An amazing place for food and wine tourism in Bulgaria – Chateau Copsa

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What about a great dinner with great wines? Stop by at Chateau Copsa, near Karlovo, central Bulgaria

It is summer but we still cannot jump in the pool. It is quite windy out there and that day in July does not look like the best time for sunbaths. However, we are enjoying the cozy atmosphere of the public lounge of our hotel and the amazing panoramic views to the Balkan mountains and Sredna Gora mountains in central Bulgaria. Fluffy white clouds have covered the peaks of the Balkan but sun is coming from Sredna Gora. We are almost in the middle between the two mountains, in the Karlovo valley.

This area is a part of the Rose Valley in Bulgaria, world-known for its rose production. Despite windy at that moment, the climate between the mountains is also a wonderful place for growing vines. And you can still feel the heat coming from Southern Bulgaria.

Chateau Copsa and its wine cellar

We have always shared the opinion that Bulgaria is a paradise. It offers so many different things on so small territory that everyone can find his perfect place. Chateau Copsa, with its French-sounding name, is one of these cute boutique wine cellars with hotels. We adore such places and keep looking for them all the time. It is a place where the cellar hides small wine adventures and the restaurant can surprise you with memorable culinary stories.

The new vineyards of Chateau Copsa, Bulgaria

The new vineyards of Chateau Copsa

We never supposed that the cool weather and the atmosphere in the chateau would bring us so much wine mood. Even Maria, which has almost quit drinking wine in the last months, got her wine enthusiasm back. We love such wine cellars, with small but very good hotels, located somewhere among endless vineyards and beautiful views all around.

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Шато Копса 42.647896, 24.706128

How to reach Chateau Copsa

The chateau is located in Central Bulgaria, near the towns of Karlovo and Sopot and in immediate vicinity to Anevo village. All three are located on the main Sub-Balkan road from Sofia to Burgas, in Bulgarian known as Podbalkanska. To reach the chateau you should leave the main road near Anevo village and take the road to the village of Moskovets. On the main road there is also sign for Chateau Copsa. A few hundred meters into this road, you will see another sign for Chateau Copsa pointing to a dirt road. This is the only way to reach it so do not be scared – it is a dirt road but still very accessible so you will have no problem reaching the castle. And soon you will see the castle itself.
Chateau Copsa - a boutique hotel with wine cellar in Bulgaria

Chateau Copsa

When you see the chateau standing above the flat field, you will also notice the artificial hill on which it is standing. There is the wine cellar where the red wines produced by the winery mature. Above the cellar is the wonderful building of the castle, with its fine restaurant, hotel rooms and panoramic rooftop lounge area and terrace. The latter became our favourite place in the chateau and we spent several hours resting there and enjoying the views and the serenity.

The big question – whether to sleep in a castle or see a castle from your window? – Maison Copsa

Let’s go back to the beginning and our arrival at Chateau Copsa, because every moment of our stay there is worth telling about. So we were accommodated in a chalet-style room on the second floor of Maison Copsa – the new building in the complex, overlooking the vineyards and mountains from one side and the castle from the other side. The room was furnished with a lot of attention to detail, very original and very cozy.

Room 201 at Maison Copsa

Room 201 at Maison Copsa



Booking.com

We saw a few more open doors of other rooms and noticed that they are all different, despite in the same style. Maybe the goal is to find a new experience every time you come back here.

So we spent our first 15 minutes just enjoying our wonderful home for the coming two nights and headed to the castle to start with our 4-step gourmet wine tasting.

Good wine or good food? Why not both with a 4-step gourmet wine tasting?!

You know that we love tasting wines. We really prefer tasting rather that drinking large quantities. And even more we love pairing it with food. We really admire the professional cooks and sommeliers who can show the best from both food and wine. And when everything is served with a friendly smile and proper information, it is perfect. Because words matter for the taste, too.

All of this magic is real in the restaurant of Chateau Copsa and we will now share it with you.

Step 1: Zeyla Karlovo Misket with Tomato and cheese salad

This was our first encounter with the aromatic wine from Karlovo Misket grapes, from the Zeyla series. Zeyla is the basic series of wines produced by Chateau Copsa and collects mostly single-variety wines from the grapes they grow themselves. The Karlovo Misket was once a traditional variety in the area but later became less popular. The owners of Chateau Copsa are enthusiastic to revive it in the recent years.

Maria tasting Zeyla Karlovo Misket

Maria tasting Zeyla Karlovo Misket

The wine has fine but rich aromas, including white flowers and peach. In the taste you will notice green apple and maybe other fruits. The wine is very tender but still memorable. One of our favourites for the summer.

