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Bulgaria is the only country in the world when 14 February is not only St Valentine's Day. For centuries Bulgarians have celebrated on the same day something else, but that is strongly associated with the intoxication of love: wine and its patron saint, St Trifon Zarezan. This unique combination makes Bulgaria an excellent place to celebrate 14 February.

If you still have no plans or if you prefer to do something different than the tried and tasted romantic dinner, head to Bulgaria's southwest. The Melnik region is the home of one of this nation's best local wines, and for a third year in a row it will celebrate it with a fascinating festival.

Between 14 and 17 February the region's small wineries will celebrate St Trifon's Day with a mixture of traditions and more modern activities. An initiative of the Villa Melnik Winery, the Open Doors Days in the Melnik Region Festival will include century-old rites such as the ritual pruning of vines, folklore programmes, winery tours and tastings of local wines and food.

A specifically designed map is available for downloading here to help you plan your visit. Check the event's official Facebook page for current information.

Melnik Open Doors Wineries

The participating wineries are:

 On the preceding weekend, 9-10 February, you have another reason to visit the region, for the Golden Grape Festival of Melnik Wine.

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