Zornitza Family Estate
From some angles, the Zornitza Family Estate looks and feels as refined as any top boutique winery, with its perfectly presented rows of vines, idyllic sunset views over the mountains and impossibly enticing guestrooms often complete with a fireplace, exposed beams and bare stone walls. Yet look a little harder, and the real brilliance of this rural retreat near Sandanski is its authenticity, proud rustic atmosphere and clear connection with the landscape.
Indeed, it stretches far beyond the vineyard itself. Although you’ll have no end of pleasure indulging yourself with afternoon wine tasting tours while here, the story continues during mealtimes too, with just about everything served on the Zornitza Family Estate’s fine dining menu being grown onsite, at their admirably organic eco-farm. Whether it’s your morning jam and artisan cheese plate or truffle-infused main course at night, the chances are it was picked, prepared and presented all within a few short yards. Then there are the luxury elements of all that the Zornitza Family Estate has to offer, none more so than an uncharacteristically modern spa, a haven of smooth beech wood and zen music, salt and jet pools, steam baths, a sauna and indoor thermal swimming pool, plus another outside, just for good measure. You can keep fit in the gym, pick up a bike and cycle the scenic trails of Melnishka River Canyon (among many other nearby natural areas ideal for riding and walking), ski during winter, visit Thessaloniki in summer, or just enjoy time spent around the hotel grounds.
Finally, when it comes to your own private slice of this boutique Bulgarian retreat, the guestrooms and villas at Zornitza Family Estate are cosy, homely, and most importantly come with a terrace or patio to enjoy views of the surrounding vines, mountains and valley below; what’s not to love?