Zeyla Karlovo Misket 2017 by Chateau Copsa, Bulgaria

Zeyla Karlovo Misket 2017 by Chateau Copsa, Bulgaria

Here is the most interesting part – food. In the summer we love the salad of fresh tomatoes with white cheese. And we have always wondered is there a proper wine to pair. Well, here it is – the Zeyla Karlovo Misket. A great idea for a starter for every summer family dinner.

Tomatoes with marinated white cheese

Tomatoes with marinated white cheese

Step 2: Arlecchino Sauvignon Blanc paired with Trout fillet and black rice

Sauvignon Blanc has never been among our favourite varieties but we never miss a chance to taste it. Arlecchino Sauvignon Blanc by Chateau Copsa is fine, aromatic and for our surprise – slightly bubbly in the beginning. For some wine experts the gas that has left in the bottle may be a disadvantage but for us it makes the wine even fresher. The reason for the gas is not a technology mistake – it was just very cold during the bottling of this wine.

Arlecchino Sauvignon Blanc 2017 by Chateau Copsa

Arlecchino Sauvignon Blanc 2017 by Chateau Copsa

It was again a perfect match with the served food. Now Maria has the difficult task to learn how to cook this meal at home, as far as it is possible.

Trout fillet with black rice

Trout fillet with black rice

Step 3: Rose Angelica, chicken roll and emmental

Rose wines are the pride of the Rose Valley. Angelica Rose is a part of the A series of Chateau Copsa where the wines bear light and joyful names, as feel the wines themselves. This is the higher class Rose of the winery – there is also one from the Zeyla series. However, we avoid classifying the wines by lower or higher class because it is all about technology difference and personal taste. So let’s go back to Angelica – mineral, fresh and.. pink. It is our third glass for the evening and distinguishing the fine aromas is a challenge for us.

Two sister Rose wines - Rose Angelica and Rossy Rose

Two sister Rose wines – Rose Angelica and Rossy Rose

And because we mentioned the Rose Valley, here we found a surprising local variety of Rose Angelica. The same wine but with added rose oil. It is a very limited series and you cannot buy a bottle but if you are lucky, you may be able to taste it. Of course the roses dominate in taste and aromas and it is exotic and special. However, we still loved the basic Angelica Rose.

Chicken roll with emmental

Chicken roll with emmental

And the pairing food – delicious as all others before. Pictures speak for themselves.

Step 4: Stradivarius Selection Rouge with pork

We will remember this aroma and taste for long. The combination of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah is not something unusual but the results can be really interesting. Explosively aromatic with medium body, feeling amazing in the company of pork. We can’t write too much about this step not because we did not like it but just because it was extremely difficult to look for the details. We just enjoyed our great time and the perfect finish to our dinner.

While the red wines of Chateau Copsa mature in French oak barrels under the castle, we wondered where the whole vinification magic happens. We learned that they have a larger winery in the mountain town of Klisura where the weather is cool enough in all seasons and offers perfect conditions for making wine.

When comfort beats the travel spirit

We love travelling and discovering new places but sometimes we prefer to enjoy the quietness of a place and just stay at a place for some time. Of course, the better one place is, the more we wish to stay there. It is also nice to feel the spirit of the place and not only to go for adventures. In the chateau we settled on the top floor, where the panoramic views and the comfortable sofas made us stay 2-3 hours.

The lounge area at the top of Chateau Copsa

The lounge area at the top of Chateau Copsa

One of our most charming experiences was also our walk among blackberry bushes near Stryama river which flows several kilometres from the chateau, near Moskovets village. Eating fresh fruits straught from the bush was amazing. Next time we think about picnic with watermelon by the river.

Blackberries near Stryama river

Blackberries near Stryama river

We also made a short walk around the nearby town of Sopot and then came back for our greater attraction – the 6-step gourmet wine tasting.

The restaurant at Chateau Copsa is awaiting us for dinner

The restaurant at Chateau Copsa is awaiting us for dinner

6-step gourmet tasting with Zeyla wines

We were already aware what to expect because the menus of the tastings are available both on the hotel’s website and in the printed materials in the rooms. So we were eager to start an even more exciting wine and food adventure.

AXL Rose Valley Misket

This wonderful wine from the music series of Chateau Copsa replaced the Zeyla Karlovo Misket which we tasted the previous evening. It reconfirmed our love to this aromatic local grape variety. However, there is difference between the two. The grapes for the AXL were grown in selected rows with special attention in order to reveal its full potential. The result – a richer wine with memorable taste, underlined by the paired green salad.

This time we were lucky again because this series is also sold out and there are just a few bottles left for tastings. And when you know you are trying something limited, it is even more delicious.

