When Tsviatko Ganev from Abdyika outside of Sandanski in Southeast Bulgaria first contacted Mr. Torstenson in 2014, he was seeking for assistance to bring up the quality of his wines a notch. The 12 hectare (29 acre) vineyard was already very well maintained and the four wines – one rosé and the reds ”Melnik”, ”Estate Blend” and ”First Selection – were of good quality. Nevertheless, Mr. Torstenson opinioned that the wines lacked a blend-specific character that remained consistent year on year. He also suggested that the way oak was used could be further improved before the wines would reach their full potential.

The blends of the 2013 vintage, created by Mr. Torstenson in 2014, showed that it was possible to create three distinctly different wines which each had its own, personal character. In spite of 2014 being a disastrous year in terms of weather, the professional work in the vineyard and the new vinification programs and oak ageing philosophies developed by Mr. Torstenson made it possible for Abdyika to create good wine even in a difficult year. Moreover, the 2014 vintage also proved that it was possible to maintain the wine-specific styles that had been developed through the 2013 blends.

Mr. Torstenson and Abdyika’s efforts to boost quality are still ongoing with further adjustments made to the vinification programs and to the selection and use of oak during the wine’s maturing process.