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.