Wine making in Bulgaria dates back to the time of the ancient tribes of Thrace. Perhaps, even long before that! Since then Bulgarians have been enjoying some of the best grape harvests turning into the greatest wines ever made. Bulgarians have been exporting their wines for centuries and today we continue to do so, but the true legends behind our wines you can only find here in Bulgaria.

Photo credit to wine cellar Stema Starosel

Come visit Plovdiv, Bulgaria and we will take you to …

STEMA STAROSEL is a wine cellar located about 40km from Plovdiv. Easy commute by car or bus. Our partners, Bulgaria Wine Tours have already prepared the itinerary and all you need to do is sign-up, enjoy and don’t forget to bring a bag to take wine back home with you. 🙂

Shop here for branded Plovdiv 2019 goodies

…and the legend of STEMA ….

Wine Cellar Stema Starosel appeared on the wine map of Bulgaria at the end of 2011.

The village of Starosel is where the ancient Thracians erected a temple with dredged wine sharpens more than 2,000 years ago.

In 2009 three partners started the reconstruction of the former public oven in the village, located in the center and turned it into a wine cellar. The work on repairing and rebuilding was slow because the oven has been out of business and abandoned for many years. It would have been easier to knock it off completely, but it would have wiped out the history of the building with the chimney and the stork nest.

Photo credit to wine cellar Stema Starosel

As a result of the effort the business partners received a completely renovated wine-making building and a small restaurant, plus a beautiful courtyard surrounded by the green of the bend of the Pyasachnik River, in which many objects are related to wine making and the lifestyle connected with it.

Why the name STEMA? The answer: STarosel, Elixir, Music, Artifacts = ST + E + M + A

The logo represents a stork flying on the background of the golden disk of the sun, shining over the soft peaks of Sredna Gora Mountain. As we know, the stork is a symbol of luck, a new beginning and good fortune.

Wine cellar Stema Starosel chose the stork because of the stork’s nest on top of the chimney of the public oven, now turned into a winery, at the village of Starosel.

Photo credit to Stema Starosel wine cellar

With regards to grape varieties, the wine cellar decided to continue with the traditionally grown ones: Cabernet Sauvignon, Raccozite, Misket. Their own vineyards are about 20 acres. In the near future they will offer us additional white and red grape varieties. The true wine lovers already know the Stema Starosel wine series: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Raccozite, Misket and Rose. Lately, they have also been experiencing a very high demand for their Pelin, both white and red, wines. Pelin is a very old Bulgaria variety that is popular for its herbal content.  Stema Starosel is one of the few wine cellars in the country that has been able tor restore it!


The owners of wine cellar Stema Starosel keep the annual tradition and participate in all of the editions of the Young Wine Defile held in the Old Town of Plovdiv. This gives them the opportunity to communicate with  wine lovers in the unique atmosphere of the Renaissance houses and to enjoy the traditional wines together and with delight.

One of the business partners of Stema Starosel,  Zahari Zahariev,  is a graduate of the Food & Technology University in Plovdiv. This helps him to maintain to date close ties with the school and he offers practical opportunities (internships) for those students studying wine technology and wine tourism.

Photo credit to wine cellar Stema Starosel

While not hurrying to participate in all wine competitions, two of the wine cellar’s three mature wines have already received awards:

  1. Stema Starossel Merlot 2012 – Gold medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles in Valladolid in 2017
  2. Stema Starosel Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 – Gold Medal of KOREA WINE CHALLENGE in 2018 in Seoul

These awards were welcomed calmly and as a confirmation that the wine cellar is on the right track and that wine making does not require sudden or unplanned actions, but patience. The time for innovation has also come and they are in the process of building a new wine cellar on the grounds of Stema Starosel for better wine storage, which will also include a tasting room. They hope to soon completely enter the unknown wine world, so that they can continue to produce quality wine and share this drink of the gods with as many wine lovers as possible!

It’s travel time & Wine O’Clock

PLAN YOUR customized trip here OR Contact Bulgaria Wine Tours OR Call wine Cellar Stema Starosel at +359 879 433 559;;


Disclaimer: Text and photos are copy rights reserved to wine cellar Stema Starosel only. We have published the story and used the photographs by obtaining written permission from the wine cellar. Any type (all inclusive) redistribution of the published information is subject to international copy rights laws and restrictions.

Silviya Topchiyska

An aspiring Finance graduate who has experience in entrepreneurship, sales, management, banking...when wearing the business suit. Travel Blogger & Wine Enthusiast when wearing shorts and t-shirt! I love to travel and I love to plan all of my trips ahead of time from A to Z! Long time ago, I figured out it's the best way to do it and TODAY I am sharing my travel planning, organizational and budgeting skills with you!

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