By Paul Caputo

Gamza is a red Bulgarian grape variety grown throughout the country. Although it was popular during the Soviet years and is now predominantly found in the regions to the north west, it has been an important part of Bulgaria’s viticultural heritage and is likely to make a come back over the next decade as a new generation of winemakers seek to get the best out of it. Generally the Gamza grape produces full bodied wines but there is an increasing amount of younger plantings that are yielding a much softer, fruitier style.

Many of the examples I have come across on my travels in Bulgaria are inexpensive, fruity wines that don’t seem to linger long on the palate or indeed memory. It is important to remember that younger plantings of the grape do not produce wines of depth and concentration and we’ll do well wait for the vines to gain some experience before judging to severely, after all, we know that in Hungary and elsewhere in Central Europe Gamza, known as Kadarka, is capable of producing excellent wines.