Zornitza Family Estate

Bulgaria Europe
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
Zornitza Family Estate
18 May 2021

Zornitza Family Estate was born out of a dream – to create a place, where luxury and nature are in perfect harmony. That’s how we chose the location – because of the feeling of calmness, beauty and tradition.

That’s how we decided to make it a family venue – so that you can feel well with your beloved. Hospitality here has been turned into philosophy. Our attitude towards quality food and wine produced on-site has been raised to a cult.

We gathered the best of what impressed us on our travels around the world and offer it to you, with a deep reverence for Bulgarian traditions and nature. Your stay in Zornitza Family Estate will be an experience exceeding your expectations!


Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux is a unique place for vacation and relaxation. Picturesque stone buildings with timber beams, red bricks and artistic design describe the interior of the six villas and boutique hotel built in Tuscany style.

Guests have a great spa experience at ZOMA body & soul, with terroir therapies, relaxing pools with thermal water, and Biologique Recherche cosmetics. The 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding vineyards, the sand cliffs of Melnik and the mountain peaks is a natural end to the interior.

The six villas create a sense of luxury, comfort, spaciousness and harmony with nature. Each of them offers exquisite cosiness and a clean yet artistic design and is a special place to relax.

They consist of a studio, bathroom and a spacious terrace with a stunning panoramic view. Every villa has a fireplace that brings a warm sense of romance during the cold months.

The hotel adds another touch to the boutique feel of the villas. Nine suites offer guests complete luxurious experience with different interior and design, a large terrace, magnificent views and all amenities and details of first-class hospitality.

The delicate aristocracy is complemented by sophisticated aromas and stylish musical backgrounds. The hotel is the perfect place for your personal special moments and holidays or for corporate events.

aEstivum restaurant is a place that you would not want to leave. You can relax and enjoy excellent service, quiet music, stylish interiors, author terroir cuisine and a selection of almost 300 wines from the region and around the world.

The restaurant has 34 indoor seats and a vast terrace. The design is tailored to complement the taste of the food and to help you feel at home. Through the tall windows, your eyes embrace the infinite beauty of surrounding nature.

The restaurant’s name is a hint to what defines it as a luxurious venue – aEstivum is the Latin name of summer truffles. You can relish the taste of truffles in different dishes – from salads to desserts. We care about the privacy of our guests, so we ask parents to visit the restaurant with their children only if they are over 12 years old.

Terroir is traditionally related to wine but food has it too. The term is used to define the uniqueness of a place, which gives the products from that region a particular taste – be it the cheese from the local cows, the herbs from the gardens, or the fruits from the orchards.

It has to do with the soil and the climate characteristics but not only – terroir also embraces the soul, culture and traditions of a place. Our aEstivum terroir’s menu combines the best of the local tastes and products and the international gourmet trends.

It evolves with the seasons and the inspiration of chef Vesselin Kalev – give yourselves to his culinary imagination and virtuoso approach to terroir cuisine.

Led by the desire to offer culinary diversity and new experiences to our customers, we are opening a second restaurant at Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux. The modern, cozy and welcoming Bistro 55 is now at your disposal.

Here you will eat delicious food, taste delicious wines and wish to stay for hours, talking with friends and admiring the beautiful views around. While at aEstivum our focus is on the dish, at Bistro 55 we will provide you with an informal, leisurely and relaxing experience.

Of course, without compromising on the quality you are used to. The menu is a balanced fusion of recipes from Bulgaria, Asia and America with a pinch of terroir flavor.

Our Shopska salad is with honey garlic, the Caesar salad – following the original recipe and served with pancetta, and the variety of cheeses – from our farm and artisan from around the country, is remarkable.

On a black board you will find our special offers off the menu. The wine list is tailored to complement the meal and to bring a finishing touch to the good time spent here. The interior runs away from the formal and rather counts on the stylish and eclectic.

