Mavrud is a traditional Bulgarian red grape variety. It is among the most popular in the country. Highly valued, it claims to be one of the oldest local varieties used in wine production. It is grown in certain regions of the country. Mavrud thrives in the south Bulgarian wine regions - Plovdiv, Parvomay, Stara Zagora, Chirpan and Asenovgrad.
As with all varieties, Mavrud possesses distinctive characteristics. It has large grape leaves, which, with the onset of the fall months, gain a wine red color. The stems are long, light-green colored. The flowers of the vine are hermaphrodite and the grape cluster - large, cone-shaped. The seeds aren't particularly large. The color of the grapes vary from blue to red. The flesh is juicy, with a balanced taste, covered in a waxy coating.
Mavrud is a variety that is not so easy to grow. It prefers deep alluvial soils, rich in moisture. It needs a specific temperature during its vegetative stage. It ripens during the fall - in the first half of October, but this process requires certain conditions. The vines of this variety develop slowly. They are characterized by decent vine fertility. As a culture, Mavrud has positive traits, as well as negative ones.
As a whole, this variety is not susceptible to botrytis (gray mold) but is vulnerable to fungal infections. For this reason, if such a problem is noticed, immediate action needs to be taken. Another drawback to Mavrud is that it does not tolerate low temperatures. If they drop lower than 3.2°F (-16 °C), the sort freezes. And if the fall happens to be cold, the harvest easily becomes unsuitable for wine making.
History of Mavrud
Mavrud enjoys a rich history. There exist numerous legends, speaking of the distribution of the culture and the production of the wine. One of them tells of a widow named Ilaya. She lived during the reign of Khan Krum. The woman had only one child, a boy, whom she raised on the grapes from the vines that grew in front of her house. Ilaya's son grew up into a big and strong man.
Somehow, he got into a struggle with the favorite lion of the khan and overwhelmed it. The khan was curious as to how the young man had managed to become so powerful. The man explained that he owed his strength to the grapes that his mother had fed him all those years. The young man's name was Mavrud and so the khan ordered for the impressive vine to be called thus from that day forth.
According to another story, Mavrud was one of the warriors of Khan Tervel. Before a battle was imminent, his mother would give him a flask of wine. She told him to drink a little of it every time he felt a threat looming. And so, Mavrud managed to always come out as a fearless warrior. Khan Tervel took notice of this and he asked the youth about it. The young man told of the wine and so the khan named the drink after him.
Characteristics of Mavrud
The sugar content of the grapes is from 17-22%. The wine from Mavrud has a ruby red color. It is loved by quality drink enthusiasts for its soft taste. The grape drink is aged in specialized containers. It possesses tannins and acids. It has a distinct aroma, with noticeable nuances of blackberry or mulberry.
The highest quality wines prepared from this traditional grape variety are characterized by a full-bodied, harmonious taste, perfected by its contact with the oak kegs in which it aged. Mavrud wines come in red table and dessert types. During aging, their qualities become embellished. The optimal period for aging is about 3 years. The end result is that the drinker receives a red beverage with the right amount of tannins and a high alcohol content.
Wines made from Mavrud are a real treat for the senses. When served the right way, it transforms into an irresistible temptation. When serving Mavrud, the grape beverage must neither be too cold, nor hot. Aim for a temperature of about 60.8°F (16° C).
Serve it in traditional wine glasses with a foot, to perfectly showcase the wonderful color of the drink. Do not fill the glass all the way up, only halfway. Take small sips and allow your palate to appreciate the majesty of the elixir.
Mavrud is noted for its full-bodied taste and superb bouquet of fruits. Sometimes, even spices are felt. Try serving the wine with a suitable appetizer. If you love sweets, you'll find yourself in a sea of perception if you combine Mavrud with chocolate desserts. If you're trying to avoid high-calorie treats, you can combine the wine with fruits. Of course, there are other combinations as well.
If you prefer small game, you can combine the wine with roasted pheasant or partridge. Roasted red meats are also an appropriate addition to Mavrud. If you're a person whose dinner table does not contain any meat, you can choose a different type of appetizer for this wine. You can't go wrong with an unprocessed cheese. It's all a matter of taste. Having good company is of course a must.