Chateau Copsa Blanc – Chardonnay, Muscat and Misket

The latest edition of this wine featured 50 % Chardonnay that matured 3 months in oak barrels. If you like Chardonnay, you will probably like this wine too because its presence is highly recognizable. However, the flower aromas of the Misket and Muscat are a wonderful addition. We tasted it in the company of camembert with blueberry jam and of course loved it.

Zeyla Muscat

Again, after the first glass, we stopped trying to distinguish the aromas and tastes in the glass and just enjoyed the wine. According to the description, the Zeyla Muscat should feature aromas of gooseberry, linden, herbs and acacia. And despite it is very elegant and perfectly pairing with fish and salads, its amazing richness uncovers when paired with spicy foods. We tasted it with spicy marinated trout and the black pepper was a perfect fit to the wine.

That delicious marinated spicy trout..

That delicious marinated spicy trout..

Zeyla Merlot

Here we come to our absolute favourite from all the wines we tasted. Rich red colour, rich aromas and very noticeable presence of cherry. Medium to full body, feeling even light. The Zeyla Merlot has matured 12 months in oak barrels and a few more months in bottles before being released on the market. All the red wines from the Zeyla series go through this. So despite this might be the base series of Chateau Copsa wines, you will find no compromise in quality or technology.

We tried the Merlot in the company or very tender and delicious rabbit roll. The rabbit is one of the delicacies in the menu of Chateau Copsa and if you want to enjoy it fully, you should order 24 hours in advance. We also heard that their quails are also amazingly delicious and need only 2-3 hours pre-order. We definitely have a plan for the next time.

Zeyla Cabernet Sauvignon

Fuller and even richer, maybe not that aromatic, but the Cabernet Sauvignon was the logical finish of our tasting this evening. We enyojed in the company of veal fillet and of course it felt perfect.

The dessert

We really hope that our amazing hosts from Chateau Copsa will not be offended that we could not appreciate the whole dessert as it deserves. The grape brandy Rosalza has matured 6 years in oak and is probably amazing for people who like to drink brandy. However, hard alcohol is not our drink and we just smelled it. Instead, we preferred to finish with the delicious home-made chocolate truffles.

Home-made chocolate truffles

Home-made chocolate truffles

And a small addition to the dessert - home-made nougat

And a small addition to the dessert – home-made nougat

What we regretted at Chateau Copsa?

Only one thing – that our daughter Anna was not with us. The chateau offers wonderful things for kids, in the yard you can see rabbits walking around and nearby is a small zoo with deers. Just next to the swimming pool is the wonderful playground and Anna would feel lovely here. However, we just could not stop her going with her grandparents at their village in the countryside.

We left Chateau Copsa with very kind feelings. The personnel of the chateau welcomed us like long-awaited guests, and the other visitors obviously felt the same attitude. We already mentioned how amazing the cuisine and wines are and we will strongly recommend you to book a gourmet wine tasting if you visit the chateau. Moreover, the whole place is very nice and welcoming and you won’t be bored because there are plenty of things to do there. In the summer the outdoor pool is at your disposal and in the winter you could warm up in the small spa centre. And of course, the time spent with good food and wine is always a time well spent.

What else to see and do in the area?

Chateau Copsa is very close to the towns of Sopot (3-4 km) and Karlovo (7-8 km). We made a short walk in Sopot where you can see several tourist places. There are 4 main sights – the house of Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov, the Etnographic complex with retro café and photo, Dyado Stoyan’s Mill and the former Girls’s school. There is combined ticket for the 4 of them. However, we did not enter either and instead spent some time at the St. Spas monastery, also in the town.

St. Peter and Paul church in Sopot. Behind it is the former nunnery

St. Peter and Paul church in Sopot. Behind it is the former nunnery

Another attraction in the area is the Sopot Cable Car which will take you up to the Central Balkan mountains. Another attraction just near the cable car is the local café which is said to serve the best gelato in town. Well, it was closed when we visited but many people told us about the gelato.

Sopot cable car

Sopot cable car

A little bit more about the people and everything

We are always happy to see a place well maintained and cared about. The kind staff, the quality wines and the amazing cuisine make us think of this place with so much pleasure. It might sound as an advertising, but it is not. We were there, we had a lot of fun and want to go back. You might say that we are gourmands – well, we are. For the next time, besides a few meals, we plan to taste the wines from the highest class series and especially 5VE – Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, & Cabernet Franc. And we want to especially thank to the whole staff for being so nice to us.

How to book at Chateau Copsa?

There is plenty of information at Chatea Copsa’s website but only in Bulgarian language. However, the staff should speak English so you can still book directly on the phone or by email. Find their contacts here: https://copsa.bg/kontakti/. What we heard is that guests who book directly will receive a compliment upon arrival.

However, if you prefer, you still can book through Booking – Chateau Copsa Complex.

The place is not budget for Bulgarian standards but the pleasure is totally worth.

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