Located in the boutique hotel above ZOMA body & soul, the new Bistro 55 will make your stay at the Estate even more fulfilling and enjoyable. The new restaurant will be open every day of the week from 8:30 to 23:00.

Around 300 selected labels of all key regions of the world are at your disposal inside the cellar a few stairs down from the Degustation Room. The selection includes the best of Bulgarian wines and the Melnik region, as well as styles and labels that are still little known on our market.

Confide your tastes to our sommelier and he will certainly manage to match them with the best from our wine selection, and surprise you with a perfect addition to your food. If you are guided by your preference for a special wine, we will help you combine it with the best match on our menu, cooked with fresh seasonal products.

Our sommelier Alexander Skorchev – wine expert for 11 years, WSET Certified, WSAB Co-founder and Nominated Educator – will take you to a journey into the fairytale world of wine, with a glass in hand, and into the tasting hall.

You will learn about the most important steps in wine tasting that allow you to enjoy the wine to the fullest. We can arrange the hall to your preferences, and the appetizers to the wines will be suggested by our Chef. The hall hosts both private and corporate events for up to 30 people.

Discover, experience and indulge your body and soul in precious moments in contact with nature. Take time to regain energy, revitalize and balance your spirit. Time for yourself.

ZOMA body & soul at Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux brings an effective holistic approach through personalised care and treatments that enable the body and mind to reach their optimum level of wellness and beauty.

Ambient music, gentle scents, professional service and stunning views to Melnik sandy rocks and vineyards introduce you to the deep relaxing experience you are about to enjoy.

Designed in harmony with nature ZOMA body & soul is the perfect setting to enjoy treatments, therapies and massages with high quality cosmetics.

Terroir is the key ingredient in our therapies – grapes and wine, lavender, olive oil, honey from the Estate’s own beehives, healing mud from the extinct volcano near the village of Rupite.

Consult our dedicated therapists and choose the best treatment for you. Our in-house specialists will take care not only of your beauty and relax but of your health alike – at your disposal are rehabilitation and breathing body movements classes.

A detoxifying sequence of steam bath, salty mineral pool, sauna and relaxing warm water jet pool is at your disposal. The Relax zone is designed for further relaxation with a cup of herbal tea and a book.

  • 20m thermal water indoor pool with relaxing areas and a fireplace
  • Pool bar – for a selected variety of hot and cold drinks
  • Salt indoor mineral pool – for a detoxifying experience
  • Warm jet pool – for relaxing experience
  • Sauna and steam room – infused with essential oils encouraging relaxation prior and after treatments
  • Cold water bucket – for contrast cold experience after the sauna or/and the steam bath

High-tech equipment from industry leaders with a proven track record – Technogym. Partnership with one of the most popular fitness centres in Sofia – Atama. A stylish interior with a combination of timber and stone.

An excellent selection of equipment which will meet the needs of both novice and advanced fitness lovers. A place for people who just need a bit of a stretch, or the ones who want defined, shapely muscles. This is the technical description of the newly opened fitness centre at Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux.

The spacious, bright room is a natural extension of the relaxing experience at ZOMA body & soul. The best thing though is that, while you are riding the exercise bike or running on the treadmill, you feel like you are floating out of the room and into the nature outside.

The cardio machines are positioned with a view over the surrounding expansive mountains, vineyards and the Estate’s orchards – facing huge French windows which let through generous light and a sense of infinity.

Far from the city’s bustle, overcrowded gyms and artificial light, the fitness centre at Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux is a place which will add to and enhance your experience, recharge you and give you rest and harmony.

The large number of sunny days – over 280, the hilly landscape and the fruitful soils of the Melnik region give birth to taste-filled grapes, which we make into memorable wines. The aroma and taste qualities of local vines raise more and more interest at big world wine exhibitions.

The history of our cellar began in 2011, with the plantation of 50,000 sq. m of vineyards on top of the hills around the Estate. Syrah is the dominant vine, accompanied by 17 other local and classic red wine grape varieties.

