Traditional Bulgarian Artemisia flavored wines – a review

Vanya Boneva1, Dessislava Dimitrova2, Teodora Ivanova3, Neli Grozeva4
1 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, Students’ campus n.n., 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2 Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev St., Sofia 1113, Bulgaria
3 Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Acad. G. Bonchev St., Sofia 1113, Bulgaria
4 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, Students’ campus n.n., 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

Abstract

Boneva, V., Dimitrova, D., Ivanova, T. & Grozeva, N. (2024). Traditional Bulgarian Artemisia flavored wines – a review. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 30(2), 375–386

Even though the interest in aromatized wines is growing in Europe and they are an important part of European culture, the Bulgarian Artemisia-flavored wines (with the collective name pelin after the colloquial name of the herb) have remained outside the attention of wine industry and research. The tradition of pelin production is more than 170 years old and has its local variants in different parts of the country. Its multi-step technology of production includes addition of fresh fruits together with different dry herbs that are combined according to the producer’s preferences. The resulting wine is enhanced with biologically active substances derived from the herbal and fruit ingredients, therefore it can be positioned as a functional beverage in the currently growing market for products for overall health benefits and well being of humans thanks to their bioactive compounds. We compare Bulgarian pelin wines with similar beverages produced in the Balkans and the Italian vermouth on the basis of a critical assessment of the current state of knowledge from available published sources. A total of 73 taxa from 35 plant families were found published for the studied beverages. Bulgarian pelin wines were flavored with 25 plants, mainly locally sourced. Pelin wine has been strongly connected to Bulgarian rural traditions throughout the years and its production can contribute to the prosperity of rural areas in the country and development of wine and food tourism.

Keywords: Bulgaria, aromatized wines, Artemisia, functional beverage, traditional products

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