The red grape variety comes from Bulgaria, Synonyms are Chiroka Melnichka, Melnik, Schiroka Melnischka Losa, Shiroka Melnichka Loza, Siroka Melniska and Tajke e Zeze. The name means "the broad-leaved vine of Melnik"; Melnik is the smallest Bulgarian city on the southern edge of the Pirin Mountains on the border with only a few hundred inhabitants Greece and known for its sandstone pyramids. The variety has been cultivated here for centuries. According to a no longer verifiable but improbable hypothesis, it was allegedly already 2,000 BC. Imported from Asia and by the Thracians used for wine production. The exact lineage (parenthood) is unknown. The variety was a cross partner in the new varieties Melnik 82. Melnik Yubileen. Melnishki Rubin. Ranna Melnishka Loza (with which she is often confused) and Ruen,
The very late ripening, productive vine is sensitive to frost, vulnerable to both mildews and relatively resistant to Botrytis, It has very small berries with thick, dark blue skins. These bring red wines rich in extract, acid and tannin-emphasized tobacco flavor and aging potential. According to popular opinion, the alcohol-strong wine has such a strong consistency "that you could carry it home in a handkerchief" . The variety is mainly grown in the southwest of the country in the Struma Valley. The acreage in 2010 was 1,580 hectares with a downward trend (in 2000 it was 3,804 hectares).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Images: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)