The wine

The wine - brings youth and rejuvenation both in a glass or in the bath.

They say wine is as old as written history and even more so than mankind itself.

The exact origins of wine making are yet to be unravelled by historians. However there is evidence that wine production in the lands of modern Bulgaria dates back to the Bronze Age (3 000 BC). Homer described Ancient Thrace as a land of wonderful wine. Accounts of well-developed viticulture and wine-making can be found in the wriings of Plato, Xenophon, Athenaeus, Polyen and others.

Wine is well known for its medicinal properties already since antiquity. Its qualities have been proved by Dioscorrid, Pliny the Old, Hippocrates and Galen. Wine keeps its reputation as a potent remedy even through the Middle Ages, but has only become subject of scientific analysis at the beginning of the 20th century

In the regenerative and therapeutic properties of wine, we find that it also heals the spirit! Wine-based wellness and spa procedures help us slow down time and take a deep look into our true nature and what brings joy to us. Because wine is not only "the most beneficial among drinks", but also "the most pleasant among the medicines and most delicious among food," Plutarch says.

At the end we can add that our ancestor`s tradition is alive- in Bulgaria there are dozens of wine cellars, which preserve and develop lessons learned by the ancient Thracians.

Evidence of rich vine culture, which was developed by the Thracians has been proven in the wealth of images on ancient Thracian wine-drinking vessels. Remarkable examples of Thracian toreutics are nine ritual vessels included in the Panagyurishte gold treasure./at the end of IV and beginning of III centrury BC/. They are identified as wine-drinking set, forged by 23ct gold. Four of the rhytons are shaped like heads or front part of animals. Decorations shows mythological scenes related to famous heroes of antiquity. On one of the rhytons is the solemn feast in honor of Dionysus' wedding with the Princess Ariadne. The other three pictured head of Amazon.

The large amphorubic vessel is most intriguing in form and decoration. Its handles are shaped like struggling with each other centaurs, and the two wine pouring openings at the base of vessel are shaped like Negro heads. Between them the figure of Heracle`s child, struggling with the serpent is pictured as well as other scenes of mythology.

Beautiful examples of the aesthetic aspect of the wine culture are phials, bowls and glasses from the Rogozen treasure. Remarkable are the plastic incarnations of wine on both the Dionysos and the Apollon treasure set. The silver Dionysus set was used in Dionysian rituals, and Apollon's silver set was used in rituals dedicated to Son-of-the-Sun and God Apollon.Theese treasure set dates from the first half of IV century BC.

Approximately from the same period of the Teres reign and growth of Odryss civilization is also the Kazanlak`s tomb. Its walls tell us in splendid images about the rich Thracian feasts.The tomb is one of the most precious Thracian art monuments dated back to the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd century BC. The funeral feast pictured with a complex technique is a brilliant testimony to the mysterious nature of the wine, recognized as a sacred beverage with which the willing felt the secrets of the afterlife.

Another aspect of Odrys wine culture puts sanctuaries in the focus of places where wine has another cultural function- its part as mystic beverage included in fire and wine rituals. Symbolic meaning of this ritual is embedded in the doubled image of Great Goddess first-born son. She initiates herself and gives birth to her first-born son, who is sun during the day, and at night - fire / personified as Zagrey or Sabazius/. Evidence for this fire and wine ritual comes to us by the work of Svetoniii Tranquil - "The Life of the Twelve Caesars".

Another aspect of the ancient Thracian wine culture is the cultural transformations of the wine god Zagreus. Orphic doctrine affirms his image as the son of the Great Goddess who is sacrificed to bring the life back. The concept of wine as a symbol of the reborn life, of the spirit immortality in which orphanism preaches is the exact essence of the ancient Thracian wine culture.

Orphic cosmogony builds the world on musical tones. Embodying the transforming life with the image of the sunny-wine beginning, this elitist teaching throws powerful cultural connections between art and wine. These connections are another essential element of the ancient Thracian wine culture. As the emblem of sacrifice for creation, wine becomes also the emblem of creation itself and its mysterious knowledge. The mysterious character of wine is determined by revelation that brings about the wisdom of the verbal - the art. Cultivarily, Orpheus wine gives birth to the religion of the immortal human spirit through the art.