100 years of tradition
Lefter, the inspiration; Nikolay Kiossev’s grandfather
The tradition and love of wine in the family starts as far back as the early 20th century. In 1922, great-grandfather Atanas buys a large house with a cellar. Ten years later, he gets ill and his 14-year-old son Lefter (Nikolay Kiossev’s grandfather) has to start caring for the crops, including grapes and wine in the cellar. With much work, dedication, perseverance, and of course love at the age of 20, Lefter becomes the youngest wine-maker in the area. For many years numerous connoisseurs from all over Bulgaria go to him for his rich and aromatic wine. In addition to wine, Nikolay’s grandfather is also known for his wisdom and justice. Very often, his neighbors would ask him for advice, and he would share his knowledge with them. Maybe that’s why the whole neighborhood grows to respectfully call him the “Father.”
Blood is thicker than water…
A generation later, and several years after his grandfather´s passing, his first-born grandson Nikolay Kiossev is the man in whom this unfailing love of wine is awakened again. Having crossed the age of Christ, Kiossev, at 35, is increasingly considering creating a winery. Enthusiastic, on October 9th, 2000, together with his father, Simeon, and his 14-year-old son, Mario, he begins to write the new story and makes the first 400 bottles using his grandfather’s vineyards. The wine is fantastic! So good that it is as if it was made by his grandpa. So good that it takes 4 years to be able to do something similar again.
There was an interesting moment during Nikolay´s visit to the ‘Vine and Wines’ in Sofia, where he meets one of the most established authorities in the field of winemaking – it turns out that the professor knew Nikolay’s grandfather (who was no longer alive at the time). He shares great impressions of his grandfather’s skills and gives valuable advice and guidance on how to improve his senses for winemaking and how to grow and make quality wine.
Mario Kiossev and Nikolai Kiossev – Carriers of the Tradition
Building of the Kiossev Wine Cellar
After numerous trips around the villages in the Melnik region and reading many books on the subject, Kiossev realizes that the ideal place is the village of Ilindentsi – a wonderful wine-growing region at the foot of the Pirin Mountain – in the Struma River Valley.
The natural beauty of the landscape around really adds to the picture. In 2003 he buys land in the heart of the village and starts to build the new family boutique cellar “Kiossev”. The first wine made there from the 2006 harvest was MonMar – dedicated and named after his two children, Simona (Moni) and Mario.
Nikolay Kiossev with his wife Vanya and their son Mario
Representation of Bulgaria at the European Parliament
In 2008 the family boutique wine cellar “Kiossev” is chosen to represent Bulgaria at the first salon of Bulgarian wine in the European Parliament. Bulgaria’s performance exceeds all expectations. Everyone is fascinated. At a press conference to the question by a French journalist, “How do you make wine in Bulgaria and in your cellar?”, Kiossev won the sympathy and respect of those present, replying: “Us, the family cellar owners, make wine the same way we make and care for our children – with love, care, heart and soul.¨ The press room bursts into applause.
Everything else is a story which we will tell you when you visit the cellar.