Posts

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.

Tămâioasă Românească

Tămâioasă Românească is one of the most popular local aromatic variety from which are made both sweet wines with very good ageing potential as well as young and fresh wines with exotic fruits aromas.

 

MAIN SYNONYMS:

Busuioacă Albă, Busuioacă de Moldova, Beala Tamianka, Belai Muscatnai, Muscat Belai, Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains, Muskateller, Sarga Muskotally Barzsing, Tămâioasă, Tămâioasă Albă de Drăgăşani.

 

VARIETIES COMMONLY MISTAKEN FOR GRASĂ DE COTNARI: MUSCAT OTTONEL.

 

ORIGINS AND PARENTAGE

Tămâioasă Românească is a grape variety with a tradition of over 2,000 years in Romania. Although its origins are uncertain, it is known that the grape comes from the South of Greece, from the Muscat family and it is one of the oldest varieties in the world. During the Antiquity, Muscat wines were the most appreciated from all countries located in the Mediterranean basin. Moreover, both wine – which at that time were transported in amphorae – and vine cuttings were considered currency in commercial practices.

At the same time, the excellent quality of the grape and also the expansion of the Roman Empire in Eastern Europe, led to the popularization of Muscat and its naturalization in the countries where it was acclimated, being subsequently marketed with the name of the origin locality. In this regard, the most known example is of France with Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel Blanc or Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains. And also, the examples of Spain (Moscatel Castellano), Portugal (Moscatel do Douro), Italy (Moscato Bianco), or Germany (Muskateller Gelber, Muskateller Grüner).

In Romania, the grape variety was introduced by the Greek settlers and their commerce within the Danube and Black Sea city ports, which developed exponentially during the reign of Burebista, the first king of the Dacians (82-44 BC). Also, from this period dates the “baptism” of the grape that comes from the Latin word thymanea, which translates as “incense”, due to its aromatic character.

Originally, the grape was planted for the first time with very good results in the Drăgăşani wine region. And being a part of the traditional Drăgăşani white assemblage along with grape varieties with Dacian origins such as Crâmpoşie, Braghină and Gordan. Subsequently, Tămâioasa Românească “migrated” to Dealu Mare vineyard, where it was blended with grapes such as Gordin and Băşicata. And also in Cotnari vineyard, where became a part of the region’s famous assemblage alongside Frâncuşă, Fetească Albă and Grasă de Cotnari.

As an aromatic variety coming from the Muscat family, Tămâioasa Românească is very often confused with Muscat Ottonel. A confusion, taking into consideration that Muscat Ottonel was made in 1852 by Robert Moreau, through the cross between Chasselas and Muscat de Saumur.

Its very old history within the Romanian terroir, along with the survival against the invasion of the phylloxera (about 1860), gives it the right to be considered an indigenous variety.

 

VITICULTURAL CHARACTERISTICS

It is a relatively vigorous plant, with late-harvesting grapes with great amount of sugar accumulation. The plant is sensitive to frost (-18°C/ -.04°F), drought, excessive moisture and disease. It has a low productivity (5-8 t/ha) and is spread in almost all vineyards in Romania.

 

WHERE IT GROWS AND WHAT ITS WINES TASTE LIKE

Tămâioasă Românească is cultivated on an area of approximately 1,000 hectares, especially in the Drăgăşani, Mehedinţi, Ştefăneşti-Argeş, Dealu Mare, Pietroasele, Murfatlar and Cotnari vineyards. Due to the high accumulation of sugar, from this grape variety are made dessert aromatic wines with very good ageing potential with unmistakable flavors of honeycomb, lime, acacia flower, white roses, basil and incense. Lately, to general surprise, Tămâioasa Românească was also made as a dry wine, impressing with its delicate body, freshness and typical aromas. Among the producers which cultivate it with exceptional results, can be mentioned  Oprişor Winery, Aurelia Vişinescu Wines, Budureasca or Casa de Vinuri Cotnari.

Villa Vinèa

DOC Târnave