Aromatized wine of Osmar

“If a man doesn’t drink all his wine next to Trifon Zarezan, he’s not a real man!” The village has been famous for centuries for its vineyards and the centuries-old recipe for the special aromatized wine of Osmar, which is made in every house. Not one or two legends connect the history of the village and its name with wine. According to one of the legends, the special aromatized wine of Osmar has been made here since the time of the First Bulgarian State – when Khan Krum uprooted the vineyards, he kept the plantations in the area of ​​Osmar for personal use. Specialists in the Old Bulgarian language claim that the name of the village comes from the word “usmar”, which means leather fur, often used in ancient times to carry wine. The Proto-Slavic word “osmin”, which means “tanner”, is also connected with the name of the village. According to another hypothesis, the name of Osmar comes from the name of the old Thracian settlement Ismaros. Others claim that the name is derived from the Turkish word “asma” because of the abundance of vineyards in the area.

When Khan Krum uprooted the vineyards, he kept the plantations near Osmar for himself

There is also a very prosaic legend about the creation of the special aromatized wine of Osmar – a White Guard settler one night got so drunk that in the morning he was found frozen in the snow. The villagers began to treat him according to the tried and tested recipe – with mulled wine, to which they added a stalk of wormwood and other herbs, a little honey. Thus, the White Guard was saved from white death, and since then the famous wine, made with medicinal plants, has been made. Everyone in Osmar will tell the recipe, but will also save a little from it. The special aromatized wine of Osmar is made with grapes, twigs of dried wormwood, herbs, fruits – apples and quinces, healthy wine from the previous harvest. For the quality of the drink, it is important how the barrel will be loaded – a layer of grapes 10-15 cm thick is spread at the bottom. Slices of apples and quinces are arranged on it, the herbs are placed on them, the main part of which is wormwood.

Aromatized wine of Osmar

The special aromatized wine of Osmar is made from healthy wine, dried wormwood, herbs, and fruits

Yarrow, elderflower, balm, chamomile can also be used to enrich the aroma, but they should not be overdone so as not to disturb the specific wormwood “nose”. Herbs are the main subtlety in making this wine – the greatest masters put over 20. “When I started counting them, maybe so many come with basil, St. John’s wort, yarrow, lemon balm, thyme…”, says 80-year-old Nikolinka Ivanova, one of the great masters of the special aromatized wine of Osmar. “Herbs are the ones that make our wormwood different from the one prepared in other places in Bulgaria – they grow only here on the Shumen plateau. I go and collect them, or I order from a shepherd”, says Nikolinka. Thanks to the grapes and wine at the beginning of the last century the village is among the most prosperous in Bulgaria and is called Little America. Each house has 100-150 acres of vineyards and makes 15-20 tons of wine. In 1902 the first champagne in Bulgaria was produced here, and three years later the Oralo cooperative was established, which founded a popular bank in the village.

Thanks to her, as early as 1928, Osmar was supplied with Manesman pipes, and with the help of Germans, the locals built a water supply and sewerage system. To this day, it has not crashed, says Peter Sveshtarov. Fire hydrants have been around since then, the same ones in New York, and they’re still working. In the period 1937-1944, the village of Osmar was in its heyday. In the village, he opened a cinema with a 35 mm Philips projector, a community center, a health center, and a veterinary clinic. A fruit market and a dryer are being built, three cooperage workshops are being opened, nurseries are being developed, and there is a project for halls. The main income of the village comes from the grapes and the young vines and in order to be exported by freight cars, the Han Krum railway station was built nearby.

The grapes are transported there with special carts with shock absorbers so that the berries are not damaged. Osmar has offices in Dobrich and Ruse. The main export is to Germany, as about 550-600 wagons with fresh production go there annually.

On September 9, 1944, he found Osmar with at least a dozen millionaires

“On September 9, 1944, he found Osmar with at least a dozen millionaires. In the same year, the village exported 3,000,000 kg of grapes, 1,500,000 liters of wine, 200,000 liters of brandy, and a million and a half refined vine sticks. And when monetary reform was carried out in 1947 and banknotes were withdrawn from issues until 1943, the bank was forced to open a branch in Osmar so that it could exchange people’s money. Each house had several million, “says Peter Sveshtarov. Collectivization in Osmar was painful and with the establishment of a cooperative farm in 1956, more than 120 Osmar residents emigrated to Varna, and 80 went to live in Sofia. Grape production and exports to Germany are transferred to the state cooperative. In the 1950s, during campaigns, the village hired so many workers from the area that the population exceeded 6,000. At that time Nikolinka Ivanova came to Osmar for the first time and started sorting grapes and ennobling vine sticks intended for export to Germany.

During the summer, Osmar’s children went camping for months so as not to disturb their parents

During the summer months and during the grape harvest the whole village is busy with almost round-the-clock work. And what to do with the children? All the children of the village, together with their teachers and a doctor, spend their summers in the holiday base in the area of ​​Osmar, so as not to prevent their parents from working. “We lined the grapes in crates – white, fragrant dessert variety” Bulgar “, everything went for export to Germany. I was the controller of 20-30 people, and at Khan Krum station there were other people who monitored the quality. One berry was injured and the crates were returned, and they were described by their number, ”Nikolinka recalls. He buys a chaise from his wages and marries Ivan Iliev from Osmar, whom they meet at a party in the center of the village. Their neighbor Mitko, who works in the winery, teaches her how to make wormwood. And so to this day. Nikolinka’s husband and son-in-law are now deceased, but she has passed on the mastery of making the special aromatized wine of Osmar to her sons-in-law.

Aromatized wine of Osmar

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