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Şarbă

White semi-aromatic variety with a recent history in Romanian viticulture, from which are made fresh and fruity wines.

 ORIGINS AND PARENTAGE

Şarbă is an authentic Romanian variety, obtained in 1972, by the researcher Gheorghe Popescu, by crossing Tămâioasa Românească and Italian Riesling grape varieties. Its name was also registered in 1972, and its name comes from the Şarbă Hill, the highest altitude point in the area, with an exceptional terroir for grapevine cultivation. Also, Şarbă, alongside Plăvaie and Galbenă de Odobeşti, is one of the most representative varieties for Vrancea region, the largest vineyard in Romania.

 VITICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

It is a plant with a medium vigor, with medium-sized grapes, clustered in compact bunches and thin skins. The maturing period for grapes is in the second half of September. It is resistant to frost, but sensitive to drought and gray rot, especially in rainy autumns.

WHERE IT GROWS AND WHAT THE WINES TASTE LIKE

Şarbă is cultivated with very good results in the vineyards of Southern Moldova, such as Odobeşti, Coteşti, Dealurile Bujorului and on small and isolated areas such as Dealurile Munteniei şi Olteniei.

Generally, from Şarbă are made dry white with acidity with typical aromas of rose petals, basil, lime flowers, acacia flowers and honey, which are recommended to be consumed young. Served at a temperature of 6-8°C (43-46°F) and can be perfectly matched with young cheeses, bream in salt crust, seafood or with the food you like. Also, is a grape variety with large accumulations of sugar, it can also be vinified as medium dry, medium sweet or sweet wines.

Gîrboiu Winery is one of the main producers of Şarbă in Romania, making spectacular white wines using only this grape variety, or combining it with Plăvaie.  

Plăvaie

Originally from the Vrancea region, from Plăvaie are made young, mineral wines with high acidity, which are recommended to be consumed in the first two years after bottling.

PRINCIPAL SYNONYMS

Plăvană, Brumăria, Bălană, Bălaia, Bălaie, Poamă Plăvaie, Plăvaie de Vrancea.

ORIGINS AND PARENTAGE

Plăvaie is a prefiloxeric white native variety, whose origin can be identified in the XVIIIth century in the Vrancea region. The story of the variety’s name is picturesque, referring to the color of the grapes that was very similar to the white-yellowish or gray-white of the sheep, animals that had an essential role in the agriculture and economy of Vrancea at that time.

 VITICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

The plant is very vigorous compared to other native varieties. It is resistant to diseases, low temperatures (till -15°C/ 5°F) and drought. Plăvaie has an increased yield, with compact clusters, with grapes that can be harvested starting with the second half of September.

WHERE IT GROWS AND WHAT THE WINES TASTE LIKE

Plăvaie is widespread in the Moldova region, especially in Vrancea County in the Odobeşti, Coteşti and Panciu vineyards, being as popular as Şarbă or Galbenă de Odobeşti. The variety is also spread in the Republic of Moldova, where it is known as Brumăria, but also in countries like Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Slovakia, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, Austria and Bulgaria.

The wines made from this grape variety are dry, fresh and recommended to be consumed in the first two years after bottling and characterized by green apples, grapefruit, lime juice and lemon peel aromas. Also, due to the increased acidity, the variety can be used to create memorable sparkling wines or brandies.

The Wines that are recommended to be consumed at 6-8°C (43-46°F) and consumed either plainly or with young Romanian cheeses, fish brine, grilled chicken breast with vegetables or along with the food you like.

Galbenă de Odobești

A gradually declining Romanian variety, which produces everyday whites.

MAIN SYNONYMS: Bucium de Poamă Galbenă, Galbenă de Căpătanu, Galbenă Grasă, Galbenă Uriaşă, Poamă Galbenă.

VARIETIES COMMONLY MISTAKEN FOR GALBENĂ DE ODOBEȘTI: Narancsszolo (Hungary), ORANGETRAUBE (Germany)

ORIGINS AND PARENTAGE
An old variety, Galbenă de Odobești probably originated in Căpătanu, near Odobești, eastern Romania. At least three berry-colour variations have been described, suggesting that the variety is very old: Galbenă Măruntă (pale yellow), Galbenă Verde (yellow-green) and Galbenă Aurie (golden-yellow). Galbenă de Odobești is said to be morphologically similar to other obscure or almost extinct local varieties: Alb Romanesc, Berbecel, Cruciuliță, Batută Neagră, Cabasma Neagră, Cabasma Albă and ZGHIHARĂ DE HUȘI (Dejeu 2004).

VITICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS
Mid- to late budding and late ripening. Compact bunches of thin-skinned berries. Very susceptible to botrytis bunch rot, downy and powdery mildews and drought. Winter-hardy to around -18 °C (-0.4 °F).

WHERE IT GROWS AND WHAT THE WINE TASTES LIKE
During the Soviet era, Galbenă de Odobești was valued in Romania for its productivity rather than its quality and today it is still used mainly for bulk and/or blended wine, although Vincon Vrancea bottle a varietal version. Wines are light, highly acid and designed for early drinking. Total plantings in 2008 were 407 ha (1,006 acres), almost all in the southern half of Romania’s Moldova eastern region, down from 500 ha (1,236 acres) in 1995.

Băbească Neagră

A Romanian variety of high acidity, producing fairy light reds.

PRINCIPAL SYNONYMS: Asil Kara (Daghestan), Băbească, Căldărușă, Chernyi Redkii (Ukraine), Crăcană, Crăcănată, Poamă Rară Neagră (Republic of Moldova), Rărăneagră or Rară Neagră (Republic of Moldova), Răschirată, Rastriopa (Republic of Moldova), Serecsia Ciornaia (Republic of Moldova), Sereksia (Ukraine), Sereksiya (US)

ORIGINS AND PARENTAGE
This is a very old Romanian variety, Băbească Neagră literally meaning ‘grandmother’s black.’ It most likely originated in the Nicorești vineyards in the county of Galați in the Romanian region of Moldova, bordering on Ukraine, where it was allegedly mentioned in documents as early as the 14th century and where it still shows significant intravarietal diversity (an indication of its age), including colour mutations with white (Băbească Albă) and green-grey or pink berries (Băbească Gri) (Dejeu 2004).

VITICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS
Vigorous, mid budding, late ripening. Prone to millerandage, especially if yields are high. Medium-sized to large loose bunches of thin-skinned berries. Susceptible to botrytis bunch rot, powdery and downy mildews and drought but resistant to winter frosts (to -18 °C/-o.4 °F).

WHERE IT GROWS AND WHAT THE WINES TASTE LIKE
Wines are typically high in acidity, not very deeply coloured, with red-fruit flavours, mostly sour cherry. In Romania, it was grown on 4,516 ha (11,159 acres) in 2008, meaning it was quite widely planted but with the majority in Galați in the east. Most wines are ordinary and consumed locally but some higher-quality wines come from Nicorești and Odobești, the former giving its name to an appellation for this variety. Senator are unusual in producing a more serious varietal wine from the sandy terraces north of the Danube in the far south of the country. Senator have just a few hectares of the pink-berried Grey Băbească in Huși in the far east of Romania and make a clean, very fresh white wine with mineral rather than fruit flavours and a note of lime on the finish.

The Republic of Moldova had 80 ha (198 acres) of Rară Neagră in 2009. Recommended producers include Dionysos Mereni. According to Galet (2000), also planted in Ukraine.