikatanovs date back to nearly 200 years.

Notarial acts from Ottoman times – our great-grandfathers cultivated vineyards in the region already 200 years ago.

in the year 2000

Line

In 2000, Lyubka and Nikola Zikatanovs embarked on a new family project – a boutique winery with capacity of about 200 tons per year and about 300 acres of their own vineyards. In their vision, the common work is what brings the family together. The winery is their way to show their respect for their roots and ancestors, and to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

in the year 2000

Line

In 2000, Lyubka and Nikola Zikatanovs embarked on a new family project – a boutique winery with capacity of about 200 tons per year and about 300 acres of their own vineyards. In their vision, the common work is what brings the family together. The winery is their way to show their respect for their roots and ancestors, and to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

Nikola and Lyubka Zikatanovi at the opening of the winery in 2013.

In 2015, Milica joined to the family business and heads the Marketing and Sales departments.

The Zikatanov family originated from the village of. Kapatovo, municipality of Petrich. In the family archives are found documents and deeds from Ottoman times, which certify that our great-grandfather had vineyards and fields in the locality. Thus, the historical evidence about the vine-growing and winemaking roots of the family. Zikatanovs date back to nearly 200 years.

In spite of the tendency at that time to plant mainly international varieties in Bulgaria, the Zikatanovs relied on local varieties – Shiroka Melnik Vine, Melnik 55, Melnik 1300 Jubileen, Ruen, Melnik 82, Melnik Ruby, Mavrud, Sandanski Misket, Keratsuda, Tamyanka. From the international varieties they plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc.

The Zikatanov family originated from the village of. Kapatovo, municipality of Petrich. In the family archives are found documents and deeds from Ottoman times, which certify that our great-grandfather had vineyards and fields in the locality. Thus, the historical evidence about the vine-growing and winemaking roots of the family. Zikatanovs date back to nearly 200 years.

In spite of the tendency at that time to plant mainly international varieties in Bulgaria, the Zikatanovs relied on local varieties – Shiroka Melnik Vine, Melnik 55, Melnik 1300 Jubileen, Ruen, Melnik 82, Melnik Ruby, Mavrud, Sandanski Misket, Keratsuda, Tamyanka. From the international varieties they plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc.

The planting material comes from Bulgarian pipiniers. The shaping is deliberately made lower than standard (80 cm from the ground) for high quality yield. The inter-row space is wide (1.20 cm) to allow mechanised cultivation. Unusually wide paths have been left inside the plot with the clear vision that one day tourists will walk in the vineyards.

A small plot of 2ha of Broad Mill Vines in a bush vine formation has been planted to preserve the traditional method of cultivation. Today, one of Villa Melnik’s iconic wines is from this very vineyard.

Villa Melnik’s first harvest was in 2008, and the wines were then made at neighboring wineries. Didier Mailhe from France is the consultant oenologist and his apprentices are Rumyana Stoilova and Kiril Miladinov.

Villa Melnik practices precision farming with gentle practices, minimal use of natural chemicals and fertilizers, and preservation of the rich biodiversity in the vineyards. Many of the agronomic processes are carried out by hand, with respect for Nature and Man.

The planting material comes from Bulgarian pipiniers. The shaping is deliberately made lower than standard (80 cm from the ground) for high quality yield. The inter-row space is wide (1.20 cm) to allow mechanised cultivation. Unusually wide paths have been left inside the plot with the clear vision that one day tourists will walk in the vineyards.

A small plot of 2ha of Broad Mill Vines in a bush vine formation has been planted to preserve the traditional method of cultivation. Today, one of Villa Melnik’s iconic wines is from this very vineyard.

Villa Melnik’s first harvest was in 2008, and the wines were then made at neighboring wineries. Didier Mailhe from France is the consultant oenologist and his apprentices are Rumyana Stoilova and Kiril Miladinov.

Villa Melnik practices precision farming with gentle practices, minimal use of natural chemicals and fertilizers, and preservation of the rich biodiversity in the vineyards. Many of the agronomic processes are carried out by hand, with respect for Nature and Man.

after 2010

Line

The construction of the winery began in 2011 and the official opening was in 2013. The first harvest vinified and bottled in the newly opened cellar was from 2013. The whole project was partly funded by the SAPARD programme.

Two revolutionary ideas for their time are embedded in the winery. The first is the vertical organization of the winemaking, which makes it energy-saving and extremely friendly to the grapes and the wine. The second is that the idea of wine tourism has been built into the architectural plan of the winery – visitors will be able to walk through every step of the production process and nothing will remain hidden.

The winery is equipped with high-end equipment from a Bulgarian manufacturer – Rodina Haskovo. The bottling machine and the pneumatic press are Italian. The laboratory is also extremely modern and has including a spectral analysis instrument, Oenofos. Barrels from several Bulgarian and French producers are used, including Bulgarian, French, American and Hungarian oak.  The winery has a spacious tasting room and wine shop.

