DOC Târnave

Wines from the heart of Transylvania

Târnave DOC area is located inside the Carpathian Mountains, in the heart of Transylvania region, more precisely located within the basin formed between Târnava Mică and Târnava Mare rivers. From an administrative and territorial point of view, the region is located within Alba, Sibiu, and Mureş counties.

The vineyard has been mentioned since ancient times, being famous for its white wines, characterized by fruitiness, freshness, and high acidity. Also, according to wine literature, Târnave DOC is the birthplace of two of the most popular, appreciated, and expressive Romanian white varieties: Fetească Albă and Fetească Regală.

From a historical point of view, the first mention of Târnave DOC region dates back to 1532, when it was mentioned in a map from “Chorographia Transylvaniae” written by the famous Saxon chronicler and scholar, Johannes Honterus (14981549). Also, in the writing “La Vie privée à Venise, depuis de origine jusqu’à la chute de la République” written by P. Molmenti, the wines from the center of Transylvania are mentioned since 1173. Wines which during that time had an excellent reputation at the Court of Venice, in the reign of Duke Sebastian Ziani. At the same time, the Milanese author, Pietro Casala, eulogiously described the “generous and mature” wines coming from the Carpathian Mountains. Also, information about winemaking practices and wine production around 1896 are mentioned in the works of Herczegh Mihály.

However, the wine history of this region would not have existed in the absence of a unique set of natural factors ideal for cultivating the grapevines and achieving memorable typical Târnave DOC wines.

  • Southwestern slopes that offer natural protection to the grapevines against the spring and autumn winds and hoarfrost;
  • altitude varying between 250-600 meters;
  • brown soil with alternative layers of clay, waterproof marl, sandstone, and sand;
  • moderate temperate-continental climate with warm summers, harsh and humid winters, and long and gentle autumns;
  • the Carpathian Mountains that naturally protect the region against the cold currents from East and North East;
  • optimal level of rainfall, humidity, solar exposure, and heat.

In terms of terroir, the particularity of the region lies in the misty days from the end of the summer, September and October, a phenomenon that leads to slow grape ripening, along with the conservation of the aromas and the high level of acidity which is typical for the area of Târnave DOC. Also, during the ripening process, the day/ night temperature variation (22°C/72°F12°C/54°F) contributes significantly to the quality of the grapes. A level of acidity which favors the production of sparkling wines and brandies.

The white wines produced in Târnave DOC are characterized as fresh due to their high acidity, smooth texture, minerality, along with floral, fruity, and slightly spicy aromas. While the red wines can be described by delicate body, roundness, feminine texture, and clean-cut aromas of forest red fruits.

One of the representative producers from Târnave Vineyard is Villa Vinèa. The story of the winery begins in 2001, when businessman and wine enthusiast Heiner Oberrauch discover in Mica (Mureş County) a picturesque place with great potential for wine production. In 2006 the first grapevines were planted, and in 2012 the winery was inaugurated. One of the main advantages of the winery is having Celestino Lucin, considered the best winemaker in Italy in 2009, a member in the Villa Vinèa team. The winery produces wines made from local varieties such as Fetească Regală, Fetească Albă, and Fetească Neagră, but also from international varieties like Rhine Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. However, the particularity of the winery stands in making wines from grape varieties with German and Austrian origin, like Kerner and Zweigelt, highly appreciated by the Oberrauch family and cultivated with notable results in Târnave Vineyard. Based on the terroir and potential of the region, Villa Vinèa will soon launch a range of sparkling wines.

Confirming the unique reputation of Transylvania as a place full of history, legends, mystery and picturesque surroundings, Târnave DOC region impresses with a new wine revival, marked by the unique labels of Villa Vinèa winery.

Grape varieties which can be used to produce wines with “TârnaveControlled Designation of Origin.

White Grape Varieties:

Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Muscat Ottonel, Sauvignon Blanc, Neuburger,Italian Riesling, Rhine Riesling, Fetească Albă, Fetească Regală, Furmint.

Red Grape Varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Fetească Neagră, Syrah, Merlot.