Apart from the typical Bordeaux Blend Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Frank we also cultivate Syrah, Grenache, Marselan, Cinsault, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre, Sangiovese and other less popular vines typical for the valley the of the Rhône river and Central Italy.

The region is represented with the traditional Broad-Leaved Melnik Vine, Melnik 55 and Melnik Rubin. The age of the vines varies from one to five-six years, and we also have some Broad-Leaved Melnik vines aged over 10 years.

The soils are sandy and permeable. The vines are planted on slopes for even better permeability and optimal sun exposure. The grape harvest starts in mid August and lasts until late October.

We follow the golden rule that winemaking starts at the vineyard – that’s why we grow quality grapes with excellent characteristics. We give the vines the time they require to build a carbohydrate reserve, we do green pruning and optimize the leaves canopy, so more sunlight to reach the fruit.

Harvest is only done by hand, in small crates that take two minutes to be transported to the cellar. Then follows a secondary selection – picking only the best grapes. The standard vinification is done in stainless steel containers at controlled temperatures; whereas the secondary vinification is done in French oak barrels.

The unique taste of fruits and vegetables, grown with love and expertise at the eco farm of Zornitza Family Estate, will tickle the palates of those who like to combine taste with healthiness.

At the aEstivum restaurant, we will serve you meals, flavored with a bouquet of fresh spices from our gardens; you will get to try artichoke that has been grown on-site, and will discover the taste of pure organic honey.

Apart from freshly prepped food, you will also find jams, cheeses, pickled veggies. Whatever you see, you can buy – take it home and share the taste with friends.

In only three to four years, Zornitza Family Estate will be the kingdom of truffles. We have planted more than 250 evergreen oaks, infected with black Burgundy truffle, and 250 stone pines with Bianchetto truffle – all of which will soon step into the Chef’s dishes.

Our trufflery shall give its first yields in a few years, while, in the meantime, we source truffles from small Bulgarian producers. We use them in signature dishes to add taste and aroma.

We have a home-ran micro-production of jams, made of seasonal fruit from our orchards – plums, apricots (wild and cultivated), peaches, cherries, and figs.

We jazz them up with some spices, such as tonka beans and truffle. In the summer, the aEstivum’s tables are served with juicy strawberries, cherries, peaches; while the autumn is the time for pomegranates, pears, plums.

Near the oaks infected with black truffles there are twenty beehives that give fruit, black locust and herb honey. Don’t miss to try them all during breakfast at the aEstivum restaurant.

We offer cow milk yellow cheese, fresh-salted cow milk cheese, sheep and cow cheese, home smoked cheese and a fresh cheese, which we call Balkan Mozzarella,
as it is seasoned with Bulgarian spices.

Apart from a place that offers first-class accommodation, culinary adventures, wine tastings and spa experiences, Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux is turning into a preferred venue for wedding celebrations, corporate events and family gatherings.

For we believe that every event deserves to be held in style, with all the little details ticked, just like all clients deserve to have their individual preferences met.
We at Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux are proficient at these.

Nested in-between rounded mountain ridges, sand pyramids and endless vineyards, Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux welcomes wedding couples who wish to give their vows surrounded by the beautiful nature of the Melnik region.

The fact that the Estate benefits from more than 300 sunny days a year makes it a first-class location for open space events. The wedding options we have to offer extend far beyond your imagination and present a whole new magical world – by the beauty of the two lakes, on the lawns, amidst the vineyards – just as if you are under the Tuscany sky…

We can offer you a unique idea for your wedding photoshoot – on a flight over the Estate in a hot air balloon. And something else that is also quite extraordinary – wedding events availability from Sunday to Thursday.

The food and the service are just what you would expect from a beautiful fairytale – gourmet wedding menus with author cuisine and traditional Bulgarian recipes, all made with organic products, as well as a choice of almost 400 wines.

