Todorroff wine cellar (Brestovitza)

Todorroff wine cellar (Brestovitza)

Brestovitza is a village at the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains, not far from Plovdiv. The village boasts a long wine making tradition.

The "Todoroff wine cellar" was originally founded in 1945, but it was nationalised in 1947 and lay idle in communist times. In 2001, Ivan Todoroff, a musician living in Sofia, bought the cellar in a very neglected state from the heirs to whom it was resituated. In the same year, he applied for a Sapard project valuing € 185,000 for renovation and purchase of equipment. In the first year they did not produce any grapes on their own, but had to buy grapes to produce their first wine. Everything was done by hand, including bottling, labelling and packaging.

Today Todoroff employs some 20 people, mainly from the village. They have 20 hectares of grapes (and planted additional 30 hectares in 2006), but buy grapes from about 50 wine growers in the region, which provide for more than half of total grapes. Most of these wine growers are relatively small and sell most of their produce to Todoroff. Todoroff, who specialises in high quality red wines, has won medals at international wine competitions, including at the "Vinalis International" in Paris.

Besides wine production, Todoroff also organises "wine tastings" in co-operation with tourist agencies. Nearly every day tourist groups come for this purpose, sometimes also being served lunch on the wine estate's nice veranda.

Todoroff received funds from SAPARD under the measure "development and diversification of economic activities". If agriculture is to become more competitive and efficient, it will employ fewer people in the future, who need to find alternative employment opportunities. By May 2007, 687 such projects have been approved, worth € 180 million. Of these, 258 were in rural tourism, 155 in wood processing and bio fuels, 102 in beekeeping and 94 in craftsmanship and agro industry.

Many smaller companies struggled to meet the relatively complicated project procedures. As a result there were considerably less projects than foreseen. Those that were selected were considerably bigger, so that the capacity indicators could still be met even with a dramatically smaller amount of projects than foreseen. Some areas foreseen for support, like silkworm breeding, horse breeding and mushroom production, failed to trigger enough interest.

Table: Performance for measure 2.1 – Development and diversification of economic activities (by 31 December 2005)* Annual Report on Sapard Implementation in the Republic of Bulgaria for the period January 1st 2005 to December 31st 2005, May 2006, pp. 31-34.

Sector

Indicator

NARDP indicator (aim)

Approved projects

Completed projects

Rural tourism

nr. of proj.

295

102

74

 

nr. new beds

1,850

2,685

1,767

Wood processing and bio-fuels

nr. of proj.

55

72

49

 

Annual capacity for timber processing (m3)

550

481,700

342,968

Beekeeping

nr. of proj.

770

78

44

 

Annual capacity (tons)

550

8,095

5,932

Acquaculture

nr. of proj.

152

11

6

 

Annual production capacity (ton)

1,500

1,942

594

Horse breeding

nr. of proj.

28

2

1

 

Horses

450

363

330

Mushroom production

nr. of proj.

120

5

3

 

Annual capacity (tons)

1,450

474

332

Processing of essential oil plants, herbs and mushrooms

nr. of proj.

40

14

10

Local craftsmanship and agro-industry

nr. of proj.

600

7

3

Silkworm breeding

nr. of proj.

800

0

0