IG Dealurile Munteniei

Dealurile Munteniei (in En. “Muntenia’s Hills”) G.I. is a wine region located in the Southern part of Romania within Buzău, Prahova, Argeş, Dâmboviţa and Olt counties. The region belongs to the  Subcarpaţii de Curbură area and the grapevine plantations are located on the slopes and depressions of the hills. Also, the region is famous for the remarkable red wines, and also has very good potential for planting aromatic white varieties such as Muscat Ottonel or Tămâioasă Românească.

The origin of viticulture in the area of Dealurile Munteniei is very old, proof being the archaeological finds, ceramic pieces, and toponymy. One of the first mentions dates from the 4th century, when the Visigoth King Athanaric buried his famous treasure known as the “Cloşca cu puii de aur” (in En: “The Hen with Golden Chicks”) or “Tezaurul de la Pietroasa” (in En.:“The Piertroasele Thesaurus”). Later in the archives, there are several mentions from the 15th century on the locations where viticulture and winemaking were practiced like Bucov, Valea Călugărească, CepturaUrlaţi, and Tohani.

A moment that has helped the development of Dealurile Munteniei G.I. was the proximity to cities like Bucharest, Ploieşti and Buzău, which attracted many personalities and noble family from the 17th century to invest in wineries and cellars. A well-known example is of Constantin Brâncoveanu (1688-1714), who built in Tohani, a wine cellar, a mansion and a church as a stopover point en route to Moldova.

Viticulture has been a long time the principal activity of the dwellers of Dealurile Munteniei GI, which is why in 1893 the Pietroasa Viticultural Farm was established, in order to recover the vineyard after the invasion of phylloxera. Later, in 1924, near the Farm, was founded the Pietroasa Viticultural and Oenological Resort, a premiere in Romania.

Dealurile Munteniei region is famous for its excellent natural conditions (terroir) in grape vines growing:

  • a temperate-continental climate with hot summers, long and dry autumns and short winters;
  • reddish-brown soils along with red clay, marl and limestone-rich portions in some areas, abundant in iron oxide and calcium carbonate;
  • altitude ranging between 137 and 550 meters;
  • the vineyard exposure is predominantly southern, south-eastern and south-western;
  • optimal sun exposure and rainfall.
  • In Dealurile Munteniei G.I., the white wines have intense aromas, full body, good balance and good acidity. And the red wines can be described as extractive, aromatic with an intense ruby color.

In the past years, a lot of high-standard wineries like SERVE, Davino, Aurelia Vişinescu or Viile Metamorfosis were established. This actually created a true revival of signature wines. Among the grape varieties that contributed to the reputation of the region, we can mention Fetească Albă, Tămâioasă Românească, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Fetească Neagră.

DOC Recaş

Located in Western Romania, in the Banat region at the border with Serbia, Recaş DOC (Designation of Origin) is the wine-growing area where, according to one of many legends, Bacchus, the God of Wine, was born. Viticulture, in this area, dates back to the Roman occupation of Banat. And in the historical documents, the Recaş Vineyard is officially mentioned for the first time in 1447. Over time, the “temptation” of the vines from Recaş DOC has “seduced” constantly the Swabian (Schwaben) population, Austrians, Hungarians, Serbs or Croats, which colonized the region precisely for its wine potential. The main reason, certainly, were the natural factors which have their contribution in achieving high-quality grapes for making aromatic, unctuous and smooth wines. In other words, terroir:

  • temperate-continental climate with Mediterranean influences;
  • the grapevines have an amphitheatre-like layout;
  • clay soil, with sand and limestone areas and iron­-rich portions;
  • high altitude which varies between 170 and 220 meters.

These elements favor the making of a large variety of wines: red, rosé, white or sparkling wines that express the uniqueness of Recaş DOC. A region, which in 2002, “seduced” this time the Italian business person, Nello Dal Tio.

Curiously, he was lured precisely by the hills of the Petrovaselo village. The village had a population of 300 residents, many of them being Serbs. Its first mention dates from 1359, with the name of “Horvathpeturfalva” (“Peter’s Village Croatia“). The legend continues, saying that from the beginning, the village had been inhabited by four families of Serbs, led by Peter and Andrew. Clues to confirm this theory are provided by a document published in 1477, being the first mention of the village name –  “Petrovo Selo” (“Peter’s Village“).

