• a country in eastern Europe that is said to be the first place in the world in which vines were planted and wine was made. In the 1980s Bulgarian wine was exposed to western markets by the state-owned wine company, with great export success; the wines were inexpensive varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon being the most popular. The fall of the Communist government left the Bulgarian wine industry in some disarray through the 1990s, as land was returned to its original owners and wineries were privatised, a process which has been slow and is still ongoing. It has now introduced authorised growing regions, Declared Geographical Origins (DGOs) as well as higher-quality wine-producing regions called Controlirans. It has also embraced modern winemaking technology and planted popular grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, thus providing much of the popular table wine for sale in Europe.