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.
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.