The vines from Petro Vaselo are biologically certified, using a “friendly” technique for soil and plants. That means no herbicides are used, but only manure and green fertilizer.

The vines are manually managed and treatments for diseases are reduced to a minimum. The same care is shown in winemaking, a reason why Petro Vaselo is a gravitational winery.

Petro Vaselo Winery’s starting point was planting vines during the 2005-2009 period. The place was chosen wisely, due to the excellent terroir elements of the Recaş DOC.

It’s the perfect example of a young winery in a continuous evolution, which, vintage by vintage, strengthens its own tradition and improves the classic taste of the Recaş DOC wines.

DOC Oltina

Oltina DOC is a wine region situated in South-East Romania, in the sunny historical region of Dobrogea. More exactly, this region lies between the Danube and the Bulgarian border and is outlined by the presence of a natural paradise. A natural heaven that consists of ponds full of fish, a huge variety of birds and animals, deciduous forests, land with acacia trees, and households with beehives full of honey. Undoubtedly, this place had to be blessed with the presence of grapevines. And precisely the grapevine element bounded the communities Ostrov, Băneasa, Oltina, and Aliman – forming Oltina DOC – throughout history.

And this is not a random thing, taking into consideration that the Oltina DOC has an excellent climate for the grapevine growth:

  • soil formed of black earth, clay, and loess;
  • altitude between 130 and 200 meters;
  • the vines are planted on the slopes of the Danubian terraces with northern, north-eastern and northwest exposure;
  • temperate-continental climate with an ideal level of humidity, warmth, sun, and rainfall.

2,000 years ago, the Dacians discovered the wine potential of this area. Which is why during the Roman Occupation (107-276 AD) the Sacidava castrum was built, on the land of current settlement Aliman.

However, the potential of the vineyards from Oltina DOC was discovered almost by chance by the renowned French winemaker, Marc Dworkin. Especially because in the place where the first vines were to be planted, there were cornfields. Despite this, the inspiration and intuition were providential for the French winemaker from the beginning. And so, in 2006, in Aliman the Alira boutique winery was established.

The Alira wines are inspired by the Bordeaux style of winemaking focused on creating aromatic red wines, with a velvety texture and a good tannic structure. Therefore, only grapes harvested by hand are used. Also, the grapes have to be overripe until the seeds have a brownish color and the taste of walnuts. All the red wines are aged in French oak barriques for a period of 3 to 14 months, depending on the wine collection.

At the demand of dedicated consumers, Alira Winery also produces white and rosé wines that have always delighted the Romanian market.

Through Alira wines, the Oltina DOC becomes a rediscovered wine region which surprises and delights by its picturesque, natural environment and local people.

DOC Minis

Perhaps when you think about Romania, it is possible that the Miniş-Măderat Vineyard is not the first thing to come to mind. However, the wine area located in Arad, in the Western part of the country, deserves to be discovered, as well as the exceptional wines produced here. The vineyard is also where the Balla Géza Winery is located, where the owner and its winemaker, Balla Géza, revived the traditional varieties Mustoasă of Măderat and Cadarcă, giving them gentility and refinement.

Situated in a hillside area, in the Western part of the Zarand Mountains, the Miniş DOC area has all the terroir elements for growing white and red grape varieties, both local and international. Here, the climate is temperate-continental with Adriatic and Mediterranean influences, with long warm and dry autumns, which ensures a good ripening of the grapes.

Also, the soils are skeletal and rich in iron and micronutrients. The vines planted here have a predominantly Southern exposure, and in some places, they have Southwest and Southeast exposure. Thus, nature is proving to be, once again, generous with the vine, rewarding its consumers with extractive and aromatic wines with good ageing potential. Especially for red wines.

Naturally, a terroir with such potential could not be left unexploited over the centuries. The first known written historical evidence dates back from the early 11th century, when the first Queen of Hungary, Gizella, along with King Stephen donated “eight vines” to the Abbey of Bakanybel.

Subsequently, in the 12th and 13th centuries, viticulture and wine production are mentioned in the Catholic monasteries from Mocrea, Pâncota and Arad. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the production and trade of wine became the main source of income for local residents.