Hundreds of swallows nest under the eaves of the winery, which is why Villa Melnik is called “the white swallow of the Struma Valley”.

The first sod of the winery was made in 2011.

after 2010

Line

The construction of the winery began in 2011 and the official opening was in 2013. The first harvest vinified and bottled in the newly opened cellar was from 2013. The whole project was partly funded by the SAPARD programme.

Two revolutionary ideas for their time are embedded in the winery. The first is the vertical organization of the winemaking, which makes it energy-saving and extremely friendly to the grapes and the wine. The second is that the idea of wine tourism has been built into the architectural plan of the winery – visitors will be able to walk through every step of the production process and nothing will remain hidden.

The winery is equipped with high-end equipment from a Bulgarian manufacturer – Rodina Haskovo. The bottling machine and the pneumatic press are Italian. The laboratory is also extremely modern and has including a spectral analysis instrument, Oenofos. Barrels from several Bulgarian and French producers are used, including Bulgarian, French, American and Hungarian oak.  The winery has a spacious tasting room and wine shop.

Hundreds of swallows nest under the eaves of the winery, which is why Villa Melnik is called “the white swallow of the Struma Valley”.

The first sod of the winery was made in 2011.

The first is the vertical organization of the winemaking, which makes it energy-saving and extremely friendly to the grapes and the wine.

The second is that the idea of wine tourism has been built into the architectural plan of the winery – visitors will be able to walk through every step of the production process and nothing will remain hidden.

Nikola Zikatanov and the manager Grigor Solunov before the construction in 2012.

The winery is equipped with high-end equipment from a Bulgarian manufacturer – Rodina Haskovo. The bottling machine and the pneumatic press are Italian. The laboratory is also extremely modern and has including a spectral analysis instrument, Oenofos. Barrels from several Bulgarian and French producers are used, including Bulgarian, French, American and Hungarian oak.  The winery has a spacious tasting room and wine shop.

Hundreds of swallows nest under the eaves of the winery, which is why Villa Melnik is called “the white swallow of the Struma Valley”.

Nikola Zikatanov and the manager Grigor Solunov before the construction in 2012.

The first Bulgarian oenologist of Villa Melnik is the young Rumyana Stoilova, a French graduate from Blagoevgrad. The manager of the winery is Grigor Solunov.

In 2015, the underground tunnels of the cellars were dug, which ensure a naturally constant temperature and humidity during the aging of the wines. The vault with the family collection and archive wines is also located there. The oldest wines in the vault are family relics – wines bottled by Grandpa Alexa nearly 80 years ago. On 23.09.2023 the 100th anniversary of Alexa Zikatanov’s birth is celebrated.

The first Bulgarian oenologist of Villa Melnik is the young Rumyana Stoilova, a French graduate from Blagoevgrad. The manager of the winery is Grigor Solunov.

In 2015, the underground tunnels of the cellars were dug, which ensure a naturally constant temperature and humidity during the aging of the wines. The vault with the family collection and archive wines is also located there. The oldest wines in the vault are family relics – wines bottled by Grandpa Alexa nearly 80 years ago. On 23.09.2023 the 100th anniversary of Alexa Zikatanov’s birth is celebrated.

Over the years, the Zikatanovs have improved the estate around the winery – planting an olive grove, figs, pomegranates, zinnias, almonds, plums, apricots, an oak grove. The hillside vineyard with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains is landscaped and has become a favorite spot for events.

In 2022 the construction of an ornamental lake was completed – the water from the production is recycled and feeds the lake, which is currently home to goldfish, Struma net and mullet, water turtle and water snake.

Over the years, the Zikatanovs have improved the estate around the winery – planting an olive grove, figs, pomegranates, zinnias, almonds, plums, apricots, an oak grove. The hillside vineyard with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains is landscaped and has become a favorite spot for events.

In 2022 the construction of an ornamental lake was completed – the water from the production is recycled and feeds the lake, which is currently home to goldfish, Struma net and mullet, water turtle and water snake.

There is a lot of heraldic symbolism in the family coat of arms of Villa Melnik. On the shield are the bunch and the terroir – the Melnik sand pyramids in the shape of “M”. The shield bearers are two griffins – they symbolize strength, valour and magnanimity. Their feet are firmly planted on the ground, and their wings are spread and ready for flight – a symbol of the connection with the family and the land, but also of freedom and flight of the spirit.  The crown is Mediterranean and corresponds to the title of Baron.

In 2020, the coat of arms is modernized while retaining its dignity and multilayeredness.

