A mystery Russian investor has made an offer to buy a closed winery owned by Bulgaria's leading winemaker Domaine Boyar, according to local reports.

The SeeNews agency said yesterday (4 January) that Domaine Boyar, which owns wine brands including the Blueridge label, expects to finalise the sale of its Shumen winery sometime this year.

"The deal should be completed at the end of 2007," a Domaine Boyar official told SeeNews.

Domaine Boyar decided to close the winery in 2005 and shift production to its site in Sliven to cut costs.

The Russian investor plans to use the Shumen winery to export wine to the Russian market, the Domaine Boyar official said.

Domaine Boyar representatives could not be reached for comment as just-drinks went to press.