The year of 1744 was a moment of glory among the producers of Miniş-Măderat. Then was created a sweet red wine made from dried grapes of Cadarcă after the “Aszu” method, which was created by the Tokaji producers. To everyone’s surprise, the Romanian wine caused an overnight sensation, and soon became a favorite of the Habsburg Imperial Court.

 

Balla Geza

Returning to the present, in the village of Păuliş, the founding of the Balla Géza Winery, in 1999, led to a fresh start in the Miniş-Măderat area. The project of the owner, winemaker, and professor Balla Géza reinstated the region on the wine map of Romania. An extraordinary merit, which gave the wine lovers the chance to finally associate the story of the place with the taste of the wines. Moreover, the ambition of the owner was to build a guesthouse around the winery, where wine, history, and travel enthusiasts could match the wines with local cuisine.

With an area of 105 hectares, the winery cultivates both local varieties and international ones, destined to produce a series of wines (white, rosé, red, frizzante and sparkling). Wines are included in several ranges and are designated to all wine consumers, regardless of taste, price or expectations. However, the common element that lies behind all of them is the typicity of the area, the aromatic and flavor spectrum, the balance and the long aftertaste.

DOC Mehedinti

Located within the regions of Banat and Oltenia, in Southwest Romania and the border with SerbiaMehedinţi County is a generous area for viticulture and enology. The entire area is replete with wineries and the vineyard hills are almost boundless. The explanation lies in the excellent natural conditions that the DOC site benefits of:

  • temperate-continental climate with Mediterranean influences;
  • red-brown soils of medium texture, with black earth, clay, and loam, rich in iron oxide;
  • hot and dry summers followed by mild winters;
  • the opportunity to plant vines on smooth slopes and plateaus with southern exposure;
  • very good solar exposure, rich helio resources, and good atmospheric precipitations.

Obviously, a terroir like the one in Mehedinţi could not be overlooked throughout the centuries. The wine and the vines in this area have been mentioned since ancient times. But the first official document of the area of Mehedinţi DOC was made in 1407 during the rule of the famous Mircea cel Batran (in En: Mircea the Elder) (1397-1418).

The story continued and is still maintained today, through the work of two representative wineries for the Mehedinţi regionCorcova Roy&Dâmboviceanu and Vinarte.

Şerban Dâmboviceanu

Corcova Roy&Dâmboviceanu is a winery founded by Şerban Dâmboviceanu and Michel Roy in 2005 which revives the millennial tradition of wine from this village. Spread over an area of 60 hectares, the plantation from Corcova includes French varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat OttonelChardonnay, Pinot Noir, MerlotCabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The classical local variety, Fetească Neagră, is planted here, with excellent results.

During 2008-2009, they managed to completely restore the cellar built by Anton Bibescu after the original plans. And thus succeeded in preserving something from the Bibescu family era and from the early period of the 20th century, when the wines produced in Corcova were delivered to Paris to be tasted by the artists of the period, lead by Marcel Proust.

 

Also, in Mehedinţi lies Castel Stârmina winery, with an area of 190 hectares. Of the three wineries owned by VINARTE in three different regions, this one is the largest surface owned. The maritime climate, provided by the Danube, along with Mediterranean influences helped winemakers to experiment until some outstandingly unique wines were created. Thus, at Stârmina they started to produce Sirena Dunării, a sweet white wine made after the Sauternes method of using late-harvest dried grapes. The red wines are also highlighted, examples in this respect being Prince Mircea or Nedeea, a blend of three Romanian varieties – Fetească NeagrăNegru de Drăgăşani and Novac.

The Mehedinţi DOC has the credit of being a region in constant evolution, “open” in introducing new grape varieties and winemaking styles and recognized for producing flavourful wines with rich extract, and good ageing potential.

DOC Dragasani

Drăgăşani DOC (Designation of Origin) area is one of the oldest and most notorious vineyard from Oltenia region. Located in South-West part of Romania, Drăgăşani Vineyard extends for a length of over 50 km and is situated near the Olt River, at the foot of the Getic Subcarpathians.


