The Danube area, like other regions in Romania, boasts a variety of wine regions, from the entrace of the Danube in the country, near the border with Serbia, to the Danube Delta, where the old river meets the Black Sea.
The beginning of viticulture in this part of the world goes back at least 4,000 years, the climate and soil being hospitable to the production of many different types of wines, from dry, sparkling whites to rich, aromatic, purplish reds. Some of these are domestic grape varieties, that enchant the senses and enrich the flavours of the territory.
Come along the vineyards in the vicinity of the Danube to discover the ancient flavour of the Romanian wine!
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According to wine experts, Dobrugea (aka Dobrudja/Dobruja etc.) has the best conditions for wine growing in Romania. Its continental climate with warm, droughty summers, moderate winters, early springs and late autumns allow for long vegetation periods. Good soil structure and fertility, plenty of sun and low precipitation do make a difference so it is no wonder viniculture has a long pre-Roman tradition here. They don’t only grow grapes to make wine; they grow them for raisins too.
Outstanding rich-flavoured noble red and excellent white wines with natural sweetness are typical of this region. Grape varieties grown here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Columna, Merlot, Muscat Ottonel, Italian Riesling, Sauvignon, and local varieties Fetească Neagră, Fetească Regala, Aligote and Babească Neagră.
A visit to Podgoria/Crama Murfatlar, the viticulture centre of Southern Dobrudja Plateau, at the north end of Murfatlar/Basarabi is highly recommended. Among the many varieties of red and white wines produced on 3,000 hectares, there are special ones such as the unique Lacrima lui Ovidiu (Tears of Ovid), named after the famous Roman writer, exiled under Emperor Augustus in 8 AD to the nearby Tomis (Constanta). Restaurant Crama Murfatlar, opened in 2009, offers wine tastings with traditional Romanian dishes.
Vineyards of Clos de Colombes are a dream-come-true estate owned by a French woman, Anne Marie Rosenberg. It also features a restaurant and B&B accommodation for the weary traveller. Visit Sarica Niculitel region near Tulcea, Northern Dobrudja Plateau, the attested “Bacchus Colony” since the 3rd century BC. Alcovin vineyards, planted in 2002, offer red and white Curtea Regala and Pelegrin wines.
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Located south of the central Carpathians, vineyards cover approximately 104,000 hectares. The vineyards are in the famous sunny wine belt (44o–45oN), on the slopes of the mountains towards the plains, but also in the region of southern Oltenia, or in areas close to the Danube. The local micro-climate and soil create perfect environment for excellent, full-bodied red wines.The records of viniculture tradition near the Danube date back to ancient times (BC).
Visitors of Vinju Mare Winery (since 1898) should taste ancient grape varieties such as sweet white “Tămâioasă Românească 2010”, late harvest or dry red “Prince Vlad Fetească Neagră (Black Feteasca) Grand Reserve 2011”. Dry “Merlot Rosé “is worth to try ? it won a gold medal at Cannes (France) in 2012.
Along the 190 hectares of Vinarte Company at Starmina estate, grapes get 1,868 sunny hours for a year. During the period of 2001–2008, 41 hectares were planted with white varieties “Tămâioasă Românească” and “Sauvignon Blanc”, and red varieties of “Cabernet Sauvignon”, “Merlot”, “Negru de Drăgăşani”,“Fetească Neagră” and “Novac”.
The concept of Oprisor Vineyard, based on the birth of the Carl Reh Winery company, was created on the production of wines which would have a new and unique personality. It is a novel attitude, which comprises both the Romanian traditionalism as well as the passion invested in the products and projects, which reflects the spirit of “Carl Reh Winery”.
The Galicea Mare winery, which is located in the immediate proximity of the 50 ha vinyard, has been modernized in the past 2 years. The wine-tasting usually takes place at “Port Cetate” – an old renovated Danubian port for shipping grains.
Domeniul Coroanei Segarcea vineyard and winery are located in the south-western part of Romania, in Segarcea area. Due to the favorable climate, the estate in Segarcea was chosen, among the 12 estates, which the Royal House of Romania administrated at the end of the 19th century, as the only one suitable for vinegrowing.
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Fully matured grapes guarantee high-quality wines of Central Southern Romania. Terraced hills near the Danube boast higher average temperatures than in Transylvania or Moldova. Wine trading on and along the Danube started with the first Greek settlements circa 630 BC. While Dacian King Burebista (1st century BC) destroyed all vineyards to protect his people from constant invasions by the migrating peoples, Romans were committed to the cultivation of vineyards.
The Estate Ostrov (Island Vineyard), owned by the businessman Horia Culcescu since 2001, covers an area of 2000 ha and it includes vineyards with wine grapes (Fetească White, Fetească Royal, Sauvignon Blanc, ItalianRiesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Muscat Ottonel,Crâmpoşie; Fetească Black, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrach, Rebo), with table grapes, orchards andvegetable fields. The most important range of wines areReserve, Durostorum City, Domeniile Ostrov, thespecialties being the distilled wines and the wines flavoured with herbs or aromatic substances. Over 400 Romanian top restaurants and pubs offer Ostrovit wines, in 2012 being sold 5 million litres which created a turnover of 3.55 million euros.
The Intervitt Winery in Zimnicea, located in historic Wallachia, grows grapes on 370 hectares. World-class wines are made here under a new label Nobilitas, and with the exclusive appellation of Terasele Dunarii, Danube Terraces vineyards. They use the following grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Fetească Neagră, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cramposie. By 2011, the company started selling extraordinary Crama Voievodului red (Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Fetească Neagră) and white wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Fetească Alba, Fetească Regala). Both the international and the Romanian viniculture methods are used in the cultivation of red (60 %) and white (40 %) grape varieties.
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