I first visited Villa Yustina in 2014 as part of my participation in Vino Balkanika, a small wine event dedicated to indigenous Balkan varieties. I returned in early 2017 as part of the Union of Bulgarian oenologists blind tasting for the international Vinaria event.
I was impressed on both occasions. The first thing to say is that Villa Yustina is a small, boutique winery, but with the capacity to grow. The vineyards, all recently planted, cover the usual international varieties that Bulgaria has sadly devoted itself to in recent decades, but, refreshingly there is a renewed focus on varieties such as Mavrud and Rubin.
The wines are good. All of them are clean and modern, fruit forward and indoubdedly drinkable.
Villa Yustina was founded in 2006, and in 2008 the first 20 hectares of vineyard were planted. In 2014 the estate was expanded to cover 42 hectares planted with a range of different grape varieties. European funding helped build a brand new cellar and ultimately create one of the first enotourism sites in the region.
The majority of the vineyards can be found about 4km from the village on a slope at about 300m in altitude. Strong calcerous soils are home to Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Aligoté, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Mavrud and Rubin.