The legend of this region dates back to the reign of Burebista, the first known Dacian King (84 BC – 44 BC), and starts with a beautiful love story between his daughter, Bagrina, and the fearless Dacian warrior, Gordan. A story that was to achieve immortality through the “baptism” of two grape varieties named after our heroes – Braghină and Gordan. Obviously, the wine-making tradition that begun during the Dacians was destined to last for centuries.
The Drăgăşani Vineyard is first officially mentioned in the 16th and 17th centuries, during the reign of Mihai Viteazul (in Eng. Prince Michael the Brave) (1593-1601). A ruler who, in recognition for the wines produced by the monasteries from Drăgăşani, offered them many donations.
Subsequently, we kept the indigenous grape varieties and also grapevines were replanted by bringing international varieties which found the ideal natural factors, called terroir. And it was proven that the terroir of Drăgăşani DOC is ideal for viticulture thanks to the following elements:

  • temperate-continental climate with cold winters and hot summers, with a slight Mediterranean influence;
  • reddish-brown soils with portions of clay, shale, and sands;
  • high altitude: 193 – 463 m;
  • average annual temperature (11.3°C), moderate rainfall, along with sun exposure during the growing season.

Currently, one of the producers of Drăgăşani DOC oriented in making high-quality wines and in the rebirth of traditions is AVINCIS. Vila Dobrușa estate comprises the manor, the AVINCIS winery, 40 hectares of vineyards, several hectares of forestland and the landscaping arrangement.

AVINCIS is the symbol of rebirth for the Romanian wine, under the sign of tradition and modernity.

AVINCIS is the continuation of a family story with passion for wines, which started as early as 1927. Back then, Maria and Iancu Râmniceanu, an appointed officer of the Romanian army by Ionel Brătianu, have bought in Drăgășani a manor in the pure Neo-Romanian style, inspired by the architecture of Brâncovenesc edifices, surrounded by vineyards.

In 2007, their great-granddaughter, Cristiana, together with her husband, Valeriu Stoica, returned to the family estate and had the revelation of the vineyard’s miracle, of the wines and the place’s traditions.

Drăgășani has all the prerequisites of a registered designation, in the French fashion. The Drăgășani Vineyard has always produced fine white wines with good acidity, like the local Crâmpoşie. The red wines from the region, produced chiefly from Cabernet Sauvignon and the local variety Negru de Drăgășani, also enjoy national and international appreciation. These grape varieties gave prestige to the Drăgăşani DOC, where what is happening today represents a new chapter in the Romanian wine history.

 

DOC Dealu Mare

Located in the Southern part of Romania, Dealu Mare spreads over the surface of Prahova and Buzău counties. It is the most compact vineyard heap in Romania composed of eight important DOC wine centers for Dealu Mare. Also, the region is located in the Southern Carpathian hills and stretches over an area of 65 km with a width ranging between 3 and 12 km. Lastly, Dealu Mare is positioned on the parallel 45°, in the select company of Bordeaux and Tuscany.

The white wines produced in the Dealu Mare DOC are distinguished by a high level of extract, a velvety structure and a medium acidity due to Southwestern exposure. In some areas, the soil has a concentrated content of calcium carbonate, which favors the cultivation of aromatic grape varieties like Tămâioasă Românească and Muscat Ottonel.

Instead, the red wines produced in Dealu Mare are pleasing any type of consumer. Here, the red wines are well-balanced, full-bodied, with a smooth texture, a long aftertaste and aromas like berries, spices, morocco, coffee, cocoa or chocolate. Due to their qualities, most of the red wines have great ageing potential. And this is due to the natural factors (terroir) favorable to growing red varieties:

  • red-brown soils rich in iron with a medium texture;
  • very good heliothermic resources;
  • temperate-continental climate with hot summers and mild dry autumns which ensure the ripening of red grapes.

The presence of the vines is dated since ancient times, as confirmed by excavations, pottery, and toponymy. The first documents date from the 14th and 15th centuries, in which Valea Călugărească and Ceptura are mentioned. In foreign documents of the era, the wine from Dealu Mare was described as “oily, strong and durable”.

