There are five regions of Bulgaria winelands, although only two or three of these have been officially recognised by the EU as designated origins of wine. The Danube Plain and Black Sea regions are the mainstay of Bulgarian viticulture, although the Thracian Lowlands, Rose Valley and Struma Valley also generate a respectable quantity of wine each vintage. The only area not to have vineyards planted in any significant quantity is that around the capital Sofia, in the west.
The Thracian Lowlands temperate continental climate and the favourable distribution of precipitation are good premises for red wine growing. The lowlands of Upper Thrace include the central part of the lowland plus parts of the Sakar mountain. Mavrud, a famous local wine, as well as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Muscatel and Pamid are grown here and the Balkan Mountains block the cold winds blowing from the plains of Russia. The region to the south of the Balkans, the valley drained by the Maritsa River, has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and warm, dry summers.