THE LAND NIGHT AND DAY MEET

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy
than all the books in the world"

Louis Pasteur

A bottle of wine contains more philosophy<br>than all the books in the world.

A BORN FIGHTER

"Climbing a high mountain peak is very similar to
the daily life of an entrepreneur"

Michael Zehe

Quality is the asset of the entrepreneur – this sense of quality has also the highest priority for him when it comes to his passion for wine. In 2009 Michael Zehe travelled with his business partner Velichka Kniss through Bulgaria when he discovered the potential of unused land near Boshulya. They both decided to buy 38 hectare with some more than 100-year-old vines. The long hot summers and cold winters make Boshulya the perfect region for growing nice and rich red wines. To combine all advantages of Europe, they decided to grow the grapes in Bulgaria and produce the wine with the help of a German winemaker. 2014 their dream came true and the first harvest of the 2013 planted vines was brought in. In 2017 they started selling their own wines under the label Velis Vineyards.

Михаел Цее
glass

Where it all began

Wine can tell eloquent stories, can weave destinies, cross paths and bring people together. Our history of wine is genuine and it brought German entrepreneur Michael Zehe to the wonderful rolling landscape of the Boshulsko-Velichkovsky highlands. While making a business trip in Bulgaria, he came across the ancient road of wine and the village of Boshulya, which was founded as the Roman road station Alusore. At 235 metres above sea level, it has lush picturesque vineyards of master winemakers whose livelihood has been viticulture and winemaking for a long time.

It is the natural beauty and traditions of this beautiful area that impressed mechanical engineer Michael Zehe. It also reminds him of his home – the small village Flörsheim-Dalsheim in the region Rheinhessen, which is famous for its many high rated wineries. His native village has only 3000 residents but was listed in the Guinness World Records with its 40 wineries.

Michael Zehe and Velichka Kniss where affected by the terroir of the piece of land chosen. For almost 30 years the land was left to itself and the soil had a chance to recover. This is the basis for their dream to produce very high quality wines of a variety of grapes. Another important factor is the reduction of the grapes. Not more than 3.000 kg per hectar are harvested. Despite the hot and dry summer months with very little rain, the vines are not watered, thus forcing the roots of the plants to grow deep into the earth. On the long term this method guarantees the rich flavor and minerality of the red and white grapes.

Velis wine bottle

A blend of Bulgarian land, French grape varieties and German technology

In the spring of 2013 and 2014 80,000 young vine plants from French seedlings were planted. In 2017 further 55,000 young vine plants followed, this time from German and Italian seedlings. The existing red varieties were extended by Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The investment of Michael Zehe and Velichka Kniss enhanced the region as well as created new jobs for the locals. The newly developed vineyard has 25 employees who are involved in processing, growing and harvesting the grapes.

When the harvesting starts, the grapes are picked and stored in small boxes, which are packed directly in a cooling transporter at a temperature of 6 °C. Once the carrier is full, the cooling transport leaves for Germany, where the grapes are processed and age in French oak barrels for at least one year. Syrah and the specialty Petit Verdot are developed as pure varieties whereas the Cuvée is normally a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Once the wine is bottled, it will be stored for a minimum of 1 year before it is ready to be sold to the world of wine lovers. Depending on the climate conditions during the year, the time between bottling and selling can vary from 1-3 years.

The wines of Velis Vineyards are a blend of perfect climatic conditions in Bulgaria, classic French grape varieties and highly modern German technology. The first harvest took place in 2014 – it was generous and marked by a yield of eight tonnes of grapes. Out of these, the first 6,000 bottles of red wine of the brand Velis Vineyards were produced in Germany. The aromatic grapes from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot turned out to be great wine of exceptional quality. The acknowledgement of professional work came shortly - The Concours Mondial de Bruxelles awarded the Cuvée 2014 with a silver medal in 2016. In 2017 the Falstaff Magazine rated the 2014 vintage of Petit Verdot with 92 points, the Syrah with 91 points and the Cuvée with 90 points.

We are very proud, that our first vintage of these very young grapes has been rated that high.

Velis concours mondial bruxelles
Velis selected Wines

VELIS is the name of infinite movement forward in time, like a whiff of sail,
like a breath of eternity.

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