SERVE is one of the first private wineries in Romania, founded in 1994, by the Corsican Count Guy Tyrel de Poix. The story begins when the Count was seduced by the magic words written by Hugh Johnson, in his book “The Story of Wine”, which mentioned Romania as a country with potential in viticulture and winemaking. That was enough for the Count to take our country as a challenge and a soon to become materialized project. Currently, SERVE grows on an area of 54 hectares local varieties such as Fetească Albă, Fetească Neagră, and also international like Italian Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Domeniile Săhăteni is known by their several collections of white, rosé and red wines. Brands like Artisan, Karakter, Promessa or Anima, which render elegant and aromatic wines, with a feminine note, highlighting the international and Romanian varieties.

Davino is a winery built in 2003, with an area of 68 hectares in Ceptura and impresses with white and red wines, which “contain” that aristocratic and initiatory element. In perfect harmony, they vinify both monovarietal and blended, three white varieties – Fetească Albă, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling Italian – and three red varieties – Fetească Neagră, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. If the wines are made of only one type of grape variety, they get to express so well its typicity that they became study material for future oenologists from the Agronomical Universities from Bucharest and Iaşi. Real school-wines…

One of the newest wineries, founded in Dealu Mare, is Viile Metamorfosis. The story of this winery started in the early 2000s, when Marquis Piero Antinori, impressed by the quality of the Romanian wines, decided to invest in this region. With more than 600 years of tradition and experience in the wine field, the Antinori Family decided to plant 100 hectares at Vadu Săpat. Their credit lies in “establishing” the Negru de Drăgăşani variety in this vineyard, and also in growing traditional Romanian grapes like Tămâioasă Românească, Fetească Albă and Fetească Neagră.

Budureasca is a winery founded in 2006 on a surface of 275 hectares and is one of the largest producers of Dealu Mare. The wine portfolio is highly diversified, with collections dedicated to all wine consumers at an excellent price-quality ratio. The technology is one of the most modern in the country, meeting at the same time tradition and the terroir of the area. The varieties are both local and international, among which Fetească Regală, Fetească Albă, Tămâioasă Românească, Busuioacă of Bohotin or Fetească Neagră.

Returning to the present, the Dealu Mare DOC is receiving a new “meaning” with the founding of new wineries that have relied on the terroir of this area, the Romanian traditional varieties and – sometimes – the making of signature wines.

Certainly, Dealu Mare Vineyard is worth to discover on a study trip, from winery to winery, to understand its story and history.

DOC Cotnari

Birthplace of the Romanian variety, Grasa of Cotnari

Cotnari Vineyard is located in the historical region of Moldova, in the North-East part of Romania, and also located within the European Northern limit for grapevine growing. Located at 45-50° North latitude, Cotnari DOC has a select company formed by vineyards like Tokay (Hungary), Rheingau (Germany) and Champagne (France).

Ştefan cel Mare

The story begins in the Neolithic period, during the Cucuteni Culture (5.500-2.700 BC), when in the are of Cotnari grape seeds and pottery with traces of wine have been found. Obviously, the art of vine cultivation and making wine was continued during the Geto-Dacian, but fame was achieved much later.

The name of the Cotnari village was officially dated for the first time on October 5, 1448, and soon after this region gained consecration during the glorious reign of Stephen the Great (Ştefan cel Mare) (1457-1504). From this time dates the famous Cotnari assortment, known also as the “wine of the voivode”. A blend which was obtained only from Romanian grape varieties like Frâncuşă (20%), Fetească Albă (30%), Grasă de Cotnari (30%) and Busuioacă of Moldova (10%) (now known as Tămâioasă Românească). A “recipe” for nearly 600 years, which can be tasted even in our days, as all grape varieties are still grown.

The quality of the Cotnari wine was confirmed in the 15th century when in a wine catalog from Venice, Grasa de Cotnari was listed as the most expensive wine.

Certainly, the wines produced in the Cotnari DOC had for centuries their moments of glory. For example, after a visit of Peter the Great in Iaşi in 1711, the Russian Czar exclaimed enthusiastically that he has never known a better wine like Cotnari. Shortly after, the prince and scholar Dimitrie Cantemir mentioned in 1716, that Cotnari is the best wine from the entire region of Moldova.