When the party is over, we will welcome you in ZOMA body & soul with an exquisite spa experience, featuring different terroir-based therapies and thermal water pools. Alternatively, we could take you to the Aegean shores of Greece – only an hour-drive away from the Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux.

Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux’s seclusion and elegant luxury attract those who want their family events to be unique, stylish and remembered by those who matter most.

A wild bachelorette party amidst the flowers and the vineyards on the island at the Estate that goes on until sunrise. Or a child’s christening event at the Rozhen Monastery nearby, coupled with a family gathering within the coziness of the aEstivum restaurant.

Or an anniversary, held in the tasting hall, for both wine and friendships grow better with time. The occasion theme is on you, while we willingly take on the responsibility to manifest your vision down to every little detail, to fulfill your fantasies and gift you with an unforgettable private event.

Those of you who have visited the Estate have certainly seen shaped areas with low-cut grass and a flag in the middle near the island, next to the hotel, along the vineyards… Some should know that these are golf holes, others will have a chance to learn it and even to play them.

To make your time in nature even more exciting, we now offer the guests of the Estate – kids and adults, beginners and advanced, golf lessons with a PGA professional.

At the 6-holes par 3 practice course, beginners have the opportunity to get acquainted with the rules, etiquette and terminology of the game and to get an individual training program.

The advanced receive precious advice on how to improve the elements of their game, stay in optimal shape during the winter break and choose the most fitting golf equipment.

We provide all the trainees with the necessary golf balls and clubs. And what better background to your practice sessions than the endless beauty and fresh air of the Melnik region!

The lessons we offer are as follows: individual single lessons, individual lesson packages, lesson for two, family lesson, group lesson (2-6 people) and lesson for children up to 16 years old.

A unique combination of natural beauties, history, cultural heritage and winemaking turn the Melnik region into an attractive and diverse destination.

You can make a journey back in history and see the variety of museums in the towns close to the Estate, or explore the wine routs and the cellars scattered around the neighbouring hills, or you can choose to dive in religion or mysticism, to cross the border with Greece or to climb the mountains and enjoy the scenery.

Wherever you decide to spend the day, a return at our Estate will immerse you in homey coziness and complete relaxation

You can travel back in history, visiting the Ancient town of Sandanski (located in the center of the modern town) which was declared an Archaeological and cultural monument of national importance.

You can choose to dive in religion and spend the day at the Rozhen Monastery – the largest Orthodox monastery in the Pirin mountains, then make a tour around the churches of Melnik. Or if you are rather into mysticism and super natural phenomena – visit Rupite or Reverend Stoina Church.

Melnik is located only 5km away from Zornitza Family Estate – the smallest town in Bulgaria, famous for its unique architecture, winding cobblestone streets, and its fruit-soft wine of Broad-Leaved Melnik Vine.

The most popular houses are the Kordopulova House, Pashova House, Litova House, Bolyarska House (also the oldest standing house in Bulgaria).

From a cultural and historic perspective, the most notable sight in the Melnik region is the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Monastery in Rozhen. This is the largest orthodox monastery in the Pirin mountains and a century old spiritual center.

The icon in the Rozhen Monastery is a replica of the famous wonder-working icon Panagia Portaitissa of the Iveron Monastery on Mount Athos.

Miracles and metaphysical powers rule over the village of Zlatolist, too, where prophet Reverend Stoyna used to heal and foresee the future, thanks to her patron St. George, after who the monastery in the village is named.

One of the most popular tours will take you to Rupite, where one of the most famous Bulgarians spent her last days – Baba (Grandma) Vanga.

The area is a 15-minute drive away from Zornitza Family Estate. The complex around her house, St. Petka Bulgarska Church and the excellently maintained park all present a strong attraction for Bulgarian and foreign tourists.

