Romania - a Wine Country
Romania is a major European wine country with rich historic and cultural traditions, many of them directly related to this marvellous drink, rightfully considered divine liquor. Today the country builds its own future in consonance with that of the European Union and in this sense undergoes profound changes, while aspiring to become a valued member of the world wine community as a producer of highly praised quality wines.
The beginnings of viticulture in this part of the world go back at least 4,000 years. Legend says that Dionysos, the god of wine, was born in Thracia, on what is nowadays the territory of Romania. Romania or Dacia as the Romans knew it, had a well-established wine culture. The abundance of food and fame of the Dacian wines were so well-known and tempting that, to put an end to the migratory peoples' repeated invasions, the Dacian king Burebista (1st century BC), ordered the destruction of all vineyards, as his high Priest Deceneu suggested. The coins issued by Romans after having conquered Dacia (106 AD) or Dacia Felix (Happy Dacia) as the new Roman province was called, presented on their obverse a woman to whom two children were offering grapes, a symbol of the region's main riches and a proof that not all the vineyards were uprooted. In more recent times, the Romanian viticulture knew several distinct stages, each with its specific impact upon the country's wine industry. Thus, the 19th century, right up to the outbreak of the First World War, was characterised by ample and close links with France.
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"Romania numbers among the few countries in the world that benefits of such favourable conditions for vine growing and winemaking, excepting perhaps only France, which can produce such a great variety of wines." Prof. Viorel Stoian
Basic characteristic of Romanian viticulture.
The Romanian viticulture is almost at the Northern limit of vine growing and as such, it must use the most favourable places. Therefore, Romanian viticulture is mostly done on the hills, on well drained slopes and with the best sun exposure, or in the valleys that are well protected against the cold winter winds and the late spring frosts, in other words, it is a viticulture of the most favourable microclimates. Red wines of excellent quality can be obtained at Dealu Mare, Dealurile Buzaului, a part of Cotesti, some of the wine growing centres of Galati, Vaslui, Tulcea and Constantza counties, as well as at Minis Vineyard, the wine growing centres in Banat (Recas, Moldova Noua, Dealurile Tirolului) and the hill areas in Mehedinti and Dolj (Orevita, Vanjulet-Vanju Mare, Golul Drancei, Banu Maracine). The paradox is that the areas best fit for red wines production produce mainly white wines, primarily because the domestic market requires these sorts of wines. The situation is going to change as the international market requires mostly red wines.
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Recommended and Authorised Grape Vines - (PDF version)