In a document written in Paris, in 1875 the wine produced in Cotnari was considered equal to the Tokay wines and superior to the wines produced in Germany, in the Rhine region.

In 1889 and 1890, the wines produced in the Cotnari DOC confirmed for the first time in the international wine élite. Thus, the wines obtained at the International Exhibition in Paris, the Grand Prix title.

A full history, which is in continuous evolution, whose progress would not have been so spectacular if the Cotnari DOC area would not have provided best climate and soil conditions for the grapevines. In short, the Cotnari terroir has the following features:

    • soils formed from mold, marl, sand, clay and sandstone portions;
    • high altitude ranging between 231 and 395 meters;
    • temperate-continental climate with cold drafts influence from the east;
    • good level of rainfall;
    • southern exposure of the vines disposed on plateaus, hillsides, terraces and valleys.

After the communist era and the uncertain period of the 1990’s, the wines from Cotnari DOC regained the trust and respect of the educated Romanian consumer of wine. An enterprise started in 2007, by the company Casa de Vinuri Cotnari was a great turning point for the Romanian wine industry, focusing on the exclusive exploitation of the Romania varieties. Grapes such as Grasă de Cotnari, Tămâioasă Românească, Fetească Albă, Busuioacă de Bohotin and Fetească Neagră, which restore the Cotnari DOC’s legend and from which are produced wines linked to the present.

IG Dealurile Olteniei

The wine area of Dealurile Olteniei (in Eng.: Oltenia Hills) is located in the South-West of Romania, in the historical region of Oltenia. And unlike the famous vineyards in the area, Dealurile Olteniei G.I. (Geographical Indication) refers to the entire wine-producing area covered by the five counties that form Oltenia. This does not mean that these wines are classified as inferior in comparison to the wines with denomination of origin (D.O.C.). The difference lies in the territorial delimitation which is less strict and the winemaker has more “freedom of creation”. A detail which in many cases can produce delightful surprises.

The story of viticulture and wine from Dealurile Olteniei G.I., dates from ancient times, even before Romania or Oltenia existed as national or local concepts. The archaeological excavations indicate the presence of viticultural activity since the period of the Dacian king Burebista (82-44 BC). Subsequently, the history of wine and Oltenia becomes almost impossible to summarize. Since the Middle Ages and continuing to the present, Oltenia was the “theater” of an almost uninterrupted series of wars, revolutions, uprising, or permutations of land and power between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, during the 1860s was the biggest natural disaster in the history of European and Romanian viticulture, produced by the insect phylloxera. Unfortunately, after the attack, the grapevines from Oltenia were decimated and some local varieties perished.

However, the tenacious and fiery Oltenian spirit managed to triumph and along with it, the vines and the wines produced in the area of the five counties. Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Dealurile Olteniei G.I. held 30% of the total viticultural are of Romania, and 34% of the total production of red wine.
Over the centuries, Dealurile Olteniei G.I. proved to be an ideal area for growing high-quality grape varieties, due to the “blessing” of very good pedo-climatic conditions like:

  • temperate-continental climate with hot summers and warm autumns that provide the grape ripening;
  • very good solar exposure, rich heliometric resources and a low average of rainfall;
  • brown-reddish fertile soils, along clay and sand in some areas of the region;
  • the vineyards are located on open slopes, in hills which have an amphitheater layout and southern, eastern, and western exposure.

In Dealurile Olteniei G.I., one of the main producers is Oprişor Winery. Located in Mehedinţi, and owning a vineyard of 242 hectares the producer in Oltenia is an investment of the German Group Reh Kendermann GmbH. In this area, aromatic and expressive grape varieties as Tămâioasă Românească and Fetescă Neagră were planted. Also, the Oprişor Winery planted international varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and successfully experimented in Romania with en primeur grapes like Zinfandel and Dornfelder.

And taking in consideration that wine is a product that expresses the features of its area of origin, Crama Oprişor relied on the myths, legends, and traditions, bringing a revival of “Profound Oltenia” with brands like Maiastru, Caloian, Rusalcă Albă or Drăgaică Roșie.