Mild Mediterranean climate, sandy soils, undulating Tuscany-like hills, scattered cellars on top of them – this is the resume of the Melnik wine region, which is already world famous. A colorful printed wine map with drawings and useful details would guide the tourists not only to winemakers but to cultural sights, too.

Excellently equipped and devoted to the high art of winemaking, local wineries count on both traditional and classical vines. All cellars are located within a 30-minute drive from Zornitza Family Estate and, at your request, wine tastings and visits may be arranged at the Estate’s reception.

If you want to gain an insight of the wine production image of the region, you should not miss the tours to Villa Melnik, Orbelus, Kapatovo Gardens and Vineyards, Orbelia Winery, and Sintica Winery.

Wine Cellar Villa Melnik is a family-owned estate that continues a vine-growing and winemaking tradition with over 200 years of documented history. Villa Melnik owns 30ha of vineyards and a modern winery only 5km from Melnik.

The winery offers excellent opportunities for wine tourism and welcomes visitors from Bulgaria and abroad every day. The friendly tour guides at Villa Melnik will take visitors on a journey through every step of the winemaking process.

The tour begins from the vineyards, where the local varieties Broad-Leaf Melnik, Melnik 55, Mavrud and Ruen grow alongside some international varieties. Then, visitors follow the gravity-flow production process through the three levels of the winery.

The underground cellar is particularly impressive: with tunnels that run deep under the sandy hill where the wine ages in oak barrels and a treasury full of old and rare bottles.

The tour will finish at the tasting room, where visitors can enjoy Villa Melnik’s award-winning wines from the series AplauZ, Bergulé, Family Tradition, Young & Crazy, and Orange Wine. Welcome!

Around Zornitza Family Estate Relais & Châteaux your eyes would roam over Slavyanka mountains and the Ali Botush natural reserve, Belasitza and its century-old forests, the magnificent Pirin, Ograzhden, and others.

Their depths hide eco trails of varying difficulty, biking tracks, picnic locations, fishing and hunting opportunities. The Estate borders the canyon of the Melnishka river that is lined with dense forests. There is also an eco trail that runs along the bank of the river.

Incredible rock formations spread on an area of 50 sq. km. The pyramids have acquired their present appearance due to the erosion of the clay soil. They are still taking shape and their appearance and form change over time.

These enchanting natural sculptures have a variety of contours and shapes resembling rock mushrooms, stacks of hay, minarets, alpine ridges and peaks, swords, obelisks, Egyptian pyramids, Gothic temples etc. This unique natural phenomenon attracts tourists from all over the world.

Several picturesque waterfalls near our estate offer incredible natural scenery, numerous hiking trails and are an attractive place for lovers of outdoor excursions, hunt and fishing.

Popina Luka waterfall is located along the Bashliitsa River. It is 12 meters high and 1230 meters above sea level. The area abounds in centuries-old coniferous forests, mixed with some deciduous species.

Skoka waterfall in the village of Kashina is one of the largest in the southern Pirin Mountains. It is about 20 meters high. When the water crashes into the rocks produces a fine water mist, which cools pleasantly in the hot summer days.

Don’t miss the Smolarski waterfall, which is located in North Macedonia and is an impressive 40 meters high.

One-day winter skiing adventure in Bansko and the Greek beaches during the summer are an arm’s length away, if your starting point is Zornitza Family Estate. You can get to Bulgaria’s most famous ski resort in a little over an hour, and to Thessaloniki, Greece – in an hour.

The Thessaloniki International Airport is 75 minutes away. The picturesque Pirin Golf & Country Club is even closer – a challenging 27-hole golf course amidst pine trees and mountain views. The mountains around the estate hide eco trails of varying difficulty, biking tracks, picnic locations, fishing and hunting opportunities.

There is also an eco-trail that runs along the bank of Melnishka river, bordering the Estate. Struma river is providing the best rafting opportunities in the country, while horse riding is very typical for the region.

Website: www.zornitzaestate.com
Rooms: 15
Price: from 307 EUR per night


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