On the 13th and 14th of February 2016, Kosovo Houses will offer you the opportunity to experience the magic of the wines that the “Mezek Winery” produces – with a degustation personally led by Sasho Karapeev – owner of this boutique winery and a dear guest of “Kosovo Houses”. Just before the feast of love and wines, we held a conversation with him about the emotion, inspiration and art of making a good wine.
Tell us about the wines of the Mezzek Winery, what is specific for them and the region?
In our region (Eastern Rhodope mountains) there are excellent opportunities to grow high quality grapes – as climatic conditions go, maybe it’s the best of Bulgaria,;and there are also many good masters in viniculture.
We are descendants of the ancient Thracians who really mastered the crafts to their perfection, and the art of making a heavenly wine among them. They were closer to nature and consequently to the divine than we are. This is evident in all the artifacts that they have left us as a their legacy. A subtle and refined aesthetic that can arise only in a society that believes in the eternity of the soul, and feel themselves as part of a ubiquitous and regenerating life, that has no beginning and no end.
Actually, you know that the funerals for them were celebrations. They did not know the word death. They did not have it in their vocabulary. In Christianity it is also used the word “Assumption”. When you do not have the fear of death, then you can truly live completely and be an artist.
I guess the wine really was part of the rituals that allowed to come in touch with other worlds. So through them we can feel this harmony between spirit and nature.
Since when does the “Mezek Winery” exist? How did you start it?
I started in 2000. I was 40 and I knew I had to change something in my life. There were other circumstances that led me in this direction.
What? How did you decide to engage precisely in that?
I developed a heart problem and got was prescribed for a medical treatment. I decided to try an alternative method. Then for the first time in my life I made wine. I bought some quality grapes, made my first casket and the result was really inspirational. Now I can say that the experiment was successful. The recipe: one glass of fine homemade wine with every meal. I repeat – one glass.
Good wine is made in small wineries. You will feel it mostly in the taste of the grapes in the wine. Perhaps in the spirit of Earth and Nature that is in it.
Then I said, ‘I am making a fresh start. Surely after 100 years here, in this place, good wine will be made’. Well, it can be seen, the process was much faster.
What does the cellar offers? What is special in the way that you create a wine?
Now I make more wine, but maintain the same process. Using the same old technology that is called “submerged hat.” In our region it is the traditional way of wine making. Literally means that the marc is always submerged below the surface. So it allows for a much better extraction of the color and aromas. The wine has a strong body, rich in scents and with a potential for long aging.
There is a secret, of course – do it for others and give the best of yourself. This is the magic in wine and in life too!
I now know that whatever we do, we leave our mark on it, it carries our character, emotion and our energy. That is why the taste of wine here differs significantly from the industrial wines. The good wine is made in small wineries. Good wine is made in small wineries. You will feel it mostly in the taste of the grapes in the wine. Perhaps in the spirit of Earth and Nature that is in it.
Tell us something more about you and your philosophy about making wine?
I am a connoisseur in all things that I have done and probably will do in the future. Connoisseur is perhaps a word that does not sound serious enough in the ears of many people, but I like it and would like to stay as one. When you start talking about business and professionalism, things acquire a slightly different meaning and direction. The magic disappears.
This is the freedom to express yourself in the way that you believe it is best for you. It gives both the satisfaction and the reason to do it. There is a secret, of course – do it for others and give the best of yourself. This is the magic in wine and in life too!