Romanian wines and the three Maidens
Romania numbers among the few countries in the world that benefits of such favorable conditions for vine growing and wine making, and Romanian wines have undoubtedly achieved important international results during the last years. From the divine white wines of Jidvei and Vrancea to the red wines of Segarcea, Romania has always offered some of the most exciting and interesting wines in the world.
Romania is a major European wine country with rich historic and cultural traditions, many of them directly related to this marvelous 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.
LOCATION, CLIMATE AND SOIL
Although climatically very different, Romania lies on the same latitude as France. The main geographical features, which also temper the continental climate of the country are the Black Sea, the Danube and the height of the Carpathian Mountains. The mountain range occupies almost half the country, rising to about 2,500 meters and enclosing the Transylvanian plateau, situated at about 400 meters above sea-level. In the south, the Danube (Dunarea) flows through a sandy plain, turning north towards its delta and isolating the province of Dobrogea with its opening to the Black Sea.
The continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters, moderated by such local factors as those mentioned above, the soils, basically stony and well-drained around the Carpathian’s, but more alluvial and sandy in the coastal area and, last but not least, the exposure to sun light and “warmth” of the Romanian soul are the key factors determining the quality of wines produced in what many would consider a God-blessed wine country.
There are two categories of grapes cultivated in Romania: the international varieties, imported after the phyloxeric period, and the old traditional Romanian varieties.
The most known and traditional Romanian local varieties are Feteasca Neagra (The Black Maiden), Feteasca Alba (The White Maiden) and Feteasca Regala (The Royal Maiden).
The three Maidens: Feteasca Neagra
Regions: Moldova, Muntenia, Oltenia, Banat, Dobrogea.
Characteristics: Feteasca Neagra, or the Black Maiden, in English, is in an old native variety, grown in several areas of Romania. These grapes produce dry, semidry or sweet wines, with an alcohol content of 12-14%, a deep red color with ruby shades, and a black currant flavor, richer and smoother with aging. This variety produces high end wines, perfect for aging.
The three Maidens: Feteasca Alba
Regions: Banat, Transilvania, Moldova.
Characteristics: Feteasca Alba, or White Maiden, in English, is an old Romanian variety, grown especially in Banat, Moldova and Transilvania. Wines are either dry or semidry, with a balanced alcohol content (11.5-12%), acidity and sugar and feature a velvety, natural finesse. It is the most popular Romanian grape variety, over 23,000 hectares of land being cultivated with it.
The three Maidens: Feteasca Regala
Regions: Banat, Transylvania, Moldova.
Characteristics: Wines are dry, fresh, have high acidity and a distinguished flavor. This variety is relatively new and it was created in Mures County before the Second World War. It is a combination between Feteasca Alba and Grasa.
Of course, international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc are cultivated on large surfaces.
Actually, Romania has recently achieved important international results thanks precisely to these well-known grape varieties.
In our portfolio, it is already possible to find outstanding examples of these wines like: the Calusari Pinot Grigio, the Calusari Pinot Noir, the Umbrele Sauvignon Blanc and finally the Umbrele Syrah.
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