There is a lot of heraldic symbolism in the family coat of arms of Villa Melnik. On the shield are the bunch and the terroir – the Melnik sand pyramids in the shape of “M”. The shield bearers are two griffins – they symbolize strength, valour and magnanimity. Their feet are firmly planted on the ground, and their wings are spread and ready for flight – a symbol of the connection with the family and the land, but also of freedom and flight of the spirit.  The crown is Mediterranean and corresponds to the title of Baron.

In 2020, the coat of arms is modernized while retaining its dignity and multilayeredness.

Applause means:

Applause for the vine-growers toiling in the field.
To the craftsmen who make the wine in the winery.
To the merchants who sell it.
And for the wine lovers who share it.

AplauZ means “from A to Z”, from beginning to end, everything, the whole universe.

A.Z. are also the initials of Alexa Zikatanov – two generations, grandfather and grandson. ApplauZ is associated with masculinity in our clan.

Applause means:

Applause for the vine-growers toiling in the field.
To the craftsmen who make the wine in the winery.
To the merchants who sell it.
And for the wine lovers who share it.

AplauZ means “from A to Z”, from beginning to end, everything, the whole universe.

A.Z. are also the initials of Alexa Zikatanov – two generations, grandfather and grandson. ApplauZ is associated with masculinity in our clan.

The word Bergule is Thracian and means hill, ridge, shore. It is associated with the wise words of great-grandmother Milica who said that:
“…everything changes.
Even the river can change its bed,
it can dry up,
but its banks remain forever.”

The sandy banks of the Melnik River become a symbol of eternity, of timeless human values. Bergule also represents the feminine in our clan.

The word Bergule is Thracian and means hill, ridge, shore. It is associated with the wise words of great-grandmother Milica who said that:
“…everything changes.
Even the river can change its bed,
it can dry up,
but its banks remain forever.”

The sandy banks of the Melnik River become a symbol of eternity, of timeless human values. Bergule also represents the feminine in our clan.

Family Tradition remains at the core of our portfolio as an everyday wine for every occasion.

Family Tradition remains at the core of our portfolio as an everyday wine for every occasion.

In 2022, Villa Melnik Winery was chosen as the main filming location for the Bulgarian National Television series “Wines”. The director is Viktor Bozhinov. The scriptwriters are Vanya Nikolova, Neli Dimitrova and Katya Nikolova. Executive producer – Nadezhda Tsvetkova, “Broad Film”.
Actors: Elena Telbis, Vladimir Zombori, Gerasim Georgiev – Gero, Paraskeva Dzhukelova, Mikhail Bilalov, Kristina Veroslavova, Sylvia Lulcheva, Maya Bezhanska, Lilia Maraviglia.

The story of Vila Melnik and Militsa Zikatanova on the cover of “Manager” magazine in October 2020.

The story of Villa Melnik in the first book on family business in Bulgaria, prepared by EY in 2017.

International Wine Review Report on Bulgarian Wine

Villa Melnik on the cover of International Wine Review in a report on wine in Bulgaria, July-August 2018.

Annual awards from Tripadvisor for high visitor ratings.

2020, 2021, 2022 – three years in the Top 100 World’s Best Vineyards after secret agent visits and voting by over 500 wine experts from around the world. The equivalent of a Michelin Star

In 2022, Villa Melnik Winery was chosen as the main filming location for the Bulgarian National Television series “Wines”. The director is Viktor Bozhinov. The scriptwriters are Vanya Nikolova, Neli Dimitrova and Katya Nikolova. Executive producer – Nadezhda Tsvetkova, “Broad Film”.
Actors: Elena Telbis, Vladimir Zombori, Gerasim Georgiev – Gero, Paraskeva Dzhukelova, Mikhail Bilalov, Kristina Veroslavova, Sylvia Lulcheva, Maya Bezhanska, Lilia Maraviglia.

The story of Vila Melnik and Militsa Zikatanova on the cover of “Manager” magazine in October 2020.

In 2021, Villa Melnik became “Favorite Wine Brand of the Bulgarian Consumer” and Milica Zikatanova – “Brand Manager of the Year” in the Wine category.

The story of Villa Melnik in the first book on family business in Bulgaria, prepared by EY in 2017.

International Wine Review Report on Bulgarian Wine

Villa Melnik on the cover of International Wine Review in a report on wine in Bulgaria, July-August 2018.

Annual awards from Tripadvisor for high visitor ratings.

Villa Melnik creates and launches her first TV commercial on BTV in 2021.
https://www.youtube.com/

In 2021, Villa Melnik became “Favorite Wine Brand of the Bulgarian Consumer” and Milica Zikatanova – “Brand Manager of the Year” in the Wine category.

Villa Melnik creates and launches her first TV commercial on BTV in 2021.
https://www.youtube.com/

2020, 2021, 2022 – three years in the Top 100 World’s Best Vineyards after secret agent visits and voting by over 500 wine experts from around the world. The equivalent of a Michelin Star

You can find our wines in the following places:
Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, Brazil, England, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Slovakia